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Catholic Activist… Challenges Organization’s Call For Women Deacons

July 11, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An East Coast Catholic activist made his first trip to New Mexico to counter the call by a progressive priests’ organization for women Catholic deacons.
Michael Hichborn, founder and president of the Lepanto Institute (lepantoinstitute.org), gave a June 25 talk here citing Scripture, history, and Church councils to illustrate there never was a recognized female equivalent to ordained male deacons.
He spoke in a meeting room just down the hotel hall from the seventh annual national conference of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP).
AUSCP told The Wanderer it had asked the U.S. bishops formally to discuss the possibility of permanent women deacons.
An outdoors rosary procession went around the hotel grounds before the talk by Hichborn, who told The Wanderer that his appearance mostly was promoted “by word of mouth.”
Although there had been women in special service to the Church, Hichborn told an audience which he estimated at more than 100 people, they were more in the nature of nuns.
Referring to a passage about a deaconess, Hichborn’s text said that “what the women’s ordination crowd of today fails to address is the fact that the described ‘ordination’ is vastly different from the ordination of men as deacons. In the ordination of men to the diaconate, the invocation of the Holy Spirit speaks of a power, which is not mentioned in the rite for women.”
His Lepanto Institute website says it “was created to present the facts regarding organizations that claim the name Catholic or even Christian, but are acting in opposition to the teachings of our Blessed Lord and His Holy and Immaculate Church.”
The site carries articles critical of the AUSCP including its episcopal moderator, Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester.
Wester celebrated a late afternoon Mass for the AUSCP conference on June 27, where he said he was blessed to be with these priests and hoped to bear much fruit with them. After Communion, two young Native Americans performed a prolonged eagle-feather dance in front of the altar before the Final Blessing.
Hichborn told The Wanderer that as he waited for the Mass to begin, a hotel manager said the Mass was on private property and asked him to leave the premises.
“I said that I was a guest at the hotel, and his eyes got really big and asked to see my room badge,” so Hichborn displayed his key.
He moved away, out of sight of the pavilion for the Mass, Hichborn said, but a second hotel manager approached him to challenge his presence, “reiterated the banning from the Mass or going around AUSCP members, and I walked off to my room.”
An AUSCP conference story appears elsewhere in this issue.

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