Saturday, March 24, 2012

Women Cardinals?

Ooooo!  It's all the buzz lately!

Anyway - haven't we had a few already?  Just KIDDING(It's what you were thinking!)

But dese guyz think it's a possibility...

It could happen.


  1. Trying to make nice, Ter?

  2. Ha! I actually thought I'd get in trouble for this.

  3. Anonymous3:26 PM

    You won't get in trouble as long as you telegraph, "Of course, anybody who so much as *thinks* such a thing is a contemptible liberal bent on subverting the Church. We're all agreed on that!"

    If, however, you simply raise the point and note that cardinals are not apostolic tradition and, whatever the Church does either way, it doesn't constitute a betrayal of the Tradition or a crisis of faith, *then* you can count on getting into a lot of trouble from people for whom the distinction between sacred and human tradition is not all that clear--and who live in terror that the Church is on the verge of losing, or lost at Vatican II, her charism of indefectibility.

    Time was when the Catholic intellectual tradition could deal with dispassionate discussion of all sorts of theological speculation without charges of heresy and subversion being flung every time somebody blue skied an idea outside the box. The medieval Church was patient of discussion about the truth and falsehood of the Immaculate conception, the nature of grace, and a million other questions, including the existence of God. St. Thomas could routinely state 10,000 heretical ideas in their strongest form in order to really consider their strengths and weaknesses. He could find much that was of merit in pagan and Muslim philosophy and routinely cite Aristotle and Averroes as authorities.

    But in our brittle age of tribal ideologies, simply observing that something is so and speculating a bit on the implications is to invite a torrent of rage from people who rail at you for all the ills of the world. Note that there could be some advantages to a female cardinal (as Thomas notes that there are real cases to be made for the heresies that he goes on to refute) and you get no further than that. Everybody leaps on you to read your mind and tells you that you are an accomodationist bent on subverting the church's teaching on ordination, undermining feminine virtue, and establishing goddess worship. Cite a Muslim or a pagan think on any topic and you are declared a New Age nitwit and a friend of terrorists.

    What's fascinating is how all that psychodrama on this particular blog entry happens without anybody being willing to face the fact that it was Fr. Groeschel who raised the issue of women cardinals. The fury gets directed at me and, in lesser degree, at Dolan by those freaking out. Why? Because Fr. Groeschel (who I think is a saint, by the way) is a beloved folk hero and in the world of reactionary conservatism (as of reactionary progressivism) it's black hats and white hats. Fr. Benedict is a white hat, therefore he can't have said what he said, because that would throw the tribal ideology into a cocked white hat. Therefore fury about Damned Accomodationist PC Subversives will be directed away from this folk hero and at the safe targets: Shea and Dolan, especially Shea who, by his failure to sneer at the idea and his observation that the thing is, in fact, perfectly possible must mean he is a modernist damn librul who is "promoting" female cardinals and not, as he himself says, mildly interested in the question as a theological curiosity, but not especially invested for or against women cardinals.


    Mark Shea

  4. Mark Shea, you are quite correct. But none of us should take anyone's blog as seriously as all that.

  5. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Couldn't agree more. It was a blog entry, a single blog entry. And some of my commenters were having absolute hysterics about it. Bizarre to watch. One guy disgorged himself of a screed about everything about the whole church that has outraged him since 1965. It was weird to watch.

    Mark Shea

  6. I can imagine.
    But I'm just responding to Terry's post, which is the first I'd read on this subject.
    He's a faithful, searching brother and so are you, from what I've read on your blog.
    We the peeps at our nastiest are here, there and everywhere on the 'net. Nothing new. I liked your explication of Church history re/ dissent, doubt, and debate. And the reminder to beware of 'telegraphing.'
    I recommend to all blog writers/readers.

  7. I'm always in trouble. LOL! I really thought my crack about having women as cardinals already would be the troubling part. Anyway - I liked the photo and thought it worked well for a woman cardinal. The pose with the cappa magna you know. ;)

    It's all good.

  8. Anonymous10:30 PM


    I for one am very impressed with the flowing red gown. I nominate you for Vatican designer.

