Vatican Places Ordaining Women on Par with Pedophilia
Catholic Church Overhauls Internal Laws, Enrages Women
The Catholic Church, in its attempts to regain credibility in the face of the ongoing pedophilia scandal, has revised its internal laws to make it easier to discipline offending priests. However, aside from increasing accountability in any meaningful way, the Vatican placed the ordination of female priests in the same scale of sin as pedophilia.
"The attempted sacred ordination of a woman" is decreed a "more grave delict" in article 5 of the Substantive Norms:
1° With due regard for can. 1378 of the Code of Canon Law, both the one who attempts to confer sacred ordination on a woman, and she who attempts to receive sacred ordination, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.
2° If the one attempting to confer sacred ordination, or the woman who attempts to receive sacred ordination, is a member of the Christian faithful subject to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, with due regard for can. 1443 of that Code, he or she is to be punished by major excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.
Also, there is no Vatican equivalent of "see something, say something". In other words, the Substantive Norm would seem to only state that the Vatican acknowledges that pedophilia in the church exists, and that it is also a bad, bad thing: these facts were slower to be recognized by the Papacy than most would expect.
Any hopes that this is just a misreading of the Substantive Norm were quashed by Monsignor Charles Scicluna at a Vatican press conference:
“Attempted ordination of women is grave, but on another level, it is a wound that is an attempt against the Catholic faith on the sacramental orders.”
Archbishop Donald Weurl of Washington paid lip service to the role of women in the church, but repeated that women are not welcome as priests.
Scicluna would later deny that the Vatican was equating the ordination of women with pedophilia, but observers are not buying it:
Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, called the document "one of the most insulting and misogynistic pronouncements that the Vatican has made for a very long time. Why any self-respecting woman would want to remain part of an organisation that regards their full and equal participation as a 'grave sin' is a mystery to me."