Future Something Other Than the Church

Let me start by saying I actually started writing about Pia de Solenni’s piece, and then I realized it was super confusing and had no idea what her point was at the end. Then, however, I saw this and it was quite laughable. They missed her point far more than I did. I think FutureChurch felt like they had to respond since America Magazine printed Pia’s article.

Women Will Not Be Silent…Catholic Women Do Preach

FutureChurch’s Response to Pia de Solenni”

First of all, Pia never said women didn’t preach. She stated that Canon Law forbade the laity from preaching the homily at Mass and then kinda sorta tried to explain why. I’m not totally sure how FutureChurch missed that, but they apparently did. Or, maybe, they didn’t.

FutureChurch is deeply disturbed by the September 9, 2019, America Magazine essay by Dr. Pia de Solenni, “Should Catholic women preach at Mass? Here’s a better question,” in which she narrowly conceives the Church’s teaching on a priest acting “in persona Christi” in the Sacraments to justify the practice of excluding women from preaching.

They should have just stopped at “FutureChurch is deeply disturbed.” They are.

Well, heaven forbid we actually admit the truth. The priest is acting “in persona Christi” in the celebration of the Mass. Not really sure why they’re portraying it as “narrow conception.” It’s kind of the whole enchilada, and it isn’t some relatively new thought. 


Now the reason for preaching being reserved to priests and deacons becomes clear. At the Mass the priest and the deacon stand in persona Christi. They represent Christ symbolically and liturgically. One as Christ the priest. The other as Christ the Servant. When they read and preach the gospel therefore they are exercising not only a teaching function, but a liturgical function. They are incarnating Christ the Teacher and Christ the Servant to the people.

This is why they are ordained. NOT just to be a social worker in black. Not just to be a theology teacher in a collar. Not just to be a spiritual director or a parish administrator or a fund raiser.

The priest and deacon are ordained and set apart from the laity for this reason: to help incarnate Christ in the world through their own person and through their own vocation. This is why the catechism teaches that one of the ways to objectively know that you have encountered the risen Lord is “in the person of the priest.

Lay people can’t do that in the same way, and that’s why they are not permitted to preach at Mass.

Back to FutureChurch…

But there is a much more hazardous ideal at play here.

We have already established that it is you two who are wrong according to tradition, according to Canon Law, and according to various Church documents, to say the least.  Nope, it’s you who are dangerous. All you do is sow seeds of envy, jealousy, and bitterness, along with some heresy everywhere you go. You are definitely not the future of the Catholic Church.

While acknowledging that women are often better at preaching than priests, she reasons that that “no matter how wonderful or how terrible” the priest who is in persona Christi with a soul “indelibly marked” and who has undergone an “ontological change” is given priority of place “by virtue of his ordination, not his moral character.

Dr. Solenni denies that this is clericalism. Yet, one has to ask if such an anemic metaphysical model — one that makes moral character optional — also allows that priests represent Christ when they commit acts of abuse and rape against children, steal money, or engage in other criminal acts?

I realize that the word “clericalism” is a verbal tic for some, but really, they don’t even seem to know the definition. The definition is actually the misuse or overextention of clergy’s authority. With the proper form, matter, and intent, a priest is not misusing or overextending his power by doing his priestly duty, no matter how imperfect he is everywhere else in his life. That’s the protection we have been guaranteed by Christ. Let’s think it through, Russ and Deborah. If it weren’t true, how would we ever be able to trust ANYONE if you all got your impossible to have dreams? Does being part of the laity somehow mean you have spiritual or moral perfection? You two might be just narcissistic enough to buy that. The rest of us? Not so much.

If we look deeply into what the Gospels and Church teaching reveal, we see a different truth.  It is clear that Jesus and the early Christians were disgusted by their leaders’ arrogance and self-glorification.  When the Pharisees seek to silence the joyful voices of the people (Lk 19:39-40), Jesus rebukes them.

No matter what framework or theology is used to justify making faith-filled, baptized women second class members of the Body of Christ or seeks to sequester them to certain patriarchally-sanctioned corners of the Church, it is wrong.

Oh, my gosh. When I read things like this, I always want to ask, “Who hurt you?!?!?”  Clearly somebody has some serious issues with someone, and sadly, we’re the ones who have to pay for it! Hey, guys, nice try! The teaching doesn’t just apply to women. It applies to all of the laity. No matter how much you rant against this, the roles of the clergy and the laity are not the same. And the framework and theology for that one? Doctrine. You know, TRUTH? Again, stop with the jealousy.

