1. Religion & Spirituality
A reader writes:
Pope John Paul has talked about the dignity of women, but what could be more disrespectful of women than total exclusion from jobs they could do very well—i.e., priesthood and participation in meetings where the problems of the human race are discussed? The only reason twelve women were able to attend a later conference at Vatican II is because one of the cardinals said, “Where is the other half of humanity?” Total exclusion from jobs women could do very well is discriminatory, and makes a negative statement about women--either that they are incapable or unworthy of the job. This is very hard to understand!
The topic of women's ordination is back in the news, with a report on Thursday, May 29, that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ruled that women who seek ordination and bishops who attempt to ordain women are automatically excommunicated, without any further action on the part of the Vatican being necessary. Still, people continue to raise the question: Why can't a woman be a priest?

Despite what the reader suggests, the reason has nothing to do with disrespect or discrimination. Men and women have different but complementary roles in life, but that does not mean that women are somehow less important than men.

By stating that women are being excluded from "jobs they could do very well," however, the reader is begging the question. First, we need to understand the nature of the priesthood. If it is merely a function that someone performs, then it might well be true that women could perform it (though there might still be legitimate reasons of tradition for continuing the all-male priesthood).

If, on the other hand, the priesthood is more than a function, then the restriction of the priesthood to males might make sense.

In fact, the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches believe, as a matter of doctrine, that the priesthood is more than a function. The Sacrament of Holy Orders--ordination--confers an indelible (permanent) spiritual character on the man who receives it. From that point on, he acts in persona Christi--in the person of Christ. Since Christ is a man, only men can take on such a character.

This is confirmed by the fact that Christ chose only men as His Apostles (the first priests and bishops), and those Apostles chose only men as their successors. Those who favor women's ordination often try to claim that this was merely a reflection of the attitudes of the time. This assumes that Christ was either disrespectful of women Himself, or somehow unable to overcome the social norms of the time in which He lived. Either claim approaches blasphemy against the Son of God.

You can find out more about this question, and the reasons for the all-male priesthood, in Why Can't Women Be Priests?

If you have a question that you would like to have featured in our Friday "Reader Questions" series, send me an e-mail at catholicism.guide@about.com. Be sure to put "QUESTION" in the subject line, and please note whether you'd like me to address it privately or on the Catholicism blog.

Comments
June 3, 2008 at 12:14 pm
(1) Marjorie Alfs says:

Although male priests act in persona Christi Capitis they are indeed merely human, ordained by merely humans. They are in no way different than the rest of us. As we know many have the “Spiritual character” that makes them priest but many DO NOT have this, despite their ordination

June 3, 2008 at 12:58 pm
(2) PM says:

re: Reader Question: Why Can’t a Woman Be a Priest? and Professor Higgins
It was disappointing and disheartening, let alone downright annoying, to read the response to the above question. The unquestioning acceptance of “expert” opinion in offering simplistic responses to concerned readers is beginning to wear thin. It brings to mind the legendary Professor Higgins from Shaw’s play Pymalion, morphed into a feature film musical in which he ponders “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” The theological answers to both questions are mind-boggling! Let’s move on….
–Patricia

June 3, 2008 at 1:10 pm
(3) Scott P. Richert says:

Although male priests act in persona Christi Capitis they are indeed merely human, ordained by merely humans.

But one cannot be “merely human.” Sex is an indissoluble part of our identity as individual humans. Both men and women are human; but to say that a woman and a man are exactly the same is to deny the realities not only of nature, but of biblical revelation: “male and female created He them.”

June 3, 2008 at 1:14 pm
(4) Scott P. Richert says:

Patricia, what part of the response are you disputing? That there is a difference between men and women? Or that Catholic theology regards the priesthood as something more than function? Or, finally, that Catholic theology should be the basis on which the Catholic Church makes such decisions?

June 3, 2008 at 1:34 pm
(5) Char says:

This is so frustrating! If men and women would take their roles that God blessed them with, instead of wanting power or praise from each other instead of Our Lord, this world would be a whole lot better!
If you want to lead a congregation, change your religion.

