There is nothing sensible that can be said in defense of this news today:

 WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Vatican’s decision to declare the attempted ordination of women a major church crime reflects “the seriousness with which it holds offenses against the sacrament of holy orders” and is not a sign of disrespect toward women, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington said July 15.

The archbishop, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, spoke at a news briefing in the headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops hours after the Vatican issued new norms for handling priestly sex abuse cases and updated its list of the “more grave crimes” against church law, including for the first time the “attempted sacred ordination of a woman.”

What I suggest is that we all get more involved in organizations like: Future Church; Call to Action; Voice of the Faithful; Women Priests; Catholic Women’s Ordination; Women’s Ordination Conference.

You don’t have to risk excommunication to lobby for women’s rights. From the Women Priests website:
“We are faithful Catholics who show why the exclusion of women from priesthood is wrong. We raise awareness and facilitate informed discussion about women’s ordination. We work for reform from the center of the Church.”

Other groups are willing to step beyond the current boundaries. One decision all concerned Catholics have to face is whether continuing to work from within the church is worth the grief. Then again, only Catholics can bring about change to the Catholic Church.  One view of the news today is that it represents a Church hierarchy scrambling to re-assert its authority in the light of impending collapse of current structures. Maybe. We can only hope.

 Here’s a page of other links that might be worth visiting in order to revive hope in the future of Catholicism.