    Sorry. Didn't mean to go off on you. I'm just amazed at how people have freaked out over this. The Middle Ages are dead.

    Mark Shea

  9. Terry ... I like the gown too ... could add a bit of drama to the Vatican hall ways ....

  10. Did anyone else see Fr Longnecker's take on it? He said he's okay with it, as long as they wear brown robes ... with a picture of a female cardinal (bird). I got a good laugh.

    I agree with Mark Shea. But, Mark, Fr. Groeschel is NOT loved among the rad trads. I have seen some venom spewed about him, he's too "liberal" and "ecumenical" - and supposedly stresses God's mercy too much. Oh no!

    I love Fr. Groeschel, and I also think he's a living saint. He wouldn't want to hear that, though, haha.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. We can be very enslaved by our own sensibilities. Christ, who in part came to set captives free, I believe wants us to be free of our ways of thinking that unecessarily bind us.

  13. Every thing is good Mark. I hadn't read the comments so I wasn't really aware that people reacted so strongly to your post.

    I too think Fr. Benedict is a saint.

  14. Terry, that post on Mr Shea's blog was an example of "comment box I dare not read" - it's actually why I can't read Fr Z any more. I don't need to find new things to be afraid of, and I can never resist the temptation to read the comments.

    I love both blogs though.

  15. Who was it that said "I can resist anything but temptation?" St. Augustine? Groucho Marx?

    I have difficulty proving I'm not a robot. It's all a plot to stop me from commenting.

  16. Anonymous1:44 PM


    You're wise to stay out of my comboxes. I have to read them to make sure readers are Playing Well with Others. But they have the power to make me both stupider and more sinful at times. :)


  17. Oh you've seen me in there every now an then, but I know which one's to avoid :)

  18. Let nothing novel be introduced!

    Pope Pius XII

    This being the state of the question, novelty should cease attacking antiquity!

    Pope St. Celestine I

    Mercury I think I'll change my handle to "RADTRAD" in your honor. So people will say, "Oh's RADTRAD...he has absolutely NOTHING to bring to the table for discussion he's ANATHEMA!!" The RADTRAD

  19. Servus, I hope you are joking. By rad trad I mean those who are constantly attacking the pope, who reject Vatican II in principle, who question tge validity of the OF and the sacraments in the OF, who insist women sin by wearing pants, who believe 99.99% are damned as an article of faith, who think Jews are evil, etc.

    Be a scrupe and start wondering of your baptism was valid, or if your priest can be trusted because he celebrates Mass in English in the OF, and you'll know what I mean

    You seem to be a pretty cool traditionalist who I could learn from.

    And seriously, though, I we took those pope's words at face value, we'd have to reject Thomism, probabilism, we'd have to reject frequent Communion, we'd have to reject the system of penance that arose after Trent, and several aspects of the Tridentine Mass itself. And pertinent to this discussion, we'd have to reject cardinals

  20. It would never happen--the male cardinals wouldn't want the female cardinals to have cappas longer than theirs. Seriously, the cardinal in your picture would give HE RL Card Burke heart failure!

  21. Ace! You totally get first place for figuring out one of my most enigmatic posts! What you said is exactly what I was thinking and the entire purpose of the photo. I actually had another cardinal in mind however.

  22. Mercury

    I've always considered myself rather RADical. At least in comparison to most people I know. I've always been a "TRAD" long before I even knew how to formulize it in my childhood. "TRAD" meaning one who rejects novelty and who seeks organic development. One who recognizes that there is/cannot be a breach between what the Church always has been and what happened during and after the council. One who holds that "The Council" was called by John XXIII to bring the teachings of the Church in all clarity to the world. One who firmly believes that were it not for Archbishop Lefebvre (whatever misgivings one might have for some of his words and ultimate actions) there would in all likelihood be no Summorum Pontificum today. The holy Father has referred to Archbishop Lefebvre as "a great man of the universal Church". As one who never believed that the Mass of St Gregory the Great or Pius V was abrogated through the 70s, 80s, 90s even though priests, bishops, cardinals said or behaved as though it were otherwise. I have seen you comment some time ago saying that the SSPX has nothing to bring to the table. I would say that you are in disagreement with the Holy Father on this issue. Who believes in his wisdom and benevolence otherwise.