If you are a female in the Catholic Church why don’t you become a Director of Religious Education, why aren’t you leading a bible study, why don’t you become a nun if you want to be a leader of Christ?! Just think of the good you can do if you take on your role!

The only reason I see that you do not want to do one of these is because your told you can’t.
I never see men trying to be a girl scout leader or a nun. Do some reflection on that.

Do people come to your home to change your traditions? I’m thinking not.

Do not walk into Ours Lord’s Home and change His.
Have you ever tried living your life the way we’re taught. Please do that. Live it honestly and with love and compassion and I think your mind and heart will change to see what is right.

March 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm
(6) Andrea says:

The reason men do not try to become Nuns is because it is a thankless job. Nuns do a lot of work and yet still have to take orders from priests. Men don’t need to be girl scout leaders because they can be boy scout leaders. The job of a nun is not the same as a priest so don’t act like they are. Why do you assume a man who wants to be a priest does so because of a good and holy reason and a woman who wants to be a priest is trying to gain power or praise? No, a woman wants to be a priest because she loves God just as much as that man, because she knows she can devote herself just as fully, if not more so, and because she should have the right to serve fully. How about this- why don’t you try imagining yourself with talents, faith, and a desire to fully share the message of Christ and being told no you are not capable of it because you have the wrong sex organs. Jesus was brought into the world through a woman, his resurrection was first witnessed by women- so there is no doubt that Jesus wanted women to be there first- telling the Good News not in the home, not only to other women but to all.

May 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm
(7) 3redshoes says:

Are you serious? Since when isn’t survival about power?

June 3, 2008 at 4:58 pm
(8) John Willson says:

There are several points of fundamental difference between the Church and the Protestants, and one of them is Luther’s conviction that the priesthood is functional and not sacramental. This notion is so unscriptural and ahistorical as to discredit the whole Protestant enterprise. Please, get over the gender thing–or would you like to return to pre-Marian relations between the sexes?

June 3, 2008 at 7:25 pm
(9) avi says:

“If you are a female in the Catholic Church why donít you become a Director of Religious Education, why arenít you leading a bible study, why donít you become a nun if you want to be a leader of Christ?! Just think of the good you can do if you take on your role!

The only reason I see that you do not want to do one of these is because your told you canít.
I never see men trying to be a girl scout leader or a nun. Do some reflection on that.”

Did it ever occur to you that men dont do these things because they’re not as valued as being a priest…but women do them everyday because they’re activites for women.

“Both men and women are human; but to say that a woman and a man are exactly the same is to deny the realities not only of nature, but of biblical revelation”

and to the above statement…give me a break!!! Biblical differences..try socialisation!!!

June 3, 2008 at 7:49 pm
(10) Scott P. Richert says:

give me a break!!! Biblical differences..try socialisation!!!

Are you suggesting that, when it says in the Creation account in Genesis, “male and female created He them,” that’s “socialisation”?

June 3, 2008 at 9:27 pm
(11) Char says:

Avi ~ That’s where women need to get over themselves. Men don’t see the “value” in those jobs? What ever job/role any man or women is blessed with, they should embrace and give glory to God. Its for selfish reasons that these battles sometimes go to war. Its usally because a woman can’t have what she wants. If you are saying a man does not see value in those roles, you must feel the same way. I believe they don’t want the role because they feel teaching young girls in this way should be left up to women who have the gifts to relate to them, because one day they will grow up to be women themselves and how can a man teach what that is all about. As a mother being part of that is a special gift that I wouldn’t want my husband to be able to do. Thats a bond that a mother and daughter can share.

Embrace your role and use the gifts God gave you and use them in another way to support your church, your family, your community. I promise when men and women start to take on their very gifted roles that the Lord has given us, this world will be so glorious!

