Skip to comments.The Male Priesthood: The Argument From Sacred Tradition
Posted on 05/04/2008 3:13:34 PM PDT by NYer
In May of 1994 John Paul II promulgated Ordinatio Sacerdotalis which declared definitely that the Catholic priesthood is reserved for males. That document nonetheless contained some language that was difficult to interpret. As a result, Cardinal Ratzinger made an official clarification (Responsum ad Dubium) in November of 1995, making it quite clear that the Church has taught infallibly on this matter.
Hence, the question of the priesthood in its relation to sexuality - a question usually posed more simply as "Why can there not be women priests?" - has now been answered in a definitive way. There is no longer any doubt that reserving Holy Orders to males is part of the deposit of faith. While Catholics are not to question the teaching of the Magisterium on this matter, the time is ripe for all interested to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Church's teaching.
The documents themselves are not meant to provide such theological information for us. Although they contain and allude to theological arguments, they are not primarily meant as theological documents. The situation is similar to the role of Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical on the regulation of birth. As Janet Smith has aptly noted, that encyclical was not meant to provide a full philosophical and theological rationale for the Church's position. Rather, it alluded to some of the central arguments, presuming that philosophers and theologians would flush them out.1 Similarly, Inter Insigniores (issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope Paul VI in 1976), the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and the Responsum ad Dubium exist not primarily as theological explanations, but as teaching documents making clear the Church's position, containing an implicit invitation to theologians to flush out the arguments. In this article I propose to present the argument from Sacred Tradition in favor of the male priesthood.
In considering that argument, we want to examine what Tradition says, the factual or empirical side of the question. This Tradition contains three aspects, as aptly summarized in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis no. 1 when it quotes a 1975 letter of Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury: "the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing His Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority [Magisterium] which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church." Let us consider each of the three points.
The Action of Jesus
As John Paul II makes clear in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, it is especially remarkable that Mary was not chosen:
... 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.
The pope goes on to mention the important and dignified roles that women have played throughout the history of the Church (also noted in Inter Insigniores, no. 6), and then makes the following important point:
Moreover, it is to the holiness of the faithful that the hierarchical structure of the Church is totally ordered. For this reason, the Declaration Inter Insigniores recalls: "the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12 and 13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the Saints (no. 3).
Such a perspective helps immensely in dealing with a delicate matter: the fact that a variety of women today feel called to the priesthood. They may well be confusing a desire for the priesthood within them with a more authentic and a higher calling, the call to holiness. Inter Insigniores no. 35 notes that "there is a universal vocation of all the baptized to the exercise of the royal priesthood by offering their lives to God and by giving witness for his praise."
Many argue that Jesus' choice of men only was conditioned by the historical context: people of the time simply could not accept women as leaders. But this argument is unsound. Jesus was very quick to re-figure or even dispense with Jewish customs (as opposed to essential truths of Judaism, such as monotheism, or the moral law as found in the Ten Commandments). Why not dispense with the Jewish custom of a male priesthood? Inter Insigniores no. 11 and 12, from which we paraphrase, gives some examples of Jesus' behavior:2
1) He showed His concern for a Samaritan woman (Jn 4:27) - Samaritans were shunned by much of Judaism of the time.
2) When the woman suffering from hemorrhages approached Him (Mt 9: 20-22) He took no notice of her state of legal impurity.
3) He allowed a sinful woman to approach Him in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Lk 7:37ff).
4) He pardoned the woman caught in adultery, showing that one must not be more severe towards the fault of a woman than towards that of a man (Jn 8:11).
5) He challenged the chauvinism in Jewish law that allowed men to divorce their wives. "He does not hesitate to depart from the Mosaic Law in order to affirm the equality of the rights of men and women with regard to the marriage bond (cf. Mk 10:2-11; Mt 19:3-9)."
6) In His ministry Jesus was accompanied not only by the Twelve but also by a group of women: "Mary, surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources" (Lk 8:2-3).
7) The Gospels present women as the first witnesses and believers after the Resurrection.
Given these facts, it would seem quite natural, then, to have women apostles, and hence women priests. The fact that Christ retained the Jewish practice in this area suggests that there is more behind it than a mere custom. As John Paul II notes in his letter Mulieris Dignitatem:
In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time. Consequently, the assumption that he called men to be apostles in order to conform with the widespread mentality of his times, does not at all correspond to Christ's way of acting (no. 26).
