Dissenting views

Dissenting views

John Schmid

The article by Br Paul Macrossan (October AD2000) contained similar observations to those in the book Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unravelling of Women's Religious Communities by Ann Cary (Our Sunday Visitor).

When Sr Janet Ruffing recently gave a talk in Melbourne I did not attend. At that stage I had not previously heard of her. But I bought the above book after Sr Ruffing had given her talk and on page 320 I found reference to her lamenting the exclusion of women priests and affirming that Christ's death was more a political statement than a redemptive act.

According to Sr Ruffing (page 321): "Jesus is not so much one's Lord and Master to whom one gives obedience by accepting the superior's decisions as He is the animating source of compassion, energy, and love. Obedience is listening and responding to this call wherever it takes us".

Sr Ruffing's comments were made in 1993.

Earlier Pope Paul VI had published Inter Insigniores (1976) which stated the impossibility of women priests while Pope John Paul II published Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in 1994.

Cardinal Ratzinger published a reply to a dubium (query) concerning the teaching of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. His reply was approved by John Paul II and published on 28 October 1995.

It stated that this teaching was part of the deposit of the Faith, and set forth infallibly.

Sr Ruffing evidently did not accept the Church's teaching in Inter Insigniores, causing one to ask why was she able to speak at a Catholic venue in Australia and why Catholics here were not warned about her?

The present Pope had said in The Ratzinger Report (page 175): "No error could persist unless it contained a grain of truth. Indeed, an error is all the more dangerous, the greater that grain of truth is, for then the temptation it exerts is all the greater."

This warning is very relevant in light of the examples given in Sisters in Crisis and in Br Macrossan's article, and, in particular, the then Cardinal Ratzinger's comment: "Leaders with unsound ideas may be pleasant to live with and exercise exemplary Christian charity in their daily dealings with others".

From my experience, people with unsound ideas, usually, but not always, add the unsound to the sound.

JOHN SCHMID
Boronia, Vic

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