May 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm
(12) 3redshoes says:

Rebuttal to comment by Char to Avi – Get over themselves? Women need to get over themselves? Holy macaronni! Look who is a little obidient puppy doing everything a man wants and spread the filth to other women and belittling them. Shame on you. That is very Christian! For sure, while my comments are not, at least they are honest. You can’t seriously believe what you are saying. Come on. You would be a tough one to defend given your lack of empathy towards the plight of women. Thank you for absolutely solidifying my contempt for catholics and contempt for women opressing women. Unbelievable.

August 3, 2008 at 4:39 am
(13) Tom Valerius says:

“Men need only apply” is without bais. The historical basis, relying on the scriptures, that women have no room in the priesthood lacks serious appreciation. How many of the initial crowd were not initially jewish? Where are Father or Bishop Swartz or Lipshitz or even Pope Aronvitz? The exclusions are part of closed minded ailments similiar to primageniture, men bosses, men only in seats of authority – It’s political and really dumb and blind to the actual needs facing the Church. Could it be that the dimishing number of ” men only”, is the only way that the Holy Ghost is saying – HEY- Wake up! God bless us with grater wisdom and love.

September 24, 2008 at 11:43 am
(14) Andy says:

What a crock. As if picking only men has worked out well for the Catholic church. Look at the proliferation of pedophiles they protected. The Catholic church is misogynistic. The explanation given here is a sad & weak one. Jesus only picked Jews to be be Apostles, so I guess all the non Jewish Priests, almost even one world wide, are illegitimate. At some point perhaps the Catholic church will join the rest of us in the 20th century.

January 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm
(15) Steve says:

Greetings. I have no clue if anyone reads these comments. However, I find the logic and reasoning in the above article fatally flawed. I will view the question from outside a theological context and observe the role in women in other religions. I will exclude Catholicism from the discussion for now.

Without going into a lot of detail I think I can make the assertion that the role of women in priests is directly proportional to the integration of that religion in society and the development of that religions dogma. The stronger the intergration and the more defined the dogma, the less likely that women will have a role of authority.

I’m not an expert on religion, but I present as case studies as disverse as the Aztecs, Egyptions, Baal Cults and any number of near east pagan religions from the Eurprates cradle. Likewise Hinduism, Islam,Buddism, and Judasim also exclude women from religious positions of authority. All of the above are examples of religions that are/were strongly integrated into society. What is interesting is there are cases in Islam and Buddism where dogma was less well defined and women were involved in roles of authority. But as dogma occified, the male priesthood became absolute.

Now lets compare to the Greek/Roman pantheon. In this case there is significantly less integration and the dogma is very loose. The ties to temporal power are more tenous. Yet now women have a role. If my assertion is incorrect, I am sure examples of strong religious integration and well defined, with women in authoritative religious positions in society will be cited.

Now the question is how come men had a monopoly on the priesthood? An old spy used to say if you wanted to know why, follow the money. In this case I say follow the power. I think its reasonable to say that in most of the examples above men were priests because priests were positions of power be it political/temporal/spiritual/fame. If you were not a king or warrior, you could be a priest. The old triad of King/Nobility/Priests easily applys to all the nonChristian societies that I listed above.

Lets go back to the arguments made by the author. I’m not an expert on theology. However using Akum’s razor, why should I exclude persuit of power as a reason why women are excluded from the priesthood despite the fact that Catholic doctrine makes the exact same conclusion as every other religion? Maybe the author feels confortable in his dogma. However, I assert an alien viewing us for the first time would be far more skeptical. Why should the skeptical alien not conclude that Catholicism is no different from any other religion in terms of the role of women in the priesthood?

Yet I am supposed to accept a convoluted, circular doctrine and throw out the simple explaination. It is blasphemy to presume that Jesus excluded women if it really was ok, yet not a single gentile was originaly a follower either. Yet that is not blasphemy. Yet this is explained that the new order had to be presented to Judaism first. Somehow gentiles were just not ready. They had to wait 50 years. Why could I not say that maybe men had to priests first and then it was ok later for women to be priests? String theorists and theologians have done more with even more spurious assertions.

