FEBRUARY 13/25, 2013
Asia’s leading Catholic news agency, UCAN, wants to “do away with priests”
This is not a new proposition. In my 119-page April 2010, updated April 2012 report
NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 15-DEMAND FOR ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS-FR SUBHASH ANAND AND OTHERS
I documented that Fr. Subhash Anand [a diocesan priest, 0294-2423507, St. Paul’s School, Bhupalpura, Udaipur, 313001] and others do not believe that the cultic priesthood was instituted by Jesus Christ and would like to see it scrapped altogether, ushering in a priesthood of believers, non-ordained persons, whereby the members of the congregation become co-celebrants at Holy Mass, having the authority and power to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. This has long been proposed as a solution to the “shortage of priests”.
The other alternative of course is to ordain women, which Fr. Subhash Anand and other “theologians” such as Virginia Saldanha, Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, a coterie of feminist nuns and some religious brothers and priests are ferociously advocating. The first articles in this series published April/May 2012 are
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-ECCLESIA OF WOMEN IN ASIA AND CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE-FEMINIST THEOLOGY AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS INFILTRATES THE INDIAN CHURCH-CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE
Just two weeks ago, I had published a report
WOMEN PRIESTS-THE NCR-UCAN-EWA NEXUS
on the “nexus” between the Union of Catholic Asian News [UCAN] and those in the West, example the editor of and contributors to the National Catholic Reporter, and in India who clamour for ordaining women priests.
Today, in its inimitable style, UCAN reproduced a report, published only a few hours earlier by the liberal-left, New Age-promoting [see page 3] U.S. news web site and blog, The Huffington Post, with the headline, “One way to solve the priest shortage: do away with them“. Even The Huffington Post article author, Gary Wills, a dissenter on the traditions of the Catholic Church [see page 3] and therefore eminently unfit to comment, was more reticent in his choice of words when entitling his piece, “Solving the priest shortage”.
What does this, in conjunction with all of the other evidence compiled and presented by me, reveal about the true nature of UCAN?
A bold and prophetic Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO, USA, declared on January 25, 2013, that the liberal National Catholic Reporter, which promotes the very same ideologies, can in no way be considered as being “Catholic”. See WOMEN PRIESTS-THE NCR-UCAN-EWA NEXUS.
So, when is an Indian bishop or the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India or the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences going to unequivocally condemn this anti-Catholic news agency that calls itself “Catholic”?
Here is the UCAN article:
One way to solve the priest shortage: do away with them
February 13, 2013, 12:34:59
A radical suggestion with some sound Biblical argument from a Pulitzer Prize winning writer.
There is no Christian priest (hiereus) in the New Testament. Saint Paul pays tribute to more than a dozen Christian ministries, but none of them is the priesthood. He never calls himself or his assistants priests, and never offers sacrifice (the priestly act). Jesus was a layman, not a priest. He did not even belong to the priestly line of Levi. But he went to the Temple where priests offered sacrifice — and so did his early followers. James the brother of Jesus kept the first Christians of Jerusalem observant of Temple worship. He directs Paul to get himself ritually purified from travel in the Temple, and Paul does so (Acts 2:17-24). So, until the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., Jerusalem Christians had the same (and only) priests as other Jews.
Then where did a separate Christian priesthood come from? At the end of the first century C.E., a group (probably in Rome) of Christians missed the comfort of Jewish worship some of them had experienced before the year 70. The unidentifiable author of the New Testament’s “Epistle to Hebrews” assured them, in elegant Greek, that the old Jewish rites were useless anyway, since Jesus was a better priest with a better sacrifice. The Jews had just offered animal sacrifice. Jesus offered human sacrifice (a savage act in most cultures), since he was both priest and victim. Was — not is — since, according to Hebrews 10:11-15, he offered himself only once, in an unrepeatable way, while Jewish priests repeated their ineffectual offerings. Though Jesus could not be a Jewish priest, since he was not a Levite, this author said he was a priest like the mythical Melchizedek, a priest of Canaanite gods to whom Abraham paid a tithe. Later, Catholic priests would claim descent from Melchizedek (though he had no descendents) and claim to repeat the sacrifice of Jesus (though “Hebrews” says it was “once for all”).
