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Essays for Lent/Easter: Women's Ordination
StayCatholic.com ^ | 2004 | Sebastian R. Fama

Posted on 04/16/2012 9:21:41 PM PDT by Salvation

 

Women's Ordination

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).

Copyright © 2004 StayCatholic.com 



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; catholic; holyorders; priesthood

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


1 posted on 04/16/2012 9:21:53 PM PDT by Salvation
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation
Do you mean "now bowed" or "NOT bowed" ?

Cheers!

3 posted on 04/16/2012 9:31:39 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Salvation

I know you meant “not” ! LOL!!


4 posted on 04/16/2012 9:44:19 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: grey_whiskers

Yikes!

NOT bowed


5 posted on 04/16/2012 9:46:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
 "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"
~John Paul II
I am so thankful that the Catholic Church has not bowed to the modern world on this issue. Follow the Bible, folks!

Catholic Ping!


6 posted on 04/16/2012 9:53:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

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.


7 posted on 04/16/2012 10:18:46 PM PDT by EnglishCon (Gingrich/Santorum 2012.)
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To: EnglishCon

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.


8 posted on 04/16/2012 10:34:32 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark

True.

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!


9 posted on 04/16/2012 10:42:59 PM PDT by EnglishCon (Gingrich/Santorum 2012.)
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To: EnglishCon
The Greatest Saints of note were Women. Most had more profound insight into God than men.

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!

Cheers!

10 posted on 04/16/2012 10:45:31 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: EnglishCon

http://www.catholic.org/saints/female.php


11 posted on 04/16/2012 10:46:11 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: EnglishCon
Post 10

"Also these Prayers are for the Last days as the Lord to St. Faustina."

Correction!

"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

Praise Jesus!

12 posted on 04/16/2012 10:56:30 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: EnglishCon

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 ;)


13 posted on 04/16/2012 11:00:19 PM PDT by trapped_in_LA
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To: johngrace

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.


14 posted on 04/16/2012 11:01:32 PM PDT by EnglishCon (Gingrich/Santorum 2012.)
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To: Salvation

What a difference a letter makes.


15 posted on 04/16/2012 11:18:03 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (This place is nuts.)
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To: Salvation

“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.


16 posted on 04/17/2012 12:31:52 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: EnglishCon

“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.


17 posted on 04/17/2012 1:08:25 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc

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!


18 posted on 04/17/2012 2:58:10 AM PDT by EnglishCon (Gingrich/Santorum 2012.)
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To: Salvation

I am so thankful that the Catholic Church has not bowed to the modern world on this issue.

***
I second that.


19 posted on 04/17/2012 5:36:51 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Pray for our republic.)
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To: EnglishCon

“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.


20 posted on 04/17/2012 8:03:22 AM PDT by Varda
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To: EnglishCon

You are missing the point, which is made clearly in the article. In the post to which I am responding, you are suggesting that holiness is somehow an enabling qualification, like being good at math and thus being qualified to be an accountant. That is as far from the point as one can get.

The point is that the function of priest is to sacramentally celebrate the mysteries of the Church. It is not be to especially holy (though being chaste, demure, supportive, et al, certainly are assets).

And you might recall that some of the mightiest saints have been lay folk and some of the most awful sinners have been not only priests, but bishops. It would be best for you to separate the notion of worthiness from the concept of vocation. We are none of us worthy, but some of us unworthy types are called by God to serve at His altar. As the article said, had He intended women to be part of that call, He would have called them when He was among us.


21 posted on 04/17/2012 8:49:01 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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To: EnglishCon

A woman can be a sacristan, can run a ministry such as the Fatima statue traveling around, can teach catechism, can be in charge of adult formation in RCIA, can teach Bible study, etc.

And women PRAY!


22 posted on 04/17/2012 10:00:41 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: EnglishCon
Maybe this from the Bible will help -- I really don't see women mentioned here on the subject of Holy Orders.

Acts 20:28 - Holy Sprit appointed you overseers, to

tend Church

Lk 22:19 - do this in memory of me

Jn 20:22 - As Father sent me, I send you...receive Holy Spirit

Acts 6:6 - the apostles prayed and laid hands on them

Acts 13:3 - they laid hands on them & sent them off

Acts 14:22 - they appointed presbyters in each church

1Tim 4:14 - gift received through laying on of hands of

presbyterate

2Tim 1:6 - gift of God you have through imposition of hands

Tit 1:5 - appoint presbyters in every town as I directed you


23 posted on 04/17/2012 10:08:08 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: EnglishCon
Maybe this from the Bible will help -- I really don't see women mentioned here on the subject of Holy Orders.