In summary I do not attack the Catholic Church’s position on whether women can be priests, only the current argument. What is ironic is that there is a very compelling argument why women should not be priests. However, I have never seen anyone ever present it. They are too stuck in their conformist hole to think outside of the box. Just my 2 cents.

October 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm
(16) Leah Grover says:

What is the compelling argument you have for women not to be priests?

October 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm
(17) Scott P. Richert says:

Leah, did you read the post above and the article linked in the final paragraph of the answer?

October 19, 2009 at 11:42 am
(18) meg says:

yeah, leah’s talking about the compelling argument that steve mentions above – the one that apparently no one else has mentioned yet.

October 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm
(19) Leah Grover says:

Yes, I was referring to the last paragraph of Steve’s (12) post. Are you out there, Steve?

Leah

November 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm
(20) Peter Armitage says:

I have been debating this point with a devout catholic colleague and thought I’d try and understand what I thought were his very weak arguments for male-only catholic priests. This blog has made me realise my colleague’s arguments are as weak as I perceived. God (and remember Jesus was supposedly God) told us not to eat prawns

November 22, 2009 at 7:21 pm
(21) Ruth says:

@ Steve – sorry im a little confused, were you trying to imply that women were excluded from leading ancient Egyptian worship?!
Having prepared my MA thesis on the cult of the Gods Wives at Thebes in the 21st-26th Dynasties… I can whole heartedly assure you…some women not only practiced the highest holy orders but were, as in the case of Ankhnesneferibre given the title of high priest.

Furthermore, regarding the ordination of women. It is well recorded that Jesus preached equality of the sexes and kept women in his inner circle. The bible and gospels in particular were writen post event and subject to some extreme editing in the years prior to the consolidation of the biblical cannon. Politically preaching womens equality at the time would have been suicide for the early church. Please don’t write about ‘assigned gender roles from god’, it was a council of Roman bishops which chose the fate of women based on socities norms at the time. By supporting it in the 21st century, the Catholic church confirms it has not moved on and condones this position

June 29, 2010 at 4:15 am
(22) bobby says:

Lesbians should be priests

May 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm
(23) 3redshoes says:

BINGO!!
Turn everything upside down, upset the crypt keepers. I am not spending one more red penny on a FINANCIAL INSTITUTION (you bet, bottom is dollars) only to have yet again, another man have power over me.
At least a lesbian would presumably be non judgemental as the proposed cathlic ideology proposes it is. What a total lie. I almost (almost) trust Jehovas (yes, purposeful capitalization of anything but cathoic) and Mormons, those rotten scums that bug you on a Saturday morning, or even more precious, bug you on a Sunday all dressed up looking pious. Money driven is the only motive behind ANY religious organization. And catholics are the best at hoarding the money and sucking the weakest of their folowers into believing that she (you bet she gives more financially, never mind emotionally – just look at what she gives up in the name of “christ”) is doing the “lord’s” work. This article simply pisses me off. And the catholics will say ‘oh, what a lost soul”, and I DON’T CARE!

July 18, 2010 at 7:27 am
(24) Uncle Ben says:

If you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God then
the answer to all is clear. Scripture says that “women shall not be over men” in the church.
Those who do not believe, can “interpret” the Bible any way
they choose.

July 18, 2010 at 9:56 am
(25) Brian says:

Historical evidence suggests that Ruth’s comments about extreme editing and norms in a male dominated society are the definitive explanation of a tradition male dominated priesthood in the Catholic church. Christ’s inner circle did include women, many of them named Mary, but also Martha and other non-named persons. Mary Magdela may have indeed been a “priest” in the early church. A message to all Catholics: What if she was…?

