Women Catholic priests.

Now I’m not a woman, a Catholic, or a priest so I understand that this isn’t my battle. (If it were, I’d be on the side favoring women’s ordination and an end to the priesthood’s celibacy requirement.)

But I’m driven to distraction by the two things:

First that people should show such disrespect to an institution that while it has its flaws (boy howdy), deserves at least to be able to define itself as it chooses. If the institution wants to be misogynist or homophobic, so be it. People have a right to leave or form their own groups.

Second, while I support the right of people to similarly define themselves, this general attitude does not extend to people misdefining themselves. I can call myself a Norwegian bobsledding champion if I want, but that doesn’t make it true or helpful. I should not expect others to support my disingenuous self-labelling either.

So we get the article referenced above about women Catholic priests, where in it says:

Rowley’s ordination—which took place at Eden Theological Seminary, a progressive institution in Webster Groves, Mo.—is approved by the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, a group of churches that decline to recognize the authority of the pope but see themselves nevertheless as Roman Catholic.

Well, they’re wrong, aren’t they? And probably to the point (or beyond) of excommunication. Because if they’re ordaining women priests–and married ones at that–they’re clearly not Roman Catholic, any more than I’m an Indonesian fisherman.

If we believe that words have meaning and that meaning is important than this is just another travesty visited upon us by those who think that self-aggrandizement is the ultimate value.

And that drives me nuts.