Thank you for your message. I have had a look at the article you mentioned; and with your permission I would like to post it to the BASIC mailing list. It is always a pleasure to communicate with people who approach life's problems with love and thoughtfulness.
I should tell you, though, that you may be addressing the wrong person here. I am the technician who maintains the web page. I am not a member of BASIC - I am no longer a Catholic, nor even a Christian, but a searching agnostic journeying in the dark under the awe-inspiring stars.
Your allegory of the Bride and Groom is beautiful; but an allegory is never more than a partial model, and cannot safely be pursued to its logical conclusions. I will not repeat the arguments, which I am sure you have read, supporting the view that the current teaching on women's ordination cannot be infallible, and that there is no biblical basis on which to reject ordination of women. Your article does not address the one point which convinces me that this cause must be heard; which motivates me, an outsider, to give it my active support. "I have heard my people cry".
There are women who have heard, in dismay and anguish, the call from God to serve as priests. What do you have to say to Soline Vatinel, to Jackie Hawkins, to Delma Sheridan, when they tell how they suffered as "they fled him down the nights and down the days, they fled him down the arches of the years", but still the call persisted? Should not their vocations be tested, as yours was?
Loving God can lead to a blossoming of love, mercy, understanding and generosity in the world. Believing that we know God's will can lead to bigotry, persecution and jihad. If there are divine or natural reasons why women cannot be priests, then God or nature will make that clear when they approach the altar. It is not for us men to define those boundaries.
May peace and joy be with you.
Thanks for your e-mail response to my article. I sense you are the type of person I would enjoy corresponding with.
To get off on the right understanding, I would have to ask you some questions. If you describe yourself as no longer a Catholic, not even a Christian, what would be your interest in BASIC? I get the impression your interest is deeper than just a technician.
Also you quoted from the "Hound of Heaven." Do you feel the Him pursuing you in some way?
My own point of view, as you no doubt surmised, was that God has already made it clear to women who wish to "approach the altar." I wrote to help people make an internal assent to that teaching.
Christ as the groom and ourselves as the bride is something more than an analogy. Paul describes a real physical relationship with Christ in saying we are his Body. Isn't that why he speak so strongly against sexual immorality? "How can you take your body which belongs to Christ and make it one with a prostitute?" (I Cor 6:15)
I know I haven't answered some of your concerns, Diarmuid. Perhaps you could clarify what areas you would most like to focus on.
Fr Phil Bloom (seapadre)
Your comments or questions are welcome.
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