September 15, 2011 at 8:23 am
(26) Sonia says:

Thank you! The only person who mentioned the one woman that everyone in the Catholic church conveniently ignores! Even if she did not ‘preach’ in the traditional sense, Mary Magdelan was still chosen as an important icon by God: she is an example of how a woman, even if she is a sinner, can still be loved and respected by God. After his Crucifixion Jesus showed himself to her and to his mother first – he valued these women as much, if not more than his disciples. Evidently they were involved in spreading his word. The kind of CRAP that the Catholic church insists is religious doctrine makes me embarrassed to have been born a Catholic :(

July 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm
(27) Nick says:

Read 1 Corinthians ch.11 but verse 10 says a woman shouldn’t have power on her head because of the angels.ch 14 v.34 woman keep silent in the churches.1 Timothy ch.2 v.10 thru 15. Everything at a Catholic Mass comes from scriptutes from the Bible.The Homily is an old and new testiment reading along with partaking in the sacrament. The Bible has always been used as our lessons on how we should serve the Father,Son,and Holy Spirit and I left the catholic church because of these people trying to change what has always been for over 5000 years.A women should be honored for who God made her to be and don’t use politics as a reason for change,if you want to teach,teach the other women to be obedient to God and what God created you for just like a man should do and be.That doesn’t mean a man should abuse his wife.It’s like a flower wanting to be a different color or shape because it’s ashamed of how God made it,because that’s the bottom line.There’s not enough priest because the catholic church changed things that are scipture and traditions in Vatican 2 and still make changes because of politics.You gain some but you loose others in the process.God Bless All Our Women, I don’t know how I could manage without my wife and have mercy on us all. Peace Be With You All!

September 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm
(28) Dave says:

Did Christ ever state specfically that women could not be priests? I don’t think so. Members of the early Church inferred from Christ’s choosing 12 males as his apostles.

Is it mentioned anywhere in the Gospels that women cannot be priests? I don’t think so.

Is there any logical reason why women can’t be priests? I don’t think so.

The author seems to refer to a statement in the Catholic Catechism as the final authority. Was this written by a Pope speaking from an ex cathedra point of view? I don’t think so.

Let’s bring up another point. Was it ever stated by Christ that a priest could not marry? I don’t think so. Yet, the Church has alllowed some married Protestant ministers to become Catholic priests anmd remained married.

Let’s bring up some more points:
- Why is it that the election of a new Pope is determined by a group of cronies known as the College of Cardinals?
- Why is the election of a new Pope not a more democratic process?
- Why is a newly elected Pope always or almost always a white male senior citizen?
- Why is the Catholic hierarchy a secretive, fraternal, arcane organization more concerned about its image than it is about spending time to understand what the members of the Catholic Church think.
- I suggest that the Catholic Church have periodic, unbiased opinion polls of practicing Catholics and address their concerns in a positive and understanding manner?

I am a white male Catholic who is almost a senior citizen. I am skeptical of some of the teachings of the Catholic Church. I interpret Christ’s teachings to be reflected more in terms of acting like Christ (Asking oneself throughout each day what would Christ do. Of course, I am not perfect.) than in adhering to interpretations by psuedo mavens of Catholicism.

October 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm
(29) Kate says:

Exactly. Nowhere in the Bible does Christ state that priests must be unmarried men. The practice was started in a time and culture where women could not lead – not because they hadn’t the ability but because society then would not have followed them. Times have changed.

December 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm
(30) Helen says:

Quite frankly, reading this sickens me. It is discrimination whichever way you try to twist or hide that fact. Priesthood is by far more valued than other roles within the church which women are usually assigned to. Personally I don’t think discrimination of any kind is right, and so something that actually advocates and encourages discrimination is indeed sickening to me. As an 18 year old girl that has grown up in a generation that champions and strives for equality, I find it hard to accept the churches stance on this argument. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, we should treat others how we ourselves would like to be treated. There should be no hierachy, men should not have authority over women in the church purely on the simple basis that they are men, and believe themselves more deserving. It’s shocking. If someone wants to be a priest and spread the word of god, if someone has complete and utter love of God, then how dare they be told that they cannot. A persons heart and soul and pure love and belief of their religion should determine weather someone has the right to preach about that that religion, it should not be determined on the basis of thier sex, i.e whatever is concealed under their clothes if we’re being brutally honest here. Sorry, but it had to be said, as this is the paramount differentiation between men and women.
And yes it IS breaking traditions, as you sir continually mention in your answer, but thats not a bad thing. In this case it is an exceptionally good thing. Embrace women fully into the church and I shall feel happy and indeed proud to embrace the religion as I once did when I was a child. Until then, I cannot bring myself to accept the church. I can although accept God, I can interpret Gods message of equality and love for all as my viewpoint on this whole debate, rather than a few handpicked words in the bible. To me, the bible as a whole is a beacon for all things right and good in this world. Equality is good. Therefore the answer to this argument shines out to me clearer than ever before. Women have a right to preach, just as much as a men do.

