Friday, February 15, 2008

Contra errores Alfredo

A commentator, Alfredo, left a hilarious comment on Mark's blogpost on Equal Rights. I had to answer and I post it here for your amusement. My responses are in blue.

God has no rights, because he is not a citizen.
Who allocated to you the power to grant rights? Why must only citizens be granted rights and what is the basis of that? And what are the criteria of citizenship? Who grants citizenship (and thus grants rights)? When such questions are asked, the ridiculousness and untenability of the position that one has no rights unless he or she is a citizen is clearly displayed.

Something is conferred by a superior to an inferior. If someone confers rights on God, then he is superior to God. We don’t have such a conception of God. Do you?

Citizenship gives rights, and rights are a human invention, not a divine one...
Which human invented rights? Please name the human who came up with such a brilliant invention! Do let us know!

You say with arrogance: "women in the Church who fight for their so called 'rights' to be part of the ministerial priesthood have no concern over what God wants..."
God is not a man or a woman, its something just beyond our simple inferences and desires.

How do you know that God is not a man or a woman? Did God appear to you and tell you personally? Can you prove this by miracles to validate your claim of Divine Inspiration and Revelation? What makes you so sure that God is who you want God to be?

We did not invent God (which I hope you believe since you seem to believe that humans invented rights as well). If we did then we can make God to be whatever we want, mould God into our own image and likeness. Neither did we infer anything about God or mould God into an image according to our desires. But the simple fact of the matter is this. The image of God and His nature that we believe in and profess is not something we invented but is something that Jesus Christ revealed to us. He proved that He is from God and is God by miracles and signs. We trust in Jesus and believe in Him and so we take His Word and accept God as revealed by Him and in Him. In complete humility, we accept what is handed down to us in the Tradition of the Church and in the Sacred Scriptures. For we know we are neither God nor prophet and have no authority to change what is revealed and what is handed down.

But you and those like you on the other hand are the ones who are truly arrogant. You want people to change their beliefs to accommodate and agree with you. Just who do you think you are? You want to make God into your image and likeness and you want the Catholic Church to reject Divine Revelation for your newly invented God. Isn’t that the height of arrogance? And yet, in the classic modernist liberal style, you accuse us who hold on to what is received, neither adding nor subtracting, of arrogance. Wow.

What does "God" wants? Jesus, our closest human contact to that beauty, was close to women, and never said the women couldn´t be priests.
Did Jesus say they could? Where?

It´s proved there existed in the Church women diacons. So, why dont we have women priests? Not because a divine order, but a human one....
Firstly, deaconesses in the early Church served a particular purpose, the administration of baptism by full immersion. It was not appropriate for men to do this, or to enter a woman’s home to preach. This was during the early age of the Church when there were many adult converts. But as time passed and people were baptized as infants, the need for them vanished and so did their particular ministry. Such deaconesses never played a liturgical role, never read the Gospel aloud in Church, per Paul’s admonition. They were also not universal as the Armenians and Copts never had them as part of their tradition. Clearly, they are of a different class and not clergy. So, your point does not follow.

St Paul said that for God there is not difference between us, no men or women, no free or slaves, we are just humans. So, why dont the hierarchy recognize this?
You misquote scripture. St. Paul says that in Christ there is no male or female. And there IS no difference in the dignity between male and female. The Church DOES recognize and PRACTICE this. But equality in dignity is not the same as equality in function. You are committing the fallacy of equating function with dignity and therefore deny that dignity to those who cannot perform certain functions. That’s the fallacy of functionalism. Since men cannot give birth, are we deficient? Since we cannot menstruate or lactate, are we therefore deficient? Are the old/infirm/disabled who cannot perform the functions that others can therefore have less dignity? Should we eliminate and kill there people?

The equality of dignity is not the same are the uniformity of function. In fact, your comments belittle women. You say that women can only realize their full dignity by doing everything that a man does. Don’t you think that is insulting to the dignity of women? Why do you demean them by saying they have no dignity unless they can do this and that? You presume to tell them what they need to do in order to attain full equality and dignity. The Church on the other hand preaches a message of liberation. Women, according to the Church, don’t need to DO anything in order to have full dignity and equality. They possess this by virtue of being conceived as human beings and by that act of being a human being, a child of God, they possess the fullness of dignity.

That is truly a liberating message on the dignity of women, mulieris dignitatem. Pope John Paul II of beloved memory wrote a document by that same title. Read it to appreciate the Church’s teaching on women and the feminine genius.


Byzantine, TX said...

Eastern writers will posit that there were in fact deaconesses, but that they served a decidedly non-liturgical role. They aided in catechism efforts for women for example. In fact the Greek Orthodox Church has deaconesses that are abbesses. They of course play no part in the Divine Liturgy, but do exist now and have existed before.

The attempt by many to take a ladder approach to female ordination is a false construct. Their logic: because women supposedly went up one or two rungs towards the top (i.e. priesthood) there should be no further barring of the way. In fact they are two completely different ladders.

Keep up the good posting.

Andrew said...

Josephus, agreed. The early evidence of deaconesses are confined to the Greek Church. In fact, the Orthodox Church of Greece has plans to reinstate this ministry or has already done so if I recall correctly. But the other Orthodox Churches have not followed this lead perhaps because it's alien to their inherited tradition. The deaconesses played a decidedly non-liturgical, administering baptism and preaching (ie catechesis) to women.

Thanks for noting this.

Collin Michael Nunis said...

This is off the hook - Someone spoke in favour of women priests but I told him that there was no need, because women are already priests by virtue of their baptism in Christ. As mothers, teachers, nurturers, carers, nurses etc, they have proven and shown that they too serve at a "sanctuary" and it does not need to be the altar in the Church. Women have a role in living and spreading the Gospel too, but as a member of the 4th and critical order of the priesthood - the lay faithful.