DES MOINES (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Des Moines Catholic Worker House, a group that was banned from offering Masses earlier this year after allowing a fake Mass by a woman "priest," has been denied its request to have the ban lifted.
Last Tuesday, the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Des Moines, a body of priests from the diocese, heard out the Catholic Worker House's plea, which consisted of volunteers from the group arguing against Church teachings on women "priests," sodomy and regulated reception of the Eucharist.
The council of priests, with the backing of their bishop, Richard Pates, then decided that the local Catholic Worker House remains unfit to resume Masses.
The diocese's judgment is perhaps not surprising, given that the dissident group appears not to have reformed any of the troubling stances or practices that led to its being barred from saying Mass in the first place. In fact, next August, it still plans to host again the excommunicated Janice Sevre-Duszynska of the false Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
Sevre-Duszynska is the pseudo-priestess who held the so-called eucharistic service last December for the Des Moines Catholic Worker House. That's the event that ended up getting the group punished, and it apparently refuses to break its ties with her.
In spite of the dispute, the diocese of Des Moines makes clear it isn't opposed to keeping an open dialogue with the dissident group. Bishop Pates has stated, "The Presbyteral Council adheres to and goes forward in the spirit of Pope Francis in his commitment to fidelity to Church teaching while being open to ongoing conversation."
In 1994, Pope John Paul II infallibly declared that the Church has no authority to ordain women. His apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, states:
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.
Further, because feminists within the Church continued to question the teaching and push for women's ordination after John Paul II's letter, then-Cdl. Josef Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote an official response — approved by Pope John Paul II — reiterating that the teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was declared infallibly.
To learn more about women's role in the Church, watch the first episode of our brand new show Case Files.