For nearly three years, FutureChurch and our partners have been bringing forward the preaching of Catholic women every week and on some holidays at http://www.catholicwomenpreach.org.   Women such as Sr. Joan Chittister, Sr. Barbara Reid, Kerry Robinson, Sr. Norma Pimentel, Professor Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Sr. Sandra Schneiders, Sr. Christine Schenk, and over one hundred and seventy other qualified, faith-filled women have preached.

Yes, I’ve already had the misfortune of stumbling onto that site. Qualified? Debatable, unless the qualification is that you have to be a bitter older woman with a strong resentment towards men. If that’s the case, they nailed it. I’ve already written about the ”preaching” of one of their babes here

And thousands of Catholics – lay and ordained, female and male, young and young at heart – flock to the site monthly, hungry for the Word of God as it comes through the lives, experiences, witness, and faith of Catholic women. And each we week receive emails from viewers of Catholic Women Preach telling us that they are hearing the Word, understanding it in new ways, and more fully integrating it into their daily lives.

Please, don’t kid yourself. It’s where bitter women, usually of the older feminist generation, come to feel justified. Let’s just say it’s the greatest site ever. It’s still not in Mass, so you guys go ahead and vent as long as you’re not doing it in the name of the Catholic Church.

That is the Good News!

More like pathetic.

 Women will not be silent or silenced. We will continue the quest for full equality in the Roman Catholic Church and we will not stop until that vision — God’s vision — is fulfilled.

Russ Petrus and Deborah Rose-Milavec

Oh, Russ and Deborah, you’re so right. We won’t be silenced, but you might want to remember that includes me and my daughters who love and support our all-male priesthood. You also might want to recognize that all organizations of your ilk are dying. Literally. All those sisters you mentioned above? Their convents are empty, and their orders are disappearing. Nobody wants to replace them. Read the writing on the wall.  The women’s organizations, religious orders, etc., that embrace the True Faith? They are flourishing! That’s God’s vision. And you know what? We don’t feel slighted in the least. We’re not jealous of our priests, we embrace our role as part of the laity. What’s more attractive? Old bitter women railing or young, beautiful, faithful women loving the Church? The question has already been answered, but your pompous selves can’t see beyond your own noses. Look at the rest of us for a change before you decide you need to speak on our behalf.  We don’t want or need you to do anything for us. We’re perfectly capable of defending truth.




42 thoughts on “Future Something Other Than the Church

  1. Every true Christian is a priest without ordination. This includes women. We are all in persona Christi. The sacraments associated with this are Baptism and Confirmation. Holy Orders does not create a separate priesthood. It is another participation in the one priesthood of Christ priesthood (CCC 1546 and 1547).



      897 “The term ‘laity’ is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World.”430

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      1. I think that clericalism in the Church has made the lay people unaware of what they have by abiding in Christ, and Christ’s Spirit in them. Ordination to a clerical position does not add to the basics of being a Christian. It assigns specific functions to be performed in the Church. Grace comes from humility towards Christ (1Peter 5:5-7). Any person with humility qualifies, whatever their position in the Church. Anyone without humility is disqualified, whatever their position in the Church.


        1. Are you kidding? Holy orders is entirely outside the realm of the experience of the layperson, it is something completely different. To dedicate oneself to serving Jesus Christ by forgoing family and relations is to develop a wholly other kind of depth in relationship to Christ. The calling of marriage and family is also a vocation, but the two cannot really be compared. The priest who truly acts in persona Christi, is “another Christ” in his capacity as a Catholic priest. His hands have the capacity to confect mere bread to the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. I know I can’t do that, can you?? It seems impossible, but this pope has managed to make “humility” an overused term, along with “mercy”. His “humility” and “mercy” have not been applied to his perceived “enemies” and he has not demonstrated these qualities when the situation called for it. He has made a mockery of these virtues, but there are people so easily fooled. Look here, for example you think practicing these has made you almost a priest.

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      2. The word “laity” unfortunately has two senses. We distinguish religious and laity. But with respect to those in Holy Orders (clerics), the majority of religious are “laity.” Thus, nuns have no more business preaching than Mrs. McCarthy, the organist.


