That said, we confess to some frustration with the press coverage. One headline reads: Italy to Ordain First Female Priest. That's not just wrong, it's stupid. "Italy," being a secular nation, doesn't ordain anybody. Yes, it's synecdoche; but it's also deliberately confusing to readers who will jump to the wrong conclusion.
The BBC, linked above, tries to be clearer, but still says foolish things like:
Well, no. It won't.
We aren't privy to the Pope's daily comfort level, but we're willing to bet that he suffers considerably more discomfort from, say, indigestion than he will from Longhitano's ordination. And do you know why? Yes, in fact, you do. And so does the BBC, since it came right out and said she "won't be a Roman Catholic priest."
The Pope may in fact have a mild interest in the ordination of women when it occurs in those churches with which he has some hope of effecting a reunion. And we imagine that the old Catholics (the BBC report leaves us a bit unclear about which Old Catholics, and as we understand it they are really a family of autonomous churches; we welcome reader clarifications) are among those churches. But so, as recent news reports have made clear, are the Lutherans and Anglicans. And they ordain women all the time. Have been for decades, in fact. Since 1940 in Romania, if you wondered.
Even Longhitano's denomination has been ordaining women since 1996, per the Beeb. She's obviously not the first. She does appear to be the first woman ordained within a few blocks of the Vatican -- on the doorstep, as it were. But so what? The Pope is a citizen of the world; he gets around. He may not like the sight of women in albs and stoles, but it isn't exactly a novelty.
And let's be honest. Other recent BBC headlines, linked from that same report when we checked it last, include winners like:
So, all told, we don't think the guy has sweat to spare for what are, in his eyes, the irregular ordinations of separated churches whose orders are already, at best, irregular in themselves.