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  #1  
Old Jul 22, '04, 8:58 am
oat soda oat soda is offline
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Default Women lectors

Why does the church let women be lectors or readers?

In 1 Corinthians ch. 15 vs. 34 "let women keep silent in the churches, for it is not permitted them to speak, but let them be sumissive, as the Law also says....it is unseemly for a women to speak in a church."

If letting women speak at church contradicts Holy Scripture, how can they permit it? Was Paul speaking not literally?
  #2  
Old Jul 22, '04, 9:21 am
Tantum ergo Tantum ergo is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

I don't know too much about Jewish services, but I do believe that the people (men and women were separated) sang and prayed. So women were not exactly "silent". Now, going on to what was done--the Torah was read by the rabbi, I believe. (Of course, we have women rabbis too now in both Reform and Conservative Judaism).

Now, we have the apostles preaching at the time Paul wrote. We also hear (in Acts, for example) that there were women deacons, women helping out (like Dorcas and Priscilla). We also know that there were some JEWISH women (not anti-Semite, but solely relating to the specific examples of women Paul met in a specific time frame) who spoke AGAINST the apostle, and against Christ and Christian teachings, and roused the cities and towns against Christians. So, for Paul, persecuted as he was, a Jew who lived in a patriarchical society where men and ONLY men were involved in preaching or scriptural activity, and himself being a celibate male, and suffering from physical affilictions, is writing in ONE scriptural letter (to a specific group of people) that "women should not speak in church". Is Paul speaking for all time here, or is he speaking to one group which has had trouble with perhaps some women there speaking AGAINST the church? Remember, Paul isn't saying, "Christ doesn't permit women to speak" but "I--meaning Paul--do not allow women to speak". In the society Paul lived, women would not be EXPECTED to speak out, and if they DID, would be fomenting trouble. Remember, Paul also told people to be KIND to their slaves. . .he didn't tell them to "end slavery now!"

He also said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free man, woman nor man, but ALL ARE ONE IN CHRIST JESUS."

Remember, context is important, prayer is important, and above all, we as Catholics have (ta da!) the MAGESTERIUM. If it is OK with our Pope and bishops that women read as lectors, then guess what, say howdy, it is OK with me. I trust that my Church, instituted by God, will be kept free of error in doctrine. It is not the women being LECTORS that is a problem (as it is not a problem that women and men can be EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION) but what INDIVIDUAL men AND women can do to ABUSE their office that would pose any problems.

IMO. And speaking as a woman who first became a lector at age 15. Though I have chosen not to be a lector in the past decade, it is not because I feel that women speaking in church is WRONG. Rather, I feel I have served my turn and I encourage others to serve God--whether it's as a lector, in the altar guild, or above all by participating in the Mass every Sunday as a member of the congregation of the faithful.
  #3  
Old Jul 22, '04, 9:48 am
Chuck Chuck is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

Women not allowed, women don't speak, women cover your heads - all based on cultural norms and for the benefit of all this has changed.

Tantum ergo did a great job expanding the detail in her post!

We need to continue to find ways to develop and encourage faith in our young people. Alter servers get to act out their faith - and take a great experience with them into adulthood as Mothers and Fathers that pass their passion on to their children.

Tradition is important but sometimes must adapt to keep in mind the big picture - encourage practices that lead to holy lives and the salvation of souls.

Chuck
  #4  
Old Jul 22, '04, 10:57 am
Meghan Meghan is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
Women not allowed, women don't speak, women cover your heads - all based on cultural norms and for the benefit of all this has changed.
Thank you for saying that, Chuck. I couldn't agree more.
  #5  
Old Jul 22, '04, 11:23 am
Michael Michael is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantum ergo
He also said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free man, woman nor man, but ALL ARE ONE IN CHRIST JESUS."
Very well said. Not just the above quote but your entire post.
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  #6  
Old Jul 22, '04, 11:34 am
Catholic Eagle Catholic Eagle is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

Cultural norms?!?!?This is tradition. St.Paul said this. WHat I hear now is "St.Paul's words are irrelevant".They are not. One example is with mantillas/female head coverings.Those were worn by most women in our Church until the 1960's. We all know what happened in the 1960's.