Many religions have sacrificial rites, and priests to offer them. Some early Christians obviously felt the jibes of their contemporaries that they had no sacrificial buildings and no sacrificing priests. So Christians acquired both. They had to make the body and blood of their communal meal become a real body for a real sacrifice, though this meant that the physical body of Jesus was in many places at once, hiding under the substance-less “accidents” of bread and wine. This made Jesus relive (or re-die) on altars his agony on the cross.
A long line of intellectual Christians, typified by Saint Augustine, denied that sacrifice and consumption of the body of Jesus was an original part of the religion. A typical passage in Augustine is from his Sermon 227:
What you see [bread and wine] passes away, but what is invisibly symbolized does not pass away. It perdures. The visible is received, eaten, and digested. But can the body of Christ be digested? Can the church of Christ be digested? Can Christ’s limbs be digested? Of course not.
The claim that the body of Christ was being sacrificed on an altar is not in the earliest liturgies of the Christian meal, which were “thanksgiving” meetings (eucharist is, etymologically, “giving thanks”).
Even while the author of “Hebrews” was dismissing the Jewish priesthood, some people kept yearning back to it, and adopted features of it. The Christian priesthood became, like the Jewish priesthood, all and only male, and male without blemish. Thomas Aquinas said that the Christian priesthood had adopted the purity rules for the Jewish priesthood (Leviticus 21:26-24), but added abstention from sex as an even higher holiness code (Summa Theologiae 3a.36 a 3, 39a6). Thus, the priests who were absent from early Christianity became the monopolizers of “true” Christianity in Roman and Eastern rites. Some Christians, like the Anglicans, have and honor their own priests; but popes have told them these are not real priests, since they do not descend from the mythical Roman bishopric of Peter. In dismissing other people who do things in the name of Jesus, the Vatican resembles the Apostle John, returning with the disciples Jesus had sent out on their first mission:
“Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out devils in your name, but as he is not one of us we tried to stop him.” Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for he who is not against you is on your side.” (Luke 9:49-50).
We live in a time when Catholic priests are an aging and shrinking group, damaged in morale and reputation, overstretched in their monopolization of all sacramental services. Already, lay deacons and catechizers and readers, instructors for baptism and marriage, are filling in for the diminished priestly ranks in Catholic parishes. Some think the clerical shortage will be solved by recruiting new people for the priesthood — married priests, women priests, gay priests. When we run out of everyone else, will we start ordaining child priests? Anything to keep the sacrificing priesthood?
What we really need are no priests. We should remember what Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 23:8-11:
You must not be called “rabbi”; for you have one Rabbi, and you are all brothers. Do not call any man on earth “father”; for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you be called “teacher”; you have one Teacher, the Messiah.
When Jesus told his disciples not to call themselves rabbis or fathers or teachers, he did not add that they should not call themselves priests. No one had yet imagined that there might be Christian priests.
UCAN gave the source of the article as The Huffington Post, asking the reader to visit there for the “full story”. UCAN would have been honest — but, then, how could they — if they had admitted reproducing The Huffington Post article* in its entirety.
By Gary Wills, February 12, 2013, 10:58 am
Gary Wills is the author of “Why priests?: A failed tradition”, 2013
GARY WILLS, AUTHOR
Gary Wills is an ex-Jesuit seminarian, author of over 40 books including the above named, and claims to be Roman Catholic. As a writer, he has been a strong critic of ecclesiastical authority and many aspects of church history and church teaching, particularly of the doctrine of papal infallibility, the social teaching of the church as regards homosexuality, abortion, and contraception, the Eucharist, and the church’s reaction to the sex abuse scandal.
Wills discussed his latest book Why Priests (2013) on the Colbert Report on 11 February 2013, the same day the Pope announced his own resignation.
