Monday, May 19, 2014

Why would a Cincinnati Episcopal church choose to slap the Catholic Church in the face?

Welcome Fr. Z readers. Feel free to look around!

In the story I wrote about this morning -- about Mrs. Paula Hoeffer, who took part in an attempted ordination as a Catholic priest -- I noted the curiosity of the location being kept secret.

It seems to me if you want to do something "prophetic," you don't keep it a secret. And that is the claim, isn't it, that ordaining women as Catholic priests, in defiance of current teaching, is prophetic, right?

In any case, I think area Catholics have every right to know where what is -- for us -- a sacrilege, was sponsored.

So I did a little checking. It didn't take long.

The Women's Ordination Conference published an invitation, online, to the event (see below).

In addition, the video that appears on WCPO depicts a church interior that looks identical to what appears at the church's Facebook page. And the church is located in Pleasant Ridge, where WCPO reported the ceremony took place.

I've reached out to the church, whose Rector is Rev. Eileen O'Reilly, for comment, but I haven't heard back yet.

But the questions I have are as follows:

1. Did this in fact happen at your church? With your permission?

2. Do you realize that because this is a simulation of a sacrament for Catholics, it's deemed a sacrilege and is deeply offensive?

3. You have joined yourself to an attempt to overturn the constant teaching of the Catholic Church. Do you really think that's any business of the Episcopal Church?

4. Would it similarly be appropriate for Catholic parishes (or any other religious organization) to begin hosting ordinations for Episcopal/Anglican clergy, for individuals who are explicitly determined to overturn various longstanding doctrines of your church?

5. Many churches host their own version of Passover seders, despite the objections of Jewish organizations who consider this offensive. What is your policy on that, for example?

6. The Satanic Temple at Harvard is looking for a site to host a so-called "Black Mass"--for "educational purposes." Would you host them?

Perhaps you can think of other questions while we wait to hear from the church.

Meanwhile, here's the page I linked above, in case it disappears.

Update: I can't find this information, below, at the Women's Ordination Conference, despite appearing to be from them. So I'm not sure just who originated it. Also, I noticed I'd left someone's email and phone un-redacted, and I fixed that. I'm sorry about that; fixed.

Company Logo
Upcoming Ohio OrdinationsMay 16th in CincinnatiMay 24th in Brecksville



Paula Ivory Hoeffer 

Kathleen McShane Bean
Friday, 16 May 2014, 6:00 PM
All Saints Episcopal Church
6301 Parkman Place
Cincinnati OH 45213

Joan Hoak, RCWP-USA, Great Waters Region 
A reception will follow the Ordination and Eucharist. 
Clergy of all faiths are invited to gather at 5:30 p.m.
to vest and process. Red stoles suggested. 
Contact Paula Hoeffer, xxxxxxx@xxx or xxx-xxx-xxxx
Founded in 1975, the Women's Ordination Conference is the oldest and largest organization that works to ordain women as priests, deacons and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Catholic church.  WOC also promotes new perspectives on ordination that call for more accountability and less separation between the clergy and laity.
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Mary Bergan Blanchard
Mary Eileen Collingwood
Irene C. Scaramazza
Marianne Therese Smyth 

Barbara Billey
Susan Marie Guzik

May 24, 2014 - 1:00 PM
Brecksville United Church of Christ
23 Public Square
Brecksville, OH 44141  

Balcony will be reserved as a photo free zone.
Reception following the ceremony in Church Hall. 
Contact Bridget Mary:  xxxxxxx@xxx

Founded in 1975, the Women's Ordination Conference is the oldest and largest organization that works to ordain women as priests, deacons and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Catholic church.  WOC also promotes new perspectives on ordination that call for more accountability and less separation between the clergy and laity.


Bob said...

"A voice for women in the Catholic Church."

"Less separation between clergy and laity."

Not a voice for all women. Certainly not a voice for any women who disagree with the Women's Ordination Conference. Not a voice for women who don't want a laughing stock made of their faith.

(I know, there are sentence fragments above. Sorry.)

Clergy and Laity are different. Each has its own dignity. Deal with it, people.

Trooper York said...

It is because they are dirty Protestants Father.

You can't trust those guys.

I remember the 1980's and all my friends who emigrated from Belfast.

The stories they would tell.

Trooper York said...

They might have papered over the differences to be civil but they are still vast.

In fact the conservative congregations of the Episcopalians are ripe for the picking. We need more evangelizing and less accommodation.

Just sayn'

Romulus said...

Protestants can't be respectful of Catholicism until Protestants decide to cease being Protestant. It's an existential problem: we all must act according to our respective natures, and it's their nature to reject the Magisterium.

"Ecumenical dialogue" might actually get someplace if we weren't constantly papering over irreconcilable differences with polite lies.

peppermintfrosted said...

Isn't there supposed to be 3 hours between the Eucharist and the reception?

Fr Martin Fox said...


I don't like to censor anyone's views, and I'm glad you are here; but I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't call Protestants names.

Fr Martin Fox said...