We must also consider the consequences of claiming that Jesus did not intend, in calling twelve men to be apostles, the priesthood to be reserved for males. Consider this line of argument:
a) If in fact there is no doctrinal barrier to women becoming priests, then 60 generations of women have been wronged. Whether or not they wanted to become priests is not at issue. They should have been allowed the priesthood.
b) Now if this is the case, the cause for 60 generations of injustice is that Jesus appointed only male disciples. (Some might say the leaders of the early Church were the cause but clearly they were motivated by Jesus' action, which then remains the first cause.)3
c) Hence, Jesus made a mistake on a very crucial matter. If so, His divinity is seriously called into question.
d) The other possibility is that Jesus did God the Father's will, but that God the Father Himself did not foresee that such an action would result in so much discrimination. Of course, then God is not omniscient, and hence not God.
e) In a word, the argument for female priests denies either the Incarnation, or the omniscience of God.4
In sum, Jesus' own action is at the heart of the argument from Tradition.
A Constant Tradition
"Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination." The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ's return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible (no. 1577).
Although Jewish society may not have welcomed a female priesthood, the Gentiles to whom Paul and others preached would certainly have been open to it. The Greek mystery cults, for instance, included priestesses. Hence, if the male priesthood was only a custom, conditioned by the historical setting of Jesus, then it seems likely that the early Church would have abandoned this custom among Gentile Christians (especially since the Council of Jerusalem made the momentous decision that Jewish customs need not be embraced by Gentiles converting to Christianity). That she did not again suggests that there is more behind the male priesthood than mere custom. Inter Insigniores is well worth quoting at length on this point:
When [the apostles] and Paul went beyond the confines of the Jewish world, the preaching of the Gospel and the Christian life in the Greco-Roman civilization impelled them to break with Mosaic practices, sometimes regretfully. They could therefore have envisaged conferring ordination on women, if they had not been convinced of their duty of fidelity to the Lord on this point. In the Hellenistic world, the cult of a number of pagan divinities was entrusted to priestesses.
The apostles certainly had available good candidates for priestesses if they had so chosen:
In fact we know from the book of the Acts and from the letters of Saint Paul that certain women worked with the Apostle for the Gospel (cf. Rom 16:3-12; Phil 4:3). ... All these facts manifest within the Apostolic Church a considerable evolution vis-a-vis the customs of Judaism. Nevertheless at no time was there a question of conferring ordination on these women.
Interestingly, Paul himself uses different formulas, as noted in Inter Insigniores no. 17, when referring first to men and women who help him in his apostolate ("my fellow workers," Rom 16:3, Phil 4:2-3) and second to those set apart for the apostolic ministry and preaching of the Word such as Apollos and Timothy ("God's fellow workers," 1 Cor 3:9, 1 Thess 3:2).
It is true that there were some heretical sects in early Christianity that had priestesses (see Inter Insigniores, no. 6). These were Gnostic sects, and one hallmark of Gnosticism is a refusal to see any inherent goodness in the created order. Maleness and femaleness are closely bound to our creatureliness, and Gnostics were unable to see any meaning infused into such realities. It is understandable, then, that their ministry would be androgynous.
A common complaint about the early Church is that a certain misogynism is found in the writings of some of the Church Fathers, but as Inter Insigniores no. 6 notes it is not clear that such prejudice had any influence on their pastoral activity. It is always important to distinguish the doctrine taught by personnel of the Church from their own opinions on various matters. Christ's gift of infallibility means that the Magisterium will not err on matters of faith and morals, not that representatives of the Church will be perfect in all respects.
Also of import is that fact that the Eastern Catholic Churches have taught unanimously the same points as the Roman Catholic Church. As Inter Insigniores no. 9 notes, "Their unanimity on this point is all the more remarkable since in many other questions their discipline admits of a great diversity." For instance, priestly celibacy is a disciplinary, not doctrinal matter, in Catholicism. East and West practice differently on this matter. That the East shares the doctrine of male priesthood with us is a signal that the teaching is not in the realm of custom or discipline.
In sum, the Tradition has been so firm throughout the centuries that, as Inter Insigniores no. 8 notes, "the Magisterium has not felt the need to intervene in order to formulate a principle which was not attacked, or to defend a law that was not challenged. ... each time that this tradition had the occasion to manifest itself, it witnessed to the Church's desire to conform to the model left to her by the Lord." But of course such principles and laws have been challenged in the past thirty years. Hence, the recent Magisterium has had to respond, and it has done so carefully, patiently and firmly. And so, we now turn to the third aspect of the argument from Tradition. (Keep in mind that the arguments presented here simply establish the data about what Tradition has authoritatively taught.)
