New Council of Jerusalem

Special to the National Catholic Recorder

May 26, 2011

Roy Bourgeois and Joan Chittister attended the National Conference for the Ordination(NCO) in Detroit last May. They struck a bold proposal to the attendees—suppose we approach Rome like Paul and Barnabas approached the Church in Jerusalem. The NCO drafted a set of talking points.

Roy and Joan arrived at the Vatican yesterday and were warmly greeted by Pope Benedict XVI. The assembled members of the Roman Curia were less than cordial.

Joan began, “Brothers in Christ. We have been spreading the Good News of the Risen Christ across America. The people hunger for the word of God. They have responded in faith. Yet spurious doctrine about the ordination of women and married men, like similar doctrine about the circumcision of Gentiles, is getting in the way of their full participation in the Eucharistic life of the Church. Their parishes are being closed because of payoffs in the sex abuse scandal and the shortage of celibate priests.”

Roy then addressed the assembly, “I come before you with a grieving and humble heart. I publicly supported the ordination of women and after over 40 years of service to the Church, you prevailed upon Maryknoll to throw me under the bus. The proclamation of Pope John Paul II on women’s ordination is not definitive doctrine. It is not cloaked in infallibility.”

Joan continued, “The soundest biblical scholarship shows that the attitudes toward women that prevailed in Jewish and Greco-Roman society were not reflected in the earliest communities. Mary of Magdala was not a prostitute. In fact she was the first Apostle of the Resurrection. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, who prevailed over James at the first Council in Jerusalem, mentioned many women in ministry in the early communities he served. In fact there is ample archaeological and written evidence that women were in leadership in the Church well into the 9th century.”

[At this point,Benedict was nodding off until his assistant nudged him. Some of the members of the Curia were playing with their Ipods.]

Undaunted Roy continued, “My brothers, in order to meet the needs of the people of God, we need to study the issues of women’s ordination and celibacy. When man-made laws get in the way of Eucharist for the people, it is time to re-examine positions.”

Benedict spoke up, “My brother and sister, I understand. God created them male and female. God created them in God’s image and likeness. Celibacy is a man-made law from the 12th century designed to protect Church property.”

Cardinal Law blurted out, “This is heresy.”

Benedict gave him a stern look. The did not deter archbishop Burke who yelled, “This is the end of the good old boys club. This is the end of the Church as Jesus envisioned it.”

Benedict retorted, “If this is of God it will prevail. I today instruct the Curia to develop plans to include women and married men as full partners in Church ministry. I will issue an encyclical to this effect.”

[This is the way the issues would have been dealt with in the early Church (Acts 15). Unfortunately, this satire is a pipe dream because things do not work like this in the 21st century Church.]икони

Leave a Reply