Skip to comments.Essays for Lent/Easter: Women's Ordination
Posted on 04/16/2012 9:21:41 PM PDT by Salvation
by Sebastian R. Fama
While there are Catholics who favor ordaining women to the priesthood, it is important to note that the driving force behind this movement comes from the more radical elements in the Church. These individuals usually challenge the Church on a wide range of issues. They reject the authority of the Church and yet they demand that women be allowed to be a part of the authority they reject. If the Church has no divine authority, what purpose would it serve to be a part of it? Such an obvious contradiction discredits their argument. Their real goal seems to be the promotion of rebellion.
The Church's position on women priests is not a matter of prejudice but a matter of differing roles. That there are differing roles in no way implies that one gender is superior to the other. Can women legitimately claim that men are inferior because they can not conceive and bear children? Can men claim that God is unfair because He created them for what surely seems to be a less glorious role? Of course not. God, who is perfectly just, determined that men and women were to have different roles. Hence the Church rejects the feminist notion that women have no worth unless they are exactly like men.
The Church's position on women priests is not a comment on leadership capability. There are many women within the Church who are the leaders of religious orders, television networks, retreat houses, schools, etc. The Church's position has to do with the practice of priestly functions. The primary function of a priest is to be a priest--to offer sacrifice to God. Jewish priests in the Old Testament as well as the New were exclusively male. Jesus chose twelve males to be His apostles and ultimately His first priests. If He wanted women priests He would have chosen some, thus setting the precedent and avoiding future conflict.
In his "Apostolic Letter on Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone" (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis), Pope John Paul II noted the following: "The fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, received neither the mission proper to the Apostles nor the ministerial priesthood clearly shows that the non-admission of women to priestly ordination cannot mean that women are of lesser dignity, nor can it be construed as discrimination against them. Rather, it is to be seen as the faithful observance of a plan to be ascribed to the wisdom of the Lord of the universe (no. 3).
The Church does not choose priests; rather, God calls them. The Church merely ratifies or authenticates a vocational call. Only those who are called to the priesthood should be priests. This would exclude not only women but the vast majority of men as well.
Some women will say that they feel called. If they truly were, however, we would have women priests. The idea that a group of men can stop God from accomplishing His will in someone's life is ludicrous. The only one who can prevent God's will from being accomplished in your life is you.
Was Moses able to free the Israelites from Egypt because Pharaoh feared him? No he was able to do it because God called him and he said yes. At first he refused, claiming that he was ill suited. He worried about his credibility with the people and his lack of eloquence as a speaker. But God told Moses that He would be with him (Exodus Chapters 3-4). God called Moses for a purpose, Moses said yes and then God made it happen.
If God calls a woman to the priesthood and she says yes, God will make it happen. The fact that we haven't had any women priests in the last two thousand years means one of two things. Either God hasn't called any women to the priesthood or He did and they all said no.
If God were calling women to the priesthood, would it not be reasonable to expect that He would have called some of the women who were closest to Him? And yet when we examine the writings of women like St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton we don't find any claims of being called to the priesthood. We only find loyalty to God and His Church.
Pope John Paul II has made it clear that the Church's view in this matter is not subject to change. In "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis," he said the following, "I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful" (no. 4).
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For Further Study
Full text of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (Free)
Books - Women in the Priesthood? by Manfred Hauke and Women, Sex, & the Church by Erika Bachiochi and Women In Search of Truth - Converts to Catholicism Tell Their Stories
E-Book - Ungodly Rage (E-Book) by Donna Steichen
I know you meant “not” ! LOL!!
I am conflicted on this.
The Church says no, but many of the holiest and strongest Catholics I know are women. Should they be denied the chance to serve the Lord as His voice?
Simplest case, take a look right here on FR. Catholic or Protestant both, the mightiest warriors for the Lord are women - and I am profoundly grateful!
I know it is the rules, but it is one I am not fond of. Accept it, of course, but really don’t like it in this case.
I know - obedience is a virtue - but I can still grumble about wasted talent.
There are many ways to serve the Church. One does not have to be a priest to be a great leader in faith. The most prominent American Catholic leader in the last fifty years has been Mother Angelica of EWTN.
I just see women every day who are worthy of the title of Father (Mother?).
Sisters who are far more devout and qualified than some of the Priests I know.
His Holiness stated that women cannot be priests. I accept that - but I don’t have to like it. No one said obedience would be easy!
St Hildergard, St Catherine, And look at Saint Faustina. We say this Divine Mercy Chaplet because of her Visions. I have had more Profound Presence of the Lord since these prayers. I had Dream Visions that came true since these prayers. Also these Prayers are for the Last days as the Lord to St. Faustina. So we are living in the true last days.
Women are very influential and anointed. I think some of the most profound writings are from women. I have read some. Just Amazing!
I do not think they should become priests. You might ruin all this great wisdom. LOL!
"Also these Prayers are for the Last days as the Lord to St. Faustina."
"Also these Prayers are for the Last days as the Lord told St. Faustina."
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm#ixzz1sH3oMlvF
1 Timothy 2:14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
There is your reason right there, no matter how “holy” a woman may appear she is far easier to deceive and lead astray than a man is and she is also far more likely to rationalize her sinful desires like Eve did in the garden of Eden (in modern terms they call it the rationalization hamster which is a pretty apt description). So please stop putting women on a pedestal as they don’t really deserve to be placed there and it usually only makes it easier for them to kick you in the teeth as you’re bowing down to worship them ;)
True, FRiend! Both of my birthday saints are women, and we have a chat from time to time. Not as often as I should, perhaps, but when I remember we do talk.
Without the Blessed Madonna I would be apostate, yet she heard my plea. (For any non Catholics reading, yes, I know my prayer was to God Himself, but I had sinned greatly and it was slightly easier to ask for her intercession. I was not worthy to talk to Him.)
Just grumbling a little bit - every soldiers privilege. The order is in writing, so yes, I must accept it.
What a difference a letter makes.
“Follow the Bible, folks!”
Yes, but whenever I mention Corinthians 14:34 and 14:35, I get a lot of “I just found something nasty in my Cheerios” looks.
“I can still grumble about wasted talent.”
In addition to the fact that the Church cannot ordain women, there are other reasons that women should not be priests. Good and sufficient reasons.
His Holiness said so - that has to be sufficient reason for me.
I am grumbling like you wouldn’t believe here. Understanding, teaching and discussing God’s will does not, to me, seem to require testicles.
I’d appreciate the additional reasons, if you have a moment. Help a brother out here please!
I am so thankful that the Catholic Church has not bowed to the modern world on this issue.
I second that.
“Should they be denied the chance to serve the Lord as His voice?”
No one is denied the chance to serve the Lord and be His voice. Women are in no way denied this. Mary was not denied this and is the first leader member of the Body of Christ.
What women are denied is earthly recognition of the role of husband which we see as a status position. So it’s true the Church denies a position which confers earthly status to women but heavenly status has not been effected.