    I have never questioned my baptismal rite ( I was baptised in 1966). I wouldn't question it if it were in 1973. I question the prudence of banning liturgical rites of the past. I do not question the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae but at the same time I would question the validity of many Masses I have been witness to over the years.

    I adhere with my whole heart, and with my whole soul to Catholic Rome, the Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of those traditions necessary for the maintenance of that Faith, to eternal Rome, Mistress of Wisdom and Truth.

  23. Servus - that comment was supposed to be deleted. I deleted the comment about "nothing to contribute" right after I posted it. My view on the matter is exactly the same as Fr. Geiger. No doubt Lefebvre and some others in the SSPX were and are good men.

    But I do find arrogance in this idea that we are to sit in judgement of the pope, and sit in judgement of the (the arguments focus on whether the SSPX bishops will accept the council itself, not just how it was implemented). That is to accept the premise that Vatican II was itself a break with tradition, not an organic development - same with the Novus Ordo Missae (in itself). The Holy Father and the entire Magisterium reject these notions quite clearly. And if the pope really HATED the idea of Mass in the vernacular, why would he encourage and praise the new translations?

    I believe Summorum Pontificorum came about as a result of traditionalists working inside the Church, not those who have gone off in schism.

    That said, no I do not think that "Bishop" Williamson has a whit to contribute to anything in the Catholic Church. His words regarding women, Jews, etc. are poison, and he does NOT speak for the Church.

    And "The Sound of Music" is one of my favorite movies! :)

    And again, rejecting "novelty" on its face is a counterintuitive position. Many things were "novel" at one time or another - some considered St. Thomas a heretic, others thought St. Pius X mad for encouraging frequent communion. At some point, the ad orientem position in the Mass was an innovation, as were altar rails, the elevation of the Host, etc.

    Cardinals themselves were a complete novelty and have no basis in Tradition at all. This is what the whole point of what Fr. Groeschel, that "liberal" and Cardinal Dolan were saying. I'm not saying it's a good idea, just that it cannot be rejected out of hand.

    Btw, I know what you mean about the validity of certain Masses. I don't think I have had the misfortune of attending one like that, but I have heard horror stories. My uncles became Protestant in the late 60s when the priests they saw were so frivolous as to wear Snoopy vestments and reword everything they could. Still praying for their return.

  24. The pic you posted just reminded me of this:

    There is no way that any red-blooded (excuse the pun!) man's man is going to let a woman out-do him in yards and yards of red silk! It would never fly. Ever.

    BTW...what's the prize for first place?

  25. Ace - I don't know? What would you like?

  26. "I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul. ...
    "I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.
    "A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, "Where have they taken Him?" (emphasis added)
    ... Pope Pius XII
    Quoted in the book Pius XII Devant L'Histoire, pp. 52-53 (by Msgr. Georges Roche)

  27. Servus, what does that have to do with the theological question of female cardinals? No one is saying it is a prudential idea, just that theologically it is an open question, since cardinals are not based in Tradition at all.

    Do you think Groeschel and Dolan are liberals? I hardly think those men are agitators for bringing down the Church. I know some traditionalists despise Fr. Groeschel, but I can't imagine you do.

    Also, most of what we consider "tradition" (as opposed to Apostolic Tradition) was "new" at some time. People literally thought Thomism would be the death of the Church. People thought Pius X was crazy for encouraging frequent, even daily communion, which was not known among lay people for centuries.

    My only point is that new things, new perspectives are not always evil (sometimes they are). If you believe that, you'd have to reject ANY change to the Mass or to practice of the faith or to theology EVER. Sometimes things do develop naturally, and sometimes things have changed - the Faith remains the same, but the externals and our understandings DO change.

  28. And I am not all for "feeling remorse" for our past, because past needs to be judged in context, but at the same time, how ARE we to view things like burning heretics? With joy?

  29. Terry--a painting would be nice ;-)

  30. It would be, wouldn't it.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.