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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI took the unusual step of responding directly to a call for women's ordination and married priests, saying reform can only come through radical obedience, not dissent. By Alessandro Speciale.



    Disobedience to whom? I would like to suggest Jesus as a model who issued radical challenges to the religious leaders of his day. I don’t think the priests took their stand for any reason except to bring about what Jesus spoke about. Maybe they are the true voice of reform and a more faithful interpretation of the words and life of Jesus, rather than the voice of the one appointed by other high-priests.

  2. What Benedict means is that nothing changes except to go in reverse to Vatican I and on to Trent. What do we have before Trent? All the ugliness that passed as religion that brought about the Protestant Reformation. Benedict is displaying the fierceness with which Germanic fascism was embedded in him as a youth in Hitler’s system.

    And Benedict is banging his head against the palace walls of the Vatican. Benedict obviously prefers a smaller church in his strict, narrow image than one that exudes the free honesty that Jesus proclaimed when he announced, “The truth will make you free.” There is no way, foolish as lay people are to continue warming the pews in the aftermath of the international sex scandal of Catholic clergy, that is going to happen. Benedict is at the end of his life. The masses of Catholics are in the middle or at the start of theirs.

    Still, those foolish pew warmers don’t realize it is their dollars that the bishops continue to throw at high-paid, sleazy lawyers and accountants to defend them for having abused their own children. Those abused young people belonged to the people in the pews, not the sinful, criminal clergy in the pulpits and at the altars. When will the people in the pews wake up and take over their church from this historically corrupt clergy?

  3. Just look at that miter Benedict is wearing! And it’s only one of the many in the vast papal collection. It is the equivalent of a crown. And the Catholic Church is the last remaining, absolute monarchy of the West. All that out-dated regalia! All those out-dated ceremonies! They are nothing but royal cover–and waste–for the continuing anti-Jesus misdeeds of the church.

    The church, as it has demonstrated for centuries, is all show to impress illiterate lay people into submission while the clergy, from popes on down to too many parish priests, continue to ignore civil law. They constantly prove allegiance only to church canon law. They obstruct the justice of our legal system. They lie.

    At the same time, in this country, under Benedict’s direction of Cardinal Dolan in New York, they work non-stop to defy the wisdom of history and the requirement of our Constitution by attempting to violate the genuinely “sacred” separation of church and state, religion and government.

  4. Have you noticed that Benedict no longer carries the crosier instituted by Paul VI, the rather modern one with the mangled, suffering Jesus affixed to it? Benedict has “reformed that reform” also, and retrieved the more royal crosiers from the papal closets.

  5. If it weren’t such a serious contradiction of the reality Benedict has imposed, that he helped to impose even while he was chief assistant to John Paul II, one might consider it a bit humorous that Benedict would refer to any aspect of change or reform, or “reform of the reform,” as open dissent. There is no open dissent in Benedict’s church. Ask Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba, Austaralia, what happens when you even suggest dissent seriously, honestly, and openly. Ask Sister Elizabeth Johnson and Fr. Charles Curran what happens as a result of plain theological considerations, much less “open dissent.”

  6. I’m not sure about the exact wording of the plea of Austrian priests to allow the reception of the Holy Communion by divorced people, but there is no “rule” against it presently as long as there has been no remarriage–without permission of the papal line of authority, of course. If anyone notices contempt toward the papacy and the continuation of the Catholic Church as it is in my comments, managed only by the clergy, no real participation of lay people, they are very right.

  7. Benedict is just as wrong as his predecessor, John Paul II, who no doubt took his advice about the matter, there is not one word in scripture that precludes the ordination of women as priests. That claim is a distortion, and that is the very arrogance that arouses what Benedict considers “disobedience.” It is not disobedience, it is honesty. It is being true to the full sense and spirit of Jesus that anyone who is a member of the “Priesthood of the People,” any member of “The People of God” be accepted by “The People of God” as one of their ministers. It should not be episcopal management in the first place.