April 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm
(31) Danny poppies says:

All my Protestant friends have been asking me this question and I didn’t really know the answer. thanks so much for clearing that up for me! Now I know how to respond when they ask about that!

May 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm
(32) Madeline says:

I honestly can’t understand the reasoning behind the Catholic Church. Why on God’s green earth can’t a woman be a priest? There is absolutely NO indication that it is prohibited. The Church is just using extremely outdated and age-old tradition as an excuse to leave this subject untouched. There is no good reason why a woman can’t consecrate the bread and wine. Women have as much heart, soul, and spirituality as men, and quite frankly the Church is showing major immaturity and ignorance by excluding females from the priesthood. In my opinion, women as a whole could do a MUCH better job than men in this field, as they have more capacity to love, show emotion, give, and meditate. Personally, I’d like to see a change. It would do me and the world some good to see some women on that altar, and I think we’d all benefit from hearing a woman giver her own homily and perspective on the Gospels. I know I’d get a breath of fresh air.

May 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm
(33) Bri :) says:

So women cant become a priest just because christ was a man and so now only men can take over that character?? Wow! Thats really wrong….because what.if women want to become a spiritual person…..??

May 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm
(34) 3redshoes says:

The preposed arguement makes no logical sense but to any one other than a male. No matter how the writer of the article wants to portray the exclusion of women as “different functions”, essentially it leaves (yet again) the female under represented while females are over represented as victims of many crimes. The written arguement is ridiculous and the ideology simply autocratic. Next time a man needs medical attention, I guess he sucumbs to many females (good lord, heaven forbid should a female actually be able to be a doctor but not a priest) for yet again, his own needs. Catholic ideology only serves to keep women repressed. Kudos to the church for being so bent on keeping tradition. Happy crypt keeping!

September 15, 2011 at 8:30 am
(35) Sonia says:

Wow this article makes me embarrassed to have been born a Catholic! Christ may have ‘chosen’ twelve apostles but he also chose his mother and Mary Magdelan (incidentally a victim of male chauvanists). Women were clearly involved in spreading his mission,a mission that includes everyone no matter how weak the human world considers them. What about an hermaphrodite for God’s sake? What would the church have to say about his/her ‘gender’ roles? Gender is for sex, it makes babies. It does not define a person’s spiritual role. I am an agnostic these days although I am passionately searching for faith. This article is completely irrational and insulting to anyone of even a little intelligence – it does nothing to restore my faith in organised religion.

September 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm
(36) lambofgod says:

This is the reason why women should be quiet in church and not be taught to think. Because when you give them the slightest bit of say, they start questioning things willy nilly and before you know it, they are renouncing the faith and becoming nudist wiccans who worship Satan for kicks.

Back in the old days, women weren’t allowed to think and therefore we didn’t have to answer these silly questions about why female priests are against God’s word. All letting women out of their rightful domestic role has done is given more work for good priests and theoligians to do in answering ridiculous questions.

Women, know thy place. That is all I have to say.

October 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm
(37) Kate says:

Riiiiiiiiigt. In exactly which century were you born?

