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Remnant News Watch

(June 15, 2010)


Another Woman “Ordained” –

This Time in Rome!


Mark Alessio

New York Correspondent


Happy Halloween, Ms. Longhitano!

(Posted June 17, AD 2010 A 35-year-old Sicilian became the first Catholic woman to be “ordained in Italy on Saturday,” reports John Hooper of The Guardian, UK (May 23, 2010):

Maria Vittoria Longhitano is a member of the breakaway Old Catholic church. But she was made a priest at the Anglican church of All Saints in Rome,  an act some in the Vatican are likely to see as provocative, not least because the organist at the service was dismissed by the Catholic hierarchy after deciding to change sex. The Old Catholic church broke with the Vatican in the 19th century in protest at the adoption of the doctrine of papal infallibility. It is in full communion with the Anglicans.

"I have opened the way,” said Longhitano, a married teacher. “Catholicism means universality, and without women it is mutilated." She also expressed her belief that Catholics in Italy were "ready to welcome a female ministry.”

Comment It is not surprising that the “Old Catholic Church” has a disdain for the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility. From Lucifer onwards, obedience has been the litmus test separating men and women of good will from their opposites. Obedience to Scriptural precepts, obedience to doctrine, obedience to the Magisterium – these acts of good will combine to form a shield of protection from error. Without this shield, one may as well get “ordained” as a minister online and start a “church” in his basement, for all the legitimacy he will possess as a result.

In fact, this is pretty much what Maria Vittoria Longhitano has done. Instead of revering Jesus Christ as “the Way,” she has proclaimed herself as the one who “opened the way.” Yes, Catholic means “universal,” but that simply means Catholics throughout the world (and throughout the ages) profess the same beliefs, not that we are free to believe everything.

One of the bizarre beliefs held by the “women-priest” crowd is the belief that men and women are interchangeable, that our differences do not extend much beyond pink blankets for baby girls and blue ones for boys. Consequently, they hold that the callings (i.e., vocations) of men and women must be interchangeable. In effect, they view reality through the skewed and sterile lens of androgyny and, in doing so, lose sight of the whole.

You will occasionally hear someone say that Jesus Christ did not ordain women because “there were no women at the Last Supper.” By that reasoning, there should be no Irish or Chinese priests, since there were no Irish or Chinese disciples present at the Last Supper. No, the reason the Catholic priesthood is a male priesthood is nothing so whimsical. On the contrary, it is both rational and instructive, intended to make concrete, to make present before our eyes, the love of God for His Church.

One of the most reviled verses of the New Testament is, in fact, one of the most poignant illustrations of this Divine Love:

Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of His body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered Himself up for it: That He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. (Eph. 5:22-27) 

St. John’s Apocalypse describes the establishment of the Catholic Church as “the marriage of the Lamb.” The Church is the Bride of Christ, and so ardent is the love of Christ for His Bride that this holy marriage further symbolizes the eternal beatitude enjoyed by the Church Triumphant together with her Spouse and Redeemer:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more. And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  (Apoc. 21:1-2)

As shocking as it may sound to the self-righteous “humanists” out there, Catholics are very much a pragmatic people. The very basis of our Faith – the Resurrection of Christ – is compared in the Scriptures to something as earthy as a seed yielding fruit after being buried in the earth. In the Sacrament of Baptism, plain water becomes the catalyst for the soul’s rebirth. Simple grain becomes the Host that will be consecrated during Mass. The celibate, male priesthood is yet another example of spiritual truth becoming incarnate via the “everyday.” The celibate, male priesthood makes present, concretely, the espousal of Christ to His Church. As alter Christus, the celibate, male priest offers himself completely in service to the Bride (the Church). He is neither a functionary, nor a “part-time” husband who puts in his “work” hours, then goes home to his “real” wife and family.

St. Paul wrote some words that are applicable to the current purveyors of Catholic androgyny:

For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink. For the body also is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were the eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him.  (1 Cor. 12:13-18)

The “women-priest” crowd would just as soon dance about in a Church where “the whole body were the eye,” in direct contradiction to the fact that “God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him.” The fact that such an entity would be a monster, an unbalanced thing, is of no consequence to them.

There is, indeed, a Sacramental reality at work in the celibate, male priesthood. In Catholic reality, a female “priest” is a contradiction in terms. The prodigiously confused Maria Vittoria Longhitano may think she’s fooling people when she pretends that there is no “female ministry” in the Catholic Church because there are no female priests. The fact remains that women have served in the Church from the beginning, and they have done so with both courage and humility. Longhitano could use a history lesson, and a good place to begin would be the life of her notable Catholic countrywoman, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. Whereas the “women-priest” set seeks prestige and position, Mother Cabrini, a stalwart woman who toiled in America’s unglamorous immigrant ghettoes, was too busy founding schools, hospitals and orphanages to play “clerical dress-up.”

Mother Cabrini wrote a prayer which contained the words, “Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You so that Your will may be my will.” This true Catholic sentiment is as far from Maria Vittoria Longhitano’s claim to have “opened the way” as is night from day.


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