Saturday, August 13, 2005

Esolen Nails It

The question of women's ordination is often treated in isolation from the whole question of family and male-female role. "It's just the clergy, mind you--everywhere else I have no problem with women's leadership." Some soi-disant catholic-minded people even go so far as to say if you don't have the apostolic succession you have no right to limit the clergy to men; in other words, the male-only clergy is a kind of irrational divine command, like Jews not eating pork, that can only be justified on the assumption that God ordained a specific line of bishops and priests in permanent succession from the apostolic era. Here Anthony Esolen points out the folly of such a point of view. Let me just draw the conclusion from his remarks, that when something is seen as "anachronistic" and "an embarrassment" and we can't explain why it should be so, then it won't last. Arguments have to be made, and those arguments cannot be along the lines of "Well, it's nutty, but God commanded it."

Originally posted at Here We Stand

UPDATE: Let me just say that the argument about simply being faithful to Scripture (and tradition to boot) is a valid one, and confronted, like Daniel in the lion's den, by agressively hostile modernists who simply assume you're a misogynist if you believe in traditional church teaching, I have myself simply repeated the good fideist chant: "God said it, I believe it, that settles it!" But in the long run, that won't do -- we've got to show how God's commands are good -- for us, our children, and our world.

UPDATE II: More on Anthony Esolen here.