Not surprisingly at all, the left-wing dissenting National Catholic Reporter’s John L. Allen, Jr. considered Wills [in 2008] to be “perhaps the most distinguished Catholic intellectual in America over the last 50 years”!
THE HUFFINGTON POST
The Huffington Post was founded by Arianna Huffington and three others. It was launched on May 9, 2005. On February 7, 2011, AOL acquired the mass market Huffington Post for US $315 million, making Arianna Huffington editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. In July 2012, The Huffington Post was ranked #1 on the 15 Most Popular Political Sites list.
In 2008, The Huffington Post was ranked the most powerful blog in the world by The Observer.
The Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington was named in 2009 as number 12 in Forbes’ first ever list of the Most Influential Women in Media.
It has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month.
Allegations of supporting pseudo-science
The Huffington Post has been criticized by several science bloggers, as well as online news sources, for including articles by supporters of alternative medicine and anti-vaccine activists and censoring rebuttals written by science bloggers before publishing.
Steven Novella, president of the New England Skeptical Society, criticized The Huffington Post for allowing homeopathy proponent Dana Ullman to have a blog there:
“Dana Ullman, a notorious homeopathy apologist, actually has a regular blog over at HuffPo [Huffington Post]. For those of us who follow such things, the start of his blog there marked the point of no return for the Huffington Post – clearly the editors had decided to go the path of Saruman and ‘abandon reason for madness.’ They gave up any pretence of caring about scientific integrity and became a rag of pseudoscience.”
Other criticisms of The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post’s War on Science”
By Steven Novella, April 29, 2009
Science bloggers challenge credibility of Huffington Post “wellness” editor
By Simon Owens, May 2, 2009
The Huffington Post is crazy about your health
By Rahul K. Parikh, May 15, 2009
When it comes to health and wellness, [The Huffington Post] forum seems defined mostly by bloggers who are friends of Huffington or those who mirror her own advocacy of alternative medicine, described in her books and in many magazine profiles of her. Among others, the site has given a forum to Oprah Winfrey’s women’s health guru, Christiane Northrup, who believes women develop thyroid disease due to an inability to assert themselves; Deepak Chopra, who mashes up medicine and religion into self-help books and PBS infomercials; and countless others pitching cures that range from herbs to blood electrification to ozonated water to energy scans.
What do Fox News and the Huffington Post have in common? [Homeopathy]
By P. Z. Myers, December 14, 2009
Homeopathy Pseudoscience at the Huffpo
By Steven Novella, January 31, 2011
So, what is UCAN doing reproducing trash by a dissenting “Catholic” from a New Age blog?
Posted on February 23, 2013 by The Voice of Bombay’s Catholic Laity
Read the complete article by clicking on the link or by copying it. Here are various priests, religious and lay persons and some self promoted theologians who want to do away with the institution of Priesthood.
1. This is a shocking topic. It is making me confused. How can we do away with our priests? Our priests are our link with our heavenly Father. All the sacraments are to be administered by the priest. So then what? Could our dear cardinal and the bishops enlighten us on this? Andrea
2. Dear Andrea, what do you expect Cardinal Oswald to do when he himself is promoting this? There is a need to have the entire Archbishop’s house staff changed. Tiffany
3. UCAN wants to shake the core base and truth of Catholic Church. Women priests, married priests, no priests! Is UCAN a voice of the Catholic Church? Francis S Lobo
4. I believe this issue is being supported by some Bishops of the Catholic Church at Mumbai. Read Michael Prabhu’s WOMEN PRIESTS INFILTRATES THE INDIAN CHURCH-CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE. Can the Archbishops house at Mumbai, or our dear cardinal Oswald Gracias or his bishops please comment on this. I am told the nerve center is very much here at Mumbai itself, and the Church authorities are fully aware of the same, and also know who is the bishop that supports the same. By a copy of this to The Apostolic Nuncio at New Delhi and The Holy Father, can some light be thrown on this movement at Mumbai (Bombay) India? Gordon Jacobs.