The Dogmatic Status of the Male Priesthood
The authority of Christ is found in the apostolic succession throughout the Christian centuries. Such an understanding is rooted in a sacramental view of reality that sees the human realm as capable of bearing absolute truth. The apostolic succession consists of human beings specially guided by the Holy Spirit. When we turn to the Magisterium, we are turning to the apostolic succession living in our own time. (For a fuller treatment of the concept of Tradition, see "Tradition: the Presence of Christ Echoing Across Time," The Catholic Faith, Nov./Dec. 1995).
It is by virtue of the ordinary and universal Magisterium that the doctrine of the male priesthood is infallibly taught. When a) all bishops throughout the world, at any particular time in history, have b) concurred on some matter of faith and morals, c) teach it definitively, and d) in union with the teaching of the Bishop of Rome then that matter is considered to be infallibly taught. Note that it is not defined infallibly, as would be the case if there were an exercise of the extraordinary Magisterium. Whether taught infallibly or defined infallibly, the matter is still just as infallible.
Matters that are defined infallibly were taught infallibly prior to the extraordinary definition. Usually what causes a matter to be raised to the level of an infallible definition is some type of crisis requiring a more official definition. It is always a question of prudence as to whether or not to define a matter that is already infallibly taught by the ordinary universal episcopal Magisterium. Hence, the pope could have used the occasion of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to formulate an ex cathedra infallible definition, but he chose not to for prudential reasons. Likewise, the recent encyclical Evangelium Vitae could have been the context within which the pope defined infallibly the Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life, on abortion, and on euthanasia. Instead, the pope (wisely in this author's opinion) used the encyclical to point out, in the midst of carefully reasoned argumentation, that these matters are already taught infallibly by the ordinary universal episcopal Magisterium. If some bishops today have taught otherwise, they themselves stand in conflict with the tradition, and in a sense are standing outside the apostolic tradition at least on a particular issue.
It is well worth noting that all moral matters that have infallible status are taught, not defined, infallibly by the ordinary universal episcopal Magisterium. Examples include the items noted above contained in Evangelium Vitae. To these we could add the Church's teachings on the nature of the conjugal act as unitive and procreative, which affects issues such as homosexuality, adultery, fornication, contraception, and some of the new birth technologies. This is an opportune occasion to unmask one of the most popular arguments put forth by dissenters on such issues. You can quiz yourself by trying to find the fallacy in the following line of argument:5
a) It is argued that no matters of morality have ever been defined infallibly by the Magisterium.
b) Therefore, all matters of morality are in the realm of fallible teachings that do not demand our assent of faith, but rather assent of mind and will.
c) Such teachings have changed in the past. For instance, the teaching that condemned religious liberty was not infallible, and it changed at Vatican II.
d) We are in the midst of another such change regarding the issue of contraception and other related issues. Hence, while giving due respect to the Magisterium, it is legitimate to dissent from these teachings.
Answer: Point "a" is correct in what it states, but errs by omission. Matters of morality have not been defined infallibly, but they have been taught infallibly. One whole category of infallible teaching is ignored in this argument. Points "b" and "c" are true, but irrelevant, and point "d" is a false conclusion because some of its premises are irrelevant or incomplete.
What about the dogmatic status of the male priesthood? Until June of 1994, the question of the dogmatic status of the male priesthood was unresolved. Since it had not been challenged before recent decades, the Church had not had an opportunity for careful theological reflection on the nature of maleness and femaleness and how that might affect the priesthood. Certainly the current crisis has born and will continue to bear fruit in that regard. Up until Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, it was probable but not definitive that the teaching was infallibly taught. Those in legitimate doubt about the infallibility of such teachings still were required to give the obsequium religiosum (reverent obedience) that Lumen Gentium asks of us for non-infallible teachings.
With Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, we find a clarification on the matter. Consider the final statement of the letter:
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgement is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.
While it is clear that the teaching is to be held definitively, the letter did not specify (as was done on the three issues noted above in Evangelium Vitae) that the teaching was infallibly taught by the ordinary universal episcopal Magisterium (though the word "definitively" echoes one of the criteria by which a teaching of the ordinary Magisterium is to be considered infallible). Rather, the final statement gave the impression of being just on the verge of being an ex cathedra definition - the word "define" is conspicuously absent, but everything else is there!
One can understand the confusion this caused. Clearly the teaching had not been defined infallibly, and since it only came close to doing so, it made it appear as if the teaching might not be infallible. And since the document did not make clear reference to the other mode by which the teaching could be infallible -the ordinary universal episcopal Magisterium - the faithful were left somewhat in a state of perplexity. Hence, the official request for clarification and the response from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Ratzinger made it clear in this brief statement that the teaching was infallibly taught by the ordinary, universal, episcopal Magisterium.