    2. No. Let me help things make sense for you.

      Those who have ordination are ordained into the priesthood of Melchizedek. This is not at all the same as the priesthood of all believers and is not something of a greater magnitude or participation (such as the difference between a deacon and a priest and a bishop). It is a different priesthood just as the Levitical priesthood is a different priesthood than the Aaronite/Kohenite priesthood. All squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. All Kohenite priests are Levites but not all Levites are Kohenite priests. All Catholic’s with Holy Orders are a part of the priesthood of all believers but not all of the priesthood of all believers have Holy Orders.

      The CCC does actually say that there are two priesthoods. Right here –>While being “ordered one to another,” they differ essentially.22<— If two things differ at their essence, that is two different things, NOT two forms of the same thing. Water and Ice are two distinct forms of the same essence — so one thing two forms. Two things of differing essences are not the same thing. Water and Salt are two things of two distinct essences. They both participate in what we call matter. The "Priesthood of all Believers" and the "Melchizedek Priesthood" are two things of two distinct essences that participate in the One Priesthood of Christ.

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      1. The only New Testament Priest who is after the order of Melchisedec is Jesus (Hebrews 5:10: 6:20; 7:11-21). Jesus shares His Melchisedec priesthood with all of us when His Spirit is within us. This is the only way that we can participate in it. It is not conferred by Holy Orders.


        1. But we do NOT all ‘in persona Christi” which is where your conversation started. That is reserved to the ministerial priesthood and it is to help the laity carry out Christ’s mission in the Common Priesthood. Using “branches” really wasn’t the best description because it is more linear than that. More like God to Ministerial Priesthood to the Common Priesthood to the rest of the world although that’s still really imperfect. It’s explained A LOT more thoroughly here: http://www.catholicliturgy.com/index.cfm/FuseAction/DocumentContents/Index/2/SubIndex/40/DocumentIndex/454

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          1. What is the difference between being “in persona Christi” (in the person of Christ) and being an ambassador for Christ? I see no difference except in language.


          2. Whoa! Really? Sorry. It just caught me off guard. I say this with all sincerity and I’m not trying to be snarky. You probably received you Catholic education in the same place I did. We was robbed! Thankfully, I had parents who knew something.

            The difference is FAR more than language. This explains it nicely: http://www.stjohncc.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/in-persona-christi.pdf

            And this is from the Catechism.
            1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:23

            It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).24
            Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.25

            1549 Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers.26 In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.27

            1550 This presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church.

            1551 This priesthood is ministerial. “That office . . . which the Lord committed to the pastors of his people, is in the strict sense of the term a service.”28 It is entirely related to Christ and to men. It depends entirely on Christ and on his unique priesthood; it has been instituted for the good of men and the communion of the Church. The sacrament of Holy Orders communicates a “sacred power” which is none other than that of Christ. The exercise of this authority must therefore be measured against the model of Christ, who by love made himself the least and the servant of all.29 “The Lord said clearly that concern for his flock was proof of love for him.”30


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      2. If the only priesthood that Christ has for Himself is the Melchizedek priesthood, and all Christians participate in His one priesthood, how can lay people be excluded from it? Is there another name for the priesthood of all believers?
        There is no ordination to a priesthood in the New Testament; only deacon, presbyter or elder, and bishop. I wonder why?


        1. “(A)ll Christians participate in His one priesthood”, but what makes you assume that all Christians participate in the same way? There’s the “priesthood of all believers” and distinct from that is the ministerial priesthood which is not for everyone.

          Yes, there is an “ordination to the priesthood in the New Testament”. The English word “priest” means “presbyter”.

          As I tell acquaintances among the separated brethren, “If you knew the Bible, you’d be Catholic!” May God bless you on your quest for the truth, aiello01.


          1. None of us participate in exactly the same way within the Melchizedek Priesthood of Christ or in the Body of Christ even though we may fall into certain categories.
            The Greek word behind presbyter or elder is ‘presbyteros’, which is one who presides over an assembly; the Greek word behind priest is ‘hiereus’. There is no connection between the two words in the New Testament. Only ‘presbyteros’ is used for that position in the New Testament Church.