February 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm
(38) Christopher says:

In the Catholic Church being ordained to the priesthood is first and foremost a gift which God gives us, hence, a vocation or a calling. Did Jesus ever call women to be his Apostles? No but he called women to discipleship. Next, Jesus sat at the last supper with his Apostles calling them to “take and receive” his body and blood. Here Christ is calling them to stand in persona Christ, in the person of Christ. The Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Orders are intimately linked together. When you mess with Holy Orders you are messing with the Eucharist which is the source and summit of our faith.

February 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm
(39) Christopher says:

The Church teaches that in Christ’s death he symolically weds the Church. In the New Testament, Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her Bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24). At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2).
Therefore, it is quite fitting that men are ordained to the priesthood because men, as the bridegroom, wed the Church. If women were accepted in ordaination then how can they be the bridegroom? And if they are accepted into the Church the symbolism and tradition between Holy Orders and Christ would become distorted. The sound of a woman, as the bridegroom to the Church would mean a woman weds a woman right? No offense but if I was the Church I would not accept HAHA
But in all seriousness this is the way Christ visioned the Church and that is why it has not changed. The Church doesnt change just to please what people consider as rights (even though a vocation is a gift not a right AHEM). Furthermore, how would you call her…father…um or should I say mother…ugh IDK!

May 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm
(40) Carol Foster says:

At some point in your life, you have to make a decision about what you want to support. Recognize that the structure of the Catholic Church is simply a power structure like any other. In this case it immediately gives all the positions of the most power to only men. If you want to stop being a part of this, just walk away. Leave the Catholic Church and be happy that you finally had the integrity to leave. Smile.

June 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm
(41) jasper says:

Madeline says that women could do a better job than men because they have a greater capacity to show emotion. Surely this is an argument against women priests?

October 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm
(42) Vicky says:

I ask this in all seriousness and not to stir anyone up. What about someone born as an hermaphrodite? Are they appropriate for priesthood?

I am curious, also, as to whether or not the Lord chose men simply because it was expedient, given the times and the status of women at that time. Likewise, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene would indicate that she was on a level equal to the male apostles, if not even closer to Jesus. It is also my understanding that in the first Millenium, women did indeed function as priests and deacons. Why aren’t women allowed as Deacons?

February 14, 2013 at 11:51 am
(43) Alex says:

Dear avi. Yes no men ever want to be a girl scout or nun because they think its under them. They already have everything they want. The men don’t need want to drop to a nun or any female title because they think that they are superior. Tell me. Is the priest higher then a nun? You better believe so. I think that women should be offered the right to become a priest. If every one is to be treated equal then why are women on the short end of the stick??

March 31, 2013 at 10:38 pm
(44) Mark says:

Has any one here ever heard of the word obedience. It’s mentioned all over in the Bible. There are special graces given to us by God when we are obedient to him. In this day and age, obedience is a rare thing indeed. Jesus was obedient to the very last of his human life to his Father in heaven. The authority of the Church flows directly down through the ages from Christ Jesus through his apostles to his bishops of the Church of today. Matthew 18:18 states “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 1 Timothy 3:15: ďbut if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.Ē Like it or not, we are bound by God’s word given us through his Church.

May 25, 2013 at 12:44 am
(45) jenny says:

Hi,

1. Any idea why, among the Doctors of the Church there are 30 men and ONLY 3 women ?

2. Why there are more men saints in the calendar than women saints ?
3. Why the Canon Law was change din 1984 to specifically permit women to read in the church, while the Bible , 1 Corinthians 14 forbids women to task questions/ talk in the church?

5. Why we do not call Saint Joseph as “Virgin Joseph”; wasn’t he a virgin before and after marring Mary?

6. Why all angels are men?

March 6, 2014 at 9:51 am
(46) Joan64 says:

I am so glad that I left the C Church in 1970. Every time I see the college of cronies in their pretty long red dresses and chic little skull caps I laugh out loud and realise what an escape I’ve had. As a female I could have had a physical role in the church-could have cleaned it- done the flowers etc. Won’t be going back to this amoral (and possibly atheistic-realistically) cult any time soon. If I do suddenly decide to embrace religion again it will be Church of England/Ireland where I will be respected and accepted as an almost equal being.

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