Dr. Lowery is Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Dallas.
1 Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1991), pp. ix-x.
2 These examples and several others are also reflected upon in John Paul II's Mulieris Dignitatem no. 13 (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women).
3 Some feminist exegetes argue that the Gospels contain a sexist and patriarchal distortion of Jesus' teaching/practice. Such arguments are based on conjecture, and are contrary to the Church's teaching that the Gospels are true to history as they set forth to give theological interpretation of that history.
4 This argument is creatively expressed by Sheldon Vanauken, "Women Priests Denies the Incarnation," New Oxford Review (March, 1978), 4-6.
5 This is the argument popularized by Fr. Charles Curran.
I believe this is true for the Orthodox Church as well. Kolokotronis, can you please add your comments. Thank you.
We had a discussion with a lurker last week on this, if I remembered her name, I would ping her to this.
A Reformed Baptist Minister friend completely agrees with this and he is a Scripture Alone guy. (As I am)
I didn’t read the whole article, just the part about the men only in the priest role. Thought I would skip down and wait for the show while I pop the popcorn.
Anticipating your questions and statements, I posted this thread to provide a detailed explanation of why women can never be priests. Please read it in its entirety. Thank you.
I remember her well! Look at the first name on post #2 :-)
“I believe this is true for the Orthodox Church as well. Kolokotronis, can you please add your comments. Thank you.”
Indeed it is. That is the way it has always been, a discipline of the universal Church always and everywhere. At a very high level discussion between Orthodox theologians and Anglicans trying to justify the ordination of women, the Orthodox position was stated thusly:
“From the time of Christ and the Apostles onwards, the Church has ordained only men to the priesthood. Christians today are bound to remain faithful to the example of Our Lord, to the testimony of Scripture, and to the constant and unvarying practice of the Church for two thousand years.”
Please do! It addresses each and every attack made by the organization known as Womenpriests. This is NOT about sexuality. Ultimately, the Catholic priest in following the command of Jesus to "Do this .." acts as an alter Christus (standing in the position of Jesus Christ). He repeats the words of Jesus: This is my Body! This is my Blood!.
We see in Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19 that because the priest acts in persona Christi in the offering to the Father, the priest cannot be a woman.
In Mark 3:13, Jesus selected the apostles "as He desired," according to His will, and not according to the demands of His culture. Because Jesus acted according to His will which was perfectly united to that of the Father, one cannot criticize Jesus' selection of men to be His priests without criticizing God.
And lest we forget, in John 20:22, Jesus only breathed on the male apostles, the first bishops, giving them the authority to forgive and retain sins. In fact, the male priesthood of Christianity was a distinction from the priestesses of paganism that existed during these times. A female priesthood would be a reversion to non-Christian practices. The sacred tradition of a male priesthood has existed uncompromised in the Church for 2,000 years.
There is some scriptural support you can share with your Baptist minister friend.
I don’t believe that there should be women priests. There is a difference in personalities, contrary to what the progressives say. However, if the Church wanted to change the law, it could.
Perfect! Now, K, please tell us how many Greek housewives are clamoring to become Orthodox priests ;-)?
All opinions are just that. The Church which maintains the deposit of faith entrusted to it by Jesus, cannot change what was instituted by Christ - an all male priesthood.
Personally, I have never met or heard of any. There is the odd female professor here and there and a few “crazy convert” women who get together and write up terribly self possessed papers on the subject, but I'll bet there aren't 50 of them in the whole Orthodox world. One reason for this is the enthusiasm for female monasticism we are experiencing and the fact that women have always played a very major role in The Church in the East anyway. The only thing they don't do is get ordained to major orders, though I think the female deaconate has been reestablished in Greece in isolated monasteries. Frankly, Orthodox people, women and men, just see no need for female priests.
Perhaps only to Ph.D.s
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,
1. Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. This tradition has also been faithfully maintained by the Oriental Churches.