Acts 20:28 - Holy Sprit appointed you overseers, to

tend Church

Lk 22:19 - do this in memory of me

Jn 20:22 - As Father sent me, I send you...receive Holy Spirit

Acts 6:6 - the apostles prayed and laid hands on them

Acts 13:3 - they laid hands on them & sent them off

Acts 14:22 - they appointed presbyters in each church

1Tim 4:14 - gift received through laying on of hands of

presbyterate

2Tim 1:6 - gift of God you have through imposition of hands

Tit 1:5 - appoint presbyters in every town as I directed you


24 posted on 04/17/2012 10:08:59 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: BelegStrongbow

**The point is that the function of priest is to sacramentally celebrate the mysteries of the Church**

Hammer meets nail!


25 posted on 04/17/2012 10:12:38 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: EnglishCon; Salvation; Mrs. Don-o
The key point is not what "men" are like or what "women" are like. It's not even what any individual is like, given that we are all sinners, prone to fail in many ways.

The key point is that the "matter" of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is a man, just as the "matter" of the Holy Eucharist is bread and wine. Both points are connected to the nature of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the re-presentation of both the giving of Christ's Body and Blood at the Last Supper, and of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

In this sacrifice, Christ is both Priest and Victim: He offers Himself to God the Father for us. The ministerial priest is mystically conformed to Christ Himself, and mystically participates in the (original) Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Because the priest is in place of Christ ("alter Christus"), and Christ was a man ... a real man, human flesh and blood and members and hormones and everything else ... the nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice requires that the priest also be a man.

I think it is essential that we understand this theologically, because the Truth is True, independent of all other considerations. What "men" as a class or "women" as a class are like is irrelevant, particularly since almost all such generations are largely personal prejudice, rather than reality. The fact that the Apostles were all men is a useful guide, but it's not the key. The fact that "ordaining" women has been a first step toward catastrophe in many denominations is fascinating and instructive, but also not the main point.

26 posted on 04/17/2012 11:12:27 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Day 5 of the 17-Day Diet ... -5.4 lbs. from Day 0. (Please to excuse incoherent posts.)
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To: Tax-chick

Great answer, thanks.


27 posted on 04/17/2012 11:17:10 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thank you. We discussed it on the way to Weight Watchers this morning.


28 posted on 04/17/2012 11:44:30 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Day 5 of the 17-Day Diet ... -5.4 lbs. from Day 0. (Please to excuse incoherent posts.)
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To: EnglishCon
The really important, really significant, and really interesting people in the Church are not the priests, nor the popes, but the saints.


29 posted on 04/17/2012 12:38:02 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Holy Catholic Church: the more Catholic it is, the more Holy it is.")
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To: trapped_in_LA; Tax-chick
With all due respect, trapped, I think you haven't quite hit the mark. Men and women have equal dignity ("In the divine image created He him; male and female created He them") sharing equally in human nature, and it is human nature --- and not just the male or the female --- which suffered the awful catastrophe of sin and its species-spanning consequences.

Tax-chick at #26 has got it right (take a bow, TC: it was well-said.)

It's about the "matter" of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. A woman could "represent" Christ in many analogous ways: as healer or shephers(ess), speaker, wonderworker, prophetess, national hero(ine), royal descendant of Abraham and of David, and in many other ways; but a female cannot embody Christ as priest and as sacrifice on the altar, since these are embodied by "a" "particular" male, Jesus Christ.

Perhaps it makes things clearer if I point out that a woman can live in CXhrist fully, can even say with St. Paul, "I live: yet not 'I', but Christ lives in me" -- but cannot embody Christ because bodies are always either male or female, and Christ was a male. Was, and is a male in heaven, and in the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, even now.

30 posted on 04/17/2012 1:06:49 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Holy Catholic Church: the more Catholic it is, the more Holy it is.")
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To: Mrs. Don-o
... a female cannot embody Christ as priest and as sacrifice on the altar, since these are embodied by "a" "particular" male, Jesus Christ.

Oh, that's well-put! Have a Guinness!

31 posted on 04/17/2012 1:55:09 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Day 5 of the 17-Day Diet ... -5.4 lbs. from Day 0. (Please to excuse incoherent posts.)
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To: EnglishCon
Popes and theologians have presented many scriptural and theological explanations for the male priesthood.

I shan't waste time re-hashing them.

I maintain that, in addition to those explanations, I find that the most powerful practical argument against ordaining women is to be found in the manifest unfitness for ministry of those women who clamour most loudly to be ordained.