My experience has been that our fellow Christians come in all sorts, same as Catholics. Some behave badly, as in this case, and others don't act this way.

Mark Milliron said...

I used to be a parishioner at Nativity Catholic church and I recall there existing a covenant between Nativity and All Saints Episcopal hanging on the wall near the baptismal font. I wish I could remember the details, but I know it was signed many years ago. It will be worth the 5 minute trip to Nativity to look at the covenant again tomorrow.

Oh, and the timing isn't lost on me either - TRUE ordinations of Father Brian William Phelps and Father James Joseph Riehle at the Cathedral that weekend.

I wonder if Fr. Paul de Luca is aware?

Joan Moore said...

Father, I searched their site and could not find the notice about the "ordination" but I imagine it is in the "members only" section of the site. You can only get in there via sign on and password.

No way am I about to sign up as a member!

Shouting Thomas said...

I've never understood why so many non-Catholics feel compelled to try to change the structure and theology of the Church.

The contemporary explanation from the destroyers is that the Church is suffering from a sort of psycho-sexual disorder that needs fixing.

Liberal sexual ideology must be applied to save Catholics from themselves.

From a practical standpoint, if the Church wants to continue to ordain white priests, the celibacy vow may have to go.

Fr Martin Fox said...


I didn't want to join, either!

In any case, if anyone involved in all this wants to correct me, and tell me this didn't happen at All Saints Episcopal Church, they are welcome. I will gladly post it.

No one has said a word.

Trooper York said...

Sorry Father.

I will of course abide by your rules.

I guess I am just too old fashioned.

Fr Martin Fox said...


No problem. I appreciate your contributions.

Mark Milliron said...

I was able to visit Nativity parish early this morning before mass. I share with you a transcription of the 1977 Covenant between Nativity and All Saints (I ask forgiveness for any missed capitalizations, or erroneous punctuation).



In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

-Whereas, it is the will of Jesus Christ “that they all may be one”; and

-Whereas, the highest leadership of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion have expressed a desire for reunion of these Christian churches; and

-Whereas, the theologians of the churches are meeting to solve the theological problems involved in promoting the restoration of unity; and

-Whereas, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, and the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati have expressed a desire that the parishes of their dioceses seek understanding of each other, and

-Whereas, the peoples of the church of Nativity and All Saints Episcopal Church, both in the community of Pleasant Ridge, in the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio, are conscious of the Will of God that we be one as Christ and the Father are One.

-Now, therefore, we solemnly and reverently enter into this COVENANT, and, hereby pledge: to support each in preserving their traditions of each other.

-To encourage a deepening understanding of the traditions and beliefs of each other through dialogue, and educational programs.

-To work to remove any impediments in the way of a closer unity.

-To include in our liturgies, prayers for the clergy and people of each congregation.

-To continue in our liturgies, a petition to God for a closer unity between our churches.

-To offer the use of each others’ facilities.

-To make available, each to the other, the programs of our congregations.

-To sponsor joint social events.

-To gather periodically for worship services.

-To welcome the people of each congregation to the services of the other.

-To work together in programs for the community and good.

We dedicate ourselves to these objectives and ask the Blessing of Almighty God on this Covenant, that we may be faithful to it to His Honor and Glory.

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set out hands this season of Pentecost, the seventh day of September, in the year of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy Seven.

The Most Reverend Joseph L. Bernadin
Archbishop of Cincinnati

The Reverend Joseph C. Allison
Pastor, Church of the Nativity

Reverend Robert W. Goebel
Associate Pastor, Church of the Nativity

Arthur Runnels
Deacon, Church of the Nativity

Jack Bongey
Parish Council Chairman, Church of the Nativity

The Right Reverend John M. Krumm
Bishop of Southern Ohio

The Reverned Carlton K. Gamble
Rector, All Saints Episcopal Church

Thomas R. Hillhouse
Senior Warden, All Saints Episcopal Church

Ruth M. Jones
Junion Warden, All Saints Episcopal Church

(Thereafter, 6 long rows of signatures from each congregation).

Mark Milliron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TSW said...

"Longstanding doctrine" of the Episcopal Church? It has such a thing? The doctrine of the Episcopal Church in the US has largely changed with the sifting sands of culture.

Mark Milliron said...

Sorry... I deleted my original comment to fix an error. We were at Nativity for nine years and we knew Mrs. Hoeffer. The news of this was surprising, but then, maybe it wasn't. I can't adequately explain it. Let's call it gut-intuition. I pray for her soul and the souls of the ignorant at All Saints.

The 1970's "feel good" nature of the covenant is clear, but still, it seems that All Saints material participation in the simulated "fauxrdination" just detonated the covenant. They did nothing to preserve a sacred tradition of the Catholic Church or remain faithful "to it to His Honor and Glory".

I hope that our Archbishop will address the sacrilege and scandal, and educate the faithful Catholics of the Archdiocese - similar to what we saw from Bishop Paprocki in Springfield, IL on May 15th.

Fr. Fox, thank you for shining the light on this!