          2. We have cited Church document after Church document. You many not interpret scripture contrary to the Tradition of the Church. Well, you can but you would still be in error. So, you have said you are a baptized Catholic. Do you believe the doctrines of the Church or do you not? At this point you are excercising several errors. First, we are not a sola scriptura Church. Next, I sent you a really long document explaining the corralation between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood. You, apparently, are going to ignore that one. You are rejecting the passages of the CCC as well. Not much else can be done here. You are a Catholic who rejects the teachings of the Catholic Church. Stating the same thing, repeatedly, doesn’t change this fact. If you want to continue the conversation, start putting forth teachings of the Church you claim to be in. If not, you are just putting forth private revelation and interpretation.


          3. We can all contribute to tradition. There is an interesting quote from Vatican II’s Dei Verbum 8 which states: “This tradition which comes from the Apostles develop in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. (5) For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts (see Luke, 2:19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through episcopal succession the sure gift of truth.”
            All of this is part of the mix. I emphasize Scripture in my personal life; others do not. It is the original Catholic teaching. Scripture is supposed to regulate all of Catholic teaching (Dei Verbum 21).
            I believe that the Church has room for all of us. God is the ultimate judge of whom or what is in error. Our job is to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1Thessalonians 5:21).


  2. The sanctuary is the exclusive domain of the ordained and those in minor orders such as acolytes. Preaching belongs only to the ordained. Look to Our Lady. She did not preach, she taught by example and her great love encased in humility. To ignore the admonitions of St. Paul is to refuse to correspond to much of the New Testament and the will of Christ who passed that will to the Holy Apostles. This is sanctimonious hubris and revolt. Not to mention it violates our dignity as women, who have their own irreplaceable vocation. Look to Mary, not the world.

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  3. Yes yes yes! Priesthood gives an indelible mark through Ordination. Sorry ladies, but to represent Christ you have to be like He was, a man. Therefore only a priest or an ordained Deacon can read the Gospel. Aren’t you so called ladies satisfied with being lectors in the NOVUS Mass? If you want to do a homily so bad, do it in a blog or something. Hey, even when parisioners are eating coffee and doughnuts after Mass! Bet they’d appreciate that! And I’m in my 70s, same age as many of them and I don’t want Sister Nices opinion, the same sister who might have left her teaching order to be more “active” in the Church. Mary kept to the sidelines, remember? Was she next to Jesus when He was preaching? Even Mary Magdalene wasn’t, but they were there at the foot of the Cross. So then, why don’t you “offer it up” as we did in the old days, you know when some of you were still teaching? Oh, and homilies aren’t the important thing in the Mass, it’s the Eucharist. So, lay people doing homilies or reading the Gospel isn’t the highlight of the Mass. For “good ” homilies listen to Bishop Sheen( but he’s probably too patriarchal for you).

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  4. When you mentioned “FutureChurch” at the beginning of this post, I knew they had once again done/said something objectionable.

    I am well-acquainted with FC since they are headquartered in my Diocese (Cleveland), shamefully. They specialize in being a PITA to anyone who wants to remain faithful to Church teaching. The first week he was appointed our bishop in 2005, Bishop Lennon evicted them from a rectory in the Cleveland suburbs where they had been headquartered, and ever since, they maintained a vendetta against him.

    At one point, when my parish was merged with a neighboring parish, FC placed flyers on our windshields during Mass, urging us to withhold our Offertory envelopes to “punish” Bishop Lennon for merging us. Truth be told, we had a very congenial merger under the circumstances. Not to mention that withholding our Offertory (which goes against Church teaching – we are to support our parishes with our time, talents, and riches in gratitude to God) would not have directly “punished” Bishop Lennon, but it most certainly would have punished the homeless my parish feeds every day, the impoverished children we educate, the Newman students who have a loving and welcoming home with us, and anyone who walks through the Church door seeking God. When I contacted them and reminded them of this, and warned them to stay away from my car in future, they started sputtering and whining. When I persisted, they condescendingly told me I am woefully uneducated in Church teaching and they refused to discuss it further. Which is typical of those who do not have a valid explanation for their beliefs and behavior – when challenged, they end up making personal attacks because they cannot logically defend their stance.

    They also, at a later date, renamed their local members as “The Wilderness Group” and insinuated themselves into our parish. They organized picketing of our Diocesan ordination (only 4-5 showed up for that), and also organized carpools to a Unitarian church in the Cleveland suburbs where there was going to be a “mass” celebrated by a woman “priest”. As I was a former parish council member, a concerned parishioner forwarded me the emails. When I notified my pastor, who had innocently endorsed this group as a worthy parish organization, he attacked me. Perhaps he was embarrassed.