These"cultural norms" are things of the world. As we all know the Church doesn't change but the world does. TOday Britany Spears can run around in a bikini on TV and no one say a word about it. This is considered normal today. But if Ms. Spears did this in the 1950's she would of been branded a whore. The world's cultural standards change constantly but the Church's don't and people shouldn't think they can change everything to their benefit or to conform to the world. The Church shouldn't conform to the current cultural norms or any other cultural norms, the culture should conform itself to the Church.
  #7  
Old Jul 22, '04, 11:42 am
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pnewton pnewton is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

The Church sets disciplinary regulations and the church can change her own regulations.

I am not too concerned that we will see Britney Spears reading in Mass in a bikini as a result.

St. Paul's words are always relevant. If he speaks to you in a vision personally in a vision, then listen (or take some Pepto). If he writes to the church in Corinth 2000 years ago, you must consider the his audience as part of the context.
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  #8  
Old Jul 22, '04, 11:54 am
Jdg164 Jdg164 is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

This is what the CCC has to say on Interpretation of Scripture.



109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.75

110 In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."76

111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written."77

The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.78

112 1. Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.79
The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.80


113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church"81). 114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.82 By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.
  #9  
Old Jul 22, '04, 12:06 pm
oat soda oat soda is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

Quote:
I do believe that the people (men and women were separated) sang and prayed. So women were not exactly "silent".
Paul did not say women shouldn't sing or pray but speak. In this matter, I think he meant that women should not take upon themselves roles that are strictly for men, like the priesthood, diaconate, lectors, subdecon, ...etc.
Quote:
Remember, Paul also told people to be KIND to their slaves. . .he didn't tell them to "end slavery now!"
No, paul didn't say to "end slavery now", but he didn't say it was a good thing either. I don't think you can interpret what paul said any way other than literally:"let women keep silence in the churches". Either he was speaking literally or spiritually. I don't know how you can interpret this as allegorical, moral, or anagogical.
Quote:
Is Paul speaking for all time here, or is he speaking to one group which has had trouble with perhaps some women there speaking AGAINST the church?
he starts of by saying "... in all the churches of the saints. Let women keep silence in the churches". It doesn't sound like he's talking about a specific church to me, he says "all the churches of the saints". Reguardless of how much you want to think Paul was sexist or homophobic, or a product of his time, his words can't be silenced.
Quote:
If it is OK with our Pope and bishops that women read as lectors, then guess what, say howdy, it is OK with me. I trust that my Church, instituted by God, will be kept free of error in doctrine.
Women may temporally fulfill the functions of Acolytes and Lectors; however, the Church excludes them from possessing these Ministries in an official and permanent way. Again, you can't get around what Paul said in corithinans. If anything, the church is bending dicsipline, which it may do but not with infalliblity. Decisions in this reguard may be imprudently employed by Bishops across the country. Last time I checked, our liturgy is a mess and so is our church. I don't think the two are unrelated. Maybe if we would stick to the scriptures, which are the word of God and not just a product of misogynistic times, we can get back on track. Women converts to christianity were use to women priestesses. Paul's messege to women is one of submission.
  #10  
Old Jul 22, '04, 12:36 pm
Tantum ergo Tantum ergo is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

I see that you have confused the positions of acolytes and lectors. Only men can be ORDAINED acolytes or lectors as a particular ministry. But one does not have to be an ordained lector to be a lay lector (which is what women lectors are and what male lectors can be if they are NOT ordained); neither does the LAY acolyte have to be ordained. .

Once again, since the Catholic Church through the Pope and bishops have given the fiat for women to read (but no woman, neither lay nor religious, may read the gospel, neither may any but the priest or deacon read the gospel), why are you bringing up this "women be silent in the church?" Remember, scripture (according to St. Peter) should NEVER BE A PERSONAL INTERPRETATION.

