On one level, the "just ignore it" response has some sense. I have no doubt that the efforts will fail in their ultimate objective, which is to force the Church to change her teaching. That will fail. Sad -- very sad -- to say, this means that many people will have invested themselves heavily (if not totally) in a dead-end project. So why not just sadly pray for them, but say little about it? Am I not giving them the attention they crave?
But I think not. For one, I myself didn't know anything about it until a parishioner asked me. He's an active Catholic; and he was very confused about this. The confusion was created, not by me, but by what he saw on TV. And he came to me for an explanation. Of course he's not the only one.
What's more, do not make the mistake of thinking that this is only about ordaining women. As a friend pointed out to me, there is a much fuller agenda for those who are promoting this cause. And it's pretty much a wholesale remaking of the Catholic Church.
What do they want to do:
> Jettison Catholic teaching on human nature, including the essential complementarity of human beings--i.e., male and female. This means tossing out what we believe about sexual morality and marriage and essential human nature.
> Silencing the Church's total opposition to abortion.
> Eviscerating the Church's teaching (that is, the Lord's own teaching, see Matthew 19) on the indissolubility of a sacramental marriage -- thus meaning that a civil divorce doesn't undo the bonds of marriage.
> Abolishing the Magisterium -- that is, the teaching office of the Church, which is held by the pope and bishops.
> Overturning the Church's teaching on the infallibility of the teaching office (i.e., pope and bishops) on matters of faith and morals.
> Denying the real change that happens in the reception of holy orders, replacing it with a purely functional notion of bishops, priests and deacons. (This goes hand in hand with the prior two points.)
> Denying that an ordained priest is needed in order to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass -- replacing it with the notion that the assembly makes it happen.
> Approaching the Deposit of Faith with a corrosive "hermeneutic of suspicion" -- i.e., always understanding the sources of our Faith (Scripture and Tradition, as expressed in liturgy, practice, and all texts) through a interpretive lens that assumes it's not trustworthy and/or is "corrupted."
This last one is huge: because it means pretty much everything is called into question.
In short, this is the worst possible combination. It joins the rebellion of the most anti-Catholic elements of the Protestant movement of the 1500 and 1600s, with the acid of 20th century Modernism.
What do you suppose will be left?
You think I'm overstating it? Then you haven't read what these folks write (which is a good idea!).
But if you read what they write; if you pay attention to the company they keep, and the causes they endorse; if you look at how they approach both their attempted "ordination" and then the Holy Mass, it's crystal-clear.
They aren't seeking to change just one thing; but everything.
Of course, they are free to believe what they like, and to advocate it.
But if they were being honest in saying, we want to bring it all down, do you think they would get the sympathetic hearing they often get? And would anyone -- even a news reporter -- continue to buy the notion that they really are still, at heart, Catholic?
I am sad about this sterile project in which some folks are investing themselves. But I am also concerned for their immortal souls -- and for those who they mislead. That they will ultimately fail doesn't mean they can't cause a lot of damage beforehand.
* As of late Tuesday, still no response whatsoever from anyone at All Saints about their participation in an offensive, sacrilegious parody of Catholic sacraments.