When the question of the ordination of women arose in the Anglican Communion, Pope Paul VI, out of fidelity to his office of safeguarding the Apostolic Tradition, and also with a view to removing a new obstacle placed in the way of Christian unity, reminded Anglicans of the position of the Catholic Church: "She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church."(1)
But since the question had also become the subject of debate among theologians and in certain Catholic circles, Paul VI directed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to set forth and expound the teaching of the Church on this matter. This was done through the Declaration Inter Insigniores, which the Supreme Pontiff approved and ordered to be published.(2)
2. The Declaration recalls and explains the fundamental reasons for this teaching, reasons expounded by Paul VI, and concludes that the Church "does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination."(3) To these fundamental reasons the document adds other theological reasons which illustrate the appropriateness of the divine provision, and it also shows clearly that Christ's way of acting did not proceed from sociological or cultural motives peculiar to his time. As Paul VI later explained: "The real reason is that, in giving the Church her fundamental constitution, her theological anthropology-thereafter always followed by the Church's Tradition- Christ established things in this way."(4)
In the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, I myself wrote in this regard: "In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time."(5)
In fact the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God's eternal plan; Christ chose those whom he willed (cf. Mk 3:13-14; Jn 6:70), and he did so in union with the Father, "through the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:2), after having spent the night in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12). Therefore, in granting admission to the ministerial priesthood,(6) the Church has always acknowledged as a perennial norm her Lord's way of acting in choosing the twelve men whom he made the foundation of his Church (cf. Rv 21:14). These men did not in fact receive only a function which could thereafter be exercised by any member of the Church; rather they were specifically and intimately associated in the mission of the Incarnate Word himself (cf. Mt 10:1, 7-8; 28:16-20; Mk 3:13-16; 16:14-15). The Apostles did the same when they chose fellow workers(7) who would succeed them in their ministry.(8) Also included in this choice were those who, throughout the time of the Church, would carry on the Apostles' mission of representing Christ the Lord and Redeemer.(9)
3. Furthermore, 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.
The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. As the Declaration Inter Insigniores points out, "the Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission: today their role is of capital importance both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church."(10)
The New Testament and the whole history of the Church give ample evidence of the presence in the Church of women, true disciples, witnesses to Christ in the family and in society, as well as in total consecration to the service of God and of the Gospel. "By defending the dignity of women and their vocation, the Church has shown honor and gratitude for those women who-faithful to the Gospel-have shared in every age in the apostolic mission of the whole People of God. They are the holy martyrs, virgins and mothers of families, who bravely bore witness to their faith and passed on the Church's faith and tradition by bringing up their children in the spirit of the Gospel."(11)
Moreover, it is to the holiness of the faithful that the hierarchical structure of the Church is totally ordered. For this reason, the Declaration Inter Insigniores recalls: "the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12 and 13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints."(12)
4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) 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.
Invoking an abundance of divine assistance upon you, venerable brothers, and upon all the faithful, I impart my apostolic blessing.
From the Vatican, on May 22, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 1994, the sixteenth of my Pontificate.
1. Paul VI, Response to the Letter of His Grace the Most Reverend Dr. F.D. Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood (November 30, 1975); AAS 68 (1976), 599.
2. Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores on the question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (October 15, 1976): AAS 69 (1977), 98-116.
3. Ibid., 100.
4. Paul VI, Address on the Role of Women in the Plan of Salvation (January 30, 1977): Insegnamenti, XV (1977), 111. Cf. Also John Paul II Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici (December 30, 1988), n. 51: AAS 81 (1989), 393-521; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1577.
5. Apsotolic Letter Mulieris Dignnitatem (August 15, 1988), n. 26: AAS 80 (1988), 1715.
6. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 28 Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 2b.
7. Cf. 1 Tm 3:1-13; 2 Tm 1:6; Ti 1:5-9.
8. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1577.
9. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, nn. 20,21.
10. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores, n. 6: AAS 69 (1977), 115-116.
11. Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, n. 27: AAS 80 (1988), 1719.
12. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores n. 6: AAS 69 (1977), 115. Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana
This is a sound judgment.
The Church needs manly men in the priest hood.
It's not a job for the wish washy.
American Politics readily shows the trend that occurs with Estrogen American's voting.
The Protest varieties of Christian have showed great softening of theological positions to the point of embracing divorce, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, gay marriage..et al.. Largely due to the influence of women.
Women by nature are inclined to seek mediated resolution...even if that resolution requires surrendering articles of faith.
Lest I be accused of misogyny's... I am an Female.
Some of the Apostles were married and some day priests may be allowed to marry again, but at some point a past Pope said no, it was problematic and that was that.
Priests live a poorer life, and if some were to divorce I can’t see the Catholic church looking to provide support.
Then there is the issue of the church properties that belong to the people and get passed down for use from one generation to the next.
Marriage complicates that from a support standpoint as well.
Down the road, probably another Pope will allow marriage IMO.
Will I see that in my lifetime? (The next 50 years or so)
I don’t think so.
Amen. On this one I’m with the Catholic Church wholeheartedly and I agree completely with the arguments presented.
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