We have the Magisterium to guide us. Now, either we go along with the Magesterium, or we don't. Personally, I love the Latin Mass and I wear a mantilla in church, but I don't sneer at the Novus Ordo and I don't judge women who DON'T wear a mantilla. Because they are NOT in contempt of the church. Neither are women lectors in contempt of the church, OR the scriptures.

DISCIPLINES change. Neither you nor I remembers when one fasted from MIDNIGHT until Sunday (never Saturday) Mass communion; you MAY remember when one fasted for THREE hours prior; today it is one hour.

Remember Friday fish days? Although the requirement that the Friday penance of not eating meat was not LIFTED--it was CHANGED in the 70s. You CAN still choose fish day--or you can choose ANOTHER penance--but the discipline CHANGED. It was not ELIMINATED. It was changed.

The church is timeless and changeless--but men and women no longer wear tunics or robes, and they don't recline at table, and they don't keep kosher, and men don't have to be circumcized. The latter two DISCIPLINES were in force and were spoken of by St. Paul. Why do you not address THESE as well? Why don't we keep kosher (not eating blood)? Why aren't men circumcized particularly as Catholics?

Because those disciplines were CHANGED. The prohibition on eating blood was not needed as the church became fully Christianized. . .what remained was the need for a penitential discipline--hence, fish Fridays (not to mention a whole host of other days. In the Middle Ages, Saturdays and Wednesdays were likewise meat-free.

And in the case of circumcision, again as the church became fully Christianized it was determined that BAPTISM was the sign of our covenant with God in the way that circumcision was a covenant for the Jews.
  #11  
Old Jul 22, '04, 1:00 pm
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Women lectors

This is the bluring of roles that modern society is doing today.

There is no such thing as a lay lector.

The office of lector, as pointed out above, is a minor order that one is ordained into. It is a member of the clergy.

As such, only men can receive this.

The laity fulfills the role of reader when there is no lector present. Just as altar servers fulfill the role of acolyte.

To call a reader a lay lector, or an altar server a lay acolyte is an error. There is no such thing as lay clergy, its an oxymoron.

One is either a member of the laity or a member of the clergy.

Next EEM's will want to be called lay priests.
  #12  
Old Jul 22, '04, 1:04 pm
Catholic Eagle Catholic Eagle is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

I do keep the midnight fast before Communion -- although I was born in the 1980's. I do fast on Fridays from meat.

I donot hold the women[or man] who is the lector in contempt, I hold their position[better said job] as one that shouldn't be open to them.Same with altar girls, and all eucharistic ministers.

Well yes women can read the Bible but not in church. Past Popes have railed against females on the altar and they are saints.

The disciplines of circumcision and eating only kosher are Old Testament disciplines. The Old Testament ended with Christ's death. We are in New Testament times. Unless a New New Testament has been struck these disciplines which we talk about [eucharistic ministers,lectors,etcetera] are now okay .
  #13  
Old Jul 22, '04, 1:44 pm
oat soda oat soda is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

Quote:
don't keep kosher, and men don't have to be circumcized. The latter two DISCIPLINES were in force and were spoken of by St. Paul. Why do you not address THESE as well? Why don't we keep kosher (not eating blood)? Why aren't men circumcized particularly as Catholics?
i don't think christians were ever required to be circumcized. Acts 16 28:30 "for the holy spirit and we have decided to lay no further burden upon you but this indisdensable one, that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from immorality..". I don't know what he means by blood and strangled. Certainly we're not supposed to eat things sacrificed to idos and abstain from immorality. He calls this one so they are all tied together. I agree, times are different but Orthodox/eastern catholics do not allow women to read during the divine liturgy.
  #14  
Old Jul 22, '04, 3:33 pm
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AnnieD AnnieD is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

Another Women thread...What a surprise!! In the Bible it states that women should stay in the recesses of their home, so my husband told me I had to stay in the recesses of our home, so I said ok, but I won't be able to fix your supper and he said "Well let's forget the recesses then." By the way...where is a recess of a home?

Annie
  #15  
Old Jul 22, '04, 3:59 pm
Catholic Eagle Catholic Eagle is offline
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Default Re: Women lectors

recess- noun ... Definition 2.a hidden, secret, or secluded place or part [from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary]
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