32 posted on 04/17/2012 2:01:59 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; Tax-chick; EnglishCon
And, back in the realm of theology and Scripture:

but a female cannot embody Christ as priest and as sacrifice on the altar, since these are embodied by "a" "particular" male, Jesus Christ.

Conversely, to suggest that a woman could "embody" the particular man Jesus Christ is to deny that Jesus Christ was actually incarnate as a man ... it is to deny the reality of the incarnation ... it is to resurrect the ancient Nestorian heresy.

33 posted on 04/17/2012 2:08:13 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
"Popes and theologians have presented many scriptural and theological explanations for the male priesthood."

Jesus choose 12 men as His Apostles. Popes, theologians and militant would-be priestesses may argue and speculate about why He choose only men, but none have argued that He choose only men.

34 posted on 04/17/2012 2:11:50 PM PDT by Natural Law (If you love the Catholic Church raise your hands, if not raise your standards.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
is to deny that Jesus Christ was actually incarnate as a man

Bingo! Go to the head of the class! I actually thought of that while I was running the mop machine, but I came back to find someone with cleaner floors had preceded me.

35 posted on 04/17/2012 2:34:06 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Day 5 of the 17-Day Diet ... -5.4 lbs. from Day 0. (Please to excuse incoherent posts.)
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To: Salvation
"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" ~John Paul II
I am so thankful that the Catholic Church has not bowed to the modern world on this issue. Follow the Bible, folks!
Catholic Ping!

Amen to that.
Jesus CHOSE to be a man as our Messiah. He CHOSE 12 men as His apostles. He could have done the opposite. He didn't and our Church respects His choice.

I never did think it was a big deal even way back in my quasi-feminist days. The women who get their grundies all bunched up are women who don't like themselves .... and Catholic priests have ALWAYS been a target of men-haters.

36 posted on 04/17/2012 2:45:30 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: ArrogantBustard; All

I still don’t get it, and have spent rather more of the day than I should have done researching the whys of it.

Still, thank you to all of you for trying to explain - this is something I am going to shove in the same part of my mind where I keep the Trinity, as something that simply is.


37 posted on 04/17/2012 5:38:04 PM PDT by EnglishCon (Gingrich/Santorum 2012.)
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To: EnglishCon

“Understanding, teaching and discussing God’s will does not, to me, seem to require testicles.”

Testicles are not the only difference between men and women. We are vastly different in so many ways that one despairs of listing them.

It’s funny: so many people accept that women understand things that men can’t, but utterly reject the notion that there are things men understand that women can’t.

One of those things is a man’s dignity.

A male priest, through study and empathy, can be an entirely satisfactory spiritual guide for women, mutatis mutandis. Women cannot be satisfactory spiritual guides for men. Oh, perhaps they are acceptable to liberal weenie Episcopal eunuchs, but I am talking about men here.

I could go on and on for volumes without repeating myself, but I’m just too bleedin’ tired.

You mentioned accepting the ineligibility of women for the priesthood because the Holy Father said so, but let’s not forget that he didn’t just invent the principle—it’s found in the scriptures.


38 posted on 04/17/2012 10:54:49 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: All
Essays for Lent/Easter: Women's Ordination
Essays for Lent/Easter: Abortion
Essays for Lent/Easter: Annulment

Essays for Lent/Easter: Divorce and Remarriage
Essays for Lent: Marriage
Essays for Lent: Natural Family Planning
Essays for Lent: Contraception
Essays for Lent: Abstinence
Essays for Lent: The Rapture
Essays for Lent: Call No Man Father
Essays for Lent: Scapulars Medals and Relics
Essays for Lent: Statues and Holy Pictures
Essays for Lent: The Rosary

Essays for Lent: The Assumption
Essays for Lent: The Immaculate Conception
Essays for Lent: Mary Ever-Virgin
Essays for Lent: Praying to Saints
Essays for Lent: Indulgences
Essays for Lent: Purgatory
Essays for Lent: Confession
Essays for Lent: The Eucharist
Essays for Lent: The Mass
Essays for Lent: Baptism

Essays for Lent: Justification
Essays for Lent: Tradition
Essays for Lent: Scripture Alone
Essays for Lent: The Canon of Scripture
Essays for Lent: Papal Infallibility
Essays for Lent: The Pope
Essays for Lent: The Church
Essays for Lent: The Bible
Essays for Lent: The Trinity
Essays for Lent: Creationism or Evolution?

39 posted on 04/18/2012 7:49:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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