    FutureChurch has a blatant agenda promoting women priests, married clergy, LGBTQ issues (including marriage in the Church, in spite of Church and Biblical teaching), and far more.

    I advise anyone who wants to remain a faithful Catholic to steer clear from any FC activities, and to beware of anything they promote. There is no goodness and faithfulness in them.

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  5. As soon as I saw the name Sr. Joan Chittister, I knew the group was bad news. She’s a very mixed up woman who should never ever be teaching the Catholic faith, since she does not believe all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches. Sadly, some people are fooled by women in sister or “nun” “costumes”. I’d call them habits, but unfortunately the the habits that those group of “sisters” seem to have are bad habits. They are CINO’s, (Catholics In Name Only) or SINO’s, (Sisters In Name Only).
    Many of them probably were hurt or abused early on in their lives and now many have “Ungodly Rage”, as Donna Steichen wrote in her book of the same name. Sr. Joan Chittister gave an interview once in which she talked about having an alcoholic, abusive father and said she felt trapped.
    She’s a very angry woman with an agenda.
    If she truly cared about women, she would care about future women in the wombs, but she seems to make a mockery of pro-lifers, without offering any real help to the unborn babies. She’s mixed up on a lot of things and needs a lot of prayers, like the other ones on the list. They should definitely not be teaching the Catholic faith, since they seem to be always fighting or railing against it themselves.
    Sadly, they are so blind that they do not see the beauty of the male priesthood. God bless the priests harassed by these anti-Catholics.
    Please, pray for the present and future priests and religious. Pray that those who have fallen away will repent. Pray that all will follow Jesus and always do God’s will. Thank you.

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  6. The day the church approves women priests, is day I follow Sister Lucia of Fatima who Our Blessed said this to: “The Rosary you will always have.” Sister Lucia asks a question later in one of her memoirs. “Why did Our Lady say, the Rosary you will always have? Why didn’t she say the Mass, you will always have?” It is becoming obvious now. Groups like Future Church will destroy the Mass. But they can never stop the Rosary. If one day the church ordains women, I and millions of other Catholics will stay home, and pray the Rosary until Our Lord restores the Church. You will not win FC. In the end Our Lady assured us that Her Immaculate Heart will Triumph! It is coming. She has said so, and so it will be, and it will be a glorious time! All those who seek to “change” the Church, who seek a “revolution” in the church, your time is short. Give it your best shot, but it will not last. You defeat is guaranteed. You may win a battle, but your pride will stop you from seeing the Triumph of Our Lady!

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  7. you are spot on. The most shameful thing is that they want so much to be priests that they have forsaken their vocation to holiness. Sister Mary Pantsuit notwithstanding.

    Every baptized Catholic is anointed priest, prophet, and king, to live in our vocation and mission the call to follow Christ. But Paul clearly writes that we are not all the same in the body of Christ. I guess it is a man saying it, so it doesn’t count.

    Also, the Catholic Church cannot physically do certain things, or else the whole thing crumbles. The gates of hell shall not prevail. Remember that the Holy Spirit is real, and He is the protection.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think we might want to be careful of what we have been told by NewChurch. We should realize that we in fact have been poorly catechized, depending on our age and where we have been located, that is more or less true. It seems a far better (and spiritually safer) idea to say of our vocation, I am a sinner, and by the grace of God I hope to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. I will live out my vocation realizing I am falling far short, and will rely on God’s mercy to make up for what I have lacked, so that I can hope to someday attain the lowest place in heaven, which will be far better than what I can imagine or deserve.
    It seems to me we’d be on safe ground with that.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. When someone says “Hey, guys, nice try!” to a crowd that includes females or worse, to an all-female crowd, that is an example of females colonizing men’s space.


  10. The only people who ever refer to women as “second class” members of the Church are liberal activistas. Never felt like one, myself, but, then, I’m a convert, so perhaps there is some nuance I am missing.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It seems Aiello01 is the gasoline that is being poured on a fire, making people such as Joan Chittister, Norma Pimentel, Sandra Schneiders, et al. very happy.


    1. The New Testament says that there is an equality among all Christians (Galatians 3:28); but there are functions by ordination in the Church which are only for men. We need to get back to the original labeling. Labeling presbyters as priests is not helpful and adds to the confusion.


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