Their is seemingly no end to the stupidity that can get published in newspapers these days as long as that stupidity is in conformity with the zeitgeist. For instance, you can say any perceived bad thing is caused by global warming and you will get coverage today without any need for any of that pesky evidence stuff. The same is true for any “scholarship” that puts the Church or Church history in a bad light. A great example is the whole ‘Jesus Tomb’ debacle from a year ago. No evidence or peer review needed, just a claim that undermines the church in some way and you are good to go. Witness the latest example of pseudo-scholarship that makes into the media. From the Calgary Herald:

The Catholic church ordained women for the first 1,200 years of Christianity, says a new book by a U.S. scholar.

Then, in a struggle for political power in the 12th and 13th centuries, it vilified females, banned married clergy and rewrote its own history to excise clerical women.

Women were made deaconesses (equivalent to deacons) episcopae (bishops), and presbyterae (priests), and they preached, heard confessions, performed baptisms and even blessed the bread and wine for communion, says Gary Macy, a theology professor at Santa Clara University in California.

Wow? Really. But how did all the people forget? What about all the evidence that must abound for a 1300 year old practice? Macy has the answer.

“The memory of ordained women has been nearly erased and, where it survived, it was dismissed as illusion or worse, delusion,” he says in The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination: Female Clergy in the Medieval West, published in November by Oxford University Press.

“This is a history that has been deliberately forgotten.”

Oh. That explains it. Everybody, and I mean everybody, deliberately forgot about it. They also expunged from any and all documentation of the thing they deliberately forgot. Convenient eh? What evidence does Macy have to support his wild theory or is he just advocating for something he wants now?

Macy believes women should be ordained to the Catholic priesthood, and acknowledges this view has coloured his book.

For now, he plans to go back to his usual area, studying the medieval history of the Eucharist. In the meantime, he hopes his book sparks a discussion on female priests today.

No kidding, this is what Macy believes? This is advocacy pure and simple dressed up in the guise of ‘scholarship’ aided and abetted by Oxford University press and now the Calgary Herald. Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. Shame. That is an idea. I think I will write a book that claims shame is a medieval concept invented by the Church to promote clothing sales because they secretly own a controlling share of federated department stores. Silly? I bet Oxford would print it.