A daily feature of MSNBC host Chris Jansing's 10 a.m. Eastern program Jansing & Co. is the "Tweet of the Day." Given the astonishing breaking news about Pope Benedict XVI's decision to abdicate the papacy at the end of the month, it was almost certain the tweet highlighted would have to do with this development.
But given that this is the "Lean Forward" network, Jansing highlighted the call of a liberal columnist for a pope who would accept contraception and women priests:
CHRIS JANSING, host: Today's tweet of the day comes from a friend of the show. New York Times columnist Nick Kristof. "At some point," he says, "the church will accept contraception and female and non-celibate priest. Could it be in the next papacy?"
Of course, the Catholic Church holds that the reservation of the priesthood to men is something instituted by Jesus Christ himself and belongs to the "deposit of faith." Whereas the issue of allowing married priests is an issue of discipline -- indeed, Eastern Rite Catholic churches allow married priests -- admitting women to the priesthood is impossible without fundamentally disobeying Christ, the Church holds.
The Kristof tweet Jansing quoted was posted at 8:14 a.m. Eastern today, but subsequently the Times columnist has made additional comments agitating for women priests, even suggesting that a nun would make the ideal pope:
Some of the people I most admire are nuns I've met doing heroic work in dangerous places. I nominate them for Pope.
Here's a piece I once did about fabulous nuns/priests in South Sudan who would make great popes: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/opinion/02kristof.html …