Catholic 'Womenpriests' Touted in WaPo News Story by Leftist Freelancer

The top of the Metro section in Saturday’s Washington Post carried the headline "Defiantly devout" to describe women who’ve attempted to ordain themselves Catholic priests. Inside, the headline was "Faithfully, if not obediently Catholic."

Would the Washington Post describe Joe Lieberman as a "defiantly devout liberal"? Or remember how the Dulles Area chapter of the National Organization for Women decided to endorse Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court? Was that "defiantly devout" feminism? If liberals would suggest that's a "rogue" NOW chapter that doesn't count, how does it explain this story?

The Post’s reporter on this story loaded the story chock full of feminist "womenpriests" and their hard-left fellow travelers. But her credit line simply read "Katie Balestra is a freelance writer based in the District." The Post didn’t explain that Balestra studies at Georgetown University, or more suggestively that she’s written for leftist media outlets like Sojourners magazine and the Center for Public Integrity.

Balestra sells the "womenpriests" not as a fringe movement, but as a budding feminist trend:

The group, which has about 70 women, is one of several nationwide gaining support among U.S. Catholics as more of them begin to question the Vatican's stance on women's role in the Church.

"Our goal is to bring about full equality of women in the Roman Catholic Church," said Meehan, 62. "We love the faith. We love the spirituality. That's why we remain Catholic. We are holding disobedience to an unjust law that discriminates against women. We're willing to go the whole mile with the institution on this."

The movement has a strong following in the Washington region.

Stories like these beg the reader to accept the idea that the Catholic Church is something that you can defy, decry, disobey, and disrespect, and yet still be considered "faithful." Perhaps the Unitarians don’t require any kind of obedience or agreement on a creed or rule of faith, but that’s simply not true of Catholicism. Journalists can wish it were not so, but to pretend it is not so is willful ignorance of a very politicized kind.

Balestra touts the far-left activist Roy Bourgeois not as a radical but as a potential Nobel Prize winner:

Bourgeois, a Vietnam War veteran, social justice advocate and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has been trying to recruit other priests, many of whom agree with his position but fear excommunication. "I understand your fear about going public with this," he told them, "but you and I are card-carrying members of this all-boys club, and our silence simply sends the message very clearly that it's okay to have women sit in the back of the Catholic bus."

The drivers on this metaphorical bus get a measly three sentences, and then are dismissed by the rest of the story's experts as "totally untenable" in their analysis:

But in 1976, the Vatican said women couldn't be priests, in part, because of the belief that Jesus chose only male disciples. It also said the priest represents Jesus during Mass, so only a man can fill the role.

Nearly 20 years later, in 1994, Pope John Paul II issued a letter solidifying the Church's stance. The next year, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote that the position was based on "doctrine taught infallibly by the Church."

The only religious idea that's infallible to the Washington Post is feminism.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis