11/09/2007 03:38 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Catholic Bishops Say No to Women Priests, Yes to Hookers

My Google "Catholic" Alert today listed two articles in this order: "Women Warned Against Catholic Ordination," followed by "Catholic Bishop Backs Brothel Regulation."

That about sums it up. In yet another empty defense of the Catholic Church's blatant discrimination against women who it refuses to ordain, St. Louis, Missouri Archbishop Raymond Burke promised to excommunicate two Roman Catholic women who will be ordained priests in St. Louis on Sunday, November 11. The women are part of an energetic international movement called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which has organized the ordination of Catholic women around the world, with the first U.S. ordinations, which I described in Salon, last year.

Burke also threatened to impose "additional disciplinary measures." To which one of the ordinands, Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, reportedly replied: "What is he going to do, burn us at the stake?"

Meanwhile, another Roman Catholic bishop in the City of Portsmouth, England, the Right Reverend Crispian Hollis, came out in support of legalized prostitution. He based his position on matters of health and safety and the fact that hooking has been with us "from time immemorial."

Yes, but so have women like the apostle Junia, the deacon Phoebe, and bishop Theodora who have been with us since time immemorial--or at least since the dawn of Christianity. Yet they remain conveniently invisible to the whole lot of this dysfunctional boys' club--Biblical and archaeological evidence be damned.

Notably, the Central Reform Congregation led by Rabbi Susan Talve is hosting the ordinations because no Catholic Church would dare to do so. She, too, is the target of the Archdiocese's wrath. In a statement on its website, the Archdiocese accuses her Congregation of damaging Catholic-Jewish relations and "not showing proper respect for the teaching of the Catholic Church."

Nevermind that that teaching enables bishops to keep women off the altar, where she doesn't belong, while supporting her work in bordellos, where apparently, she does.