"A Woman’s Place Is in the Church"


Even with a mother, Mary, at the center of the Christian story, the women of today’s church have found themselves marginalized and preached to amid the interminable revelations of the sexual-abuse scandals.

By keeping modernity at bay, though, the men who run the Catholic Church have willfully ignored one of the great achievements of the modern age: the integration of women in the workforce and public life. In America, 50 million women work full time; in the European Union that number is 68 million. Within most mainline Protestant denominations, these battles over the professionalization of women were fought—and lost—half a century ago.

More than 60 percent of American Catholics support the ordination of women, and though traditionalists insist that’s a pipe dream, realists think otherwise.

That is the one that gets me. Really, 60%? I am really not surprised, looking at the author’s other works that are there on the website, I was still slightly aghast at reading it.
Women priests? Really?
And the way she made out the women of the Church to be was totally wrong. Don’t you think that if women feel “marginalized” they would not go to Church? Go to one that allows them to feel “empowered”?

Any thoughts?

I would take statistics with no source (I couldn’t find one cited in the article) with a grain of salt.

I suspect a large number of that “60%” are Catholic in name only.

This kind of writing frustrates me because the author obviously does not have any understanding of what the church actually teaches. It would be like me writing an article about basketball without bothering to do any research beyond hearing about a game from a friend. Yes, I would be upset with the Church’s teaching on women if it didn’t have so many of those pesky female saints and it did not recognize the most honored human as Mary in the most feminine role any person can have - being a mother.

The Church recognizes the purpose of human life as being to love, which is learned and expressed most perfectly in the family. Our society thinks the purpose of life is for power. Our society would rather see all the mothers in the world maintain their “independence” and “freedom” by breaking the infamous “glass ceiling” of the business world. They don’t care how long the hours are and how much day care costs, women need a “high place” in the world in order to be recognize as significant to society. The Church, on the other hand, stubbornly (thank God) holds to the idea that the Mother is irreplaceable in the growth of human life.

Rather than recognizing genders as being different and equal, society wants us to believe that gender differences do not exist - nurture has simply brainwashed us into thinking girls like pink.

Until society grows up and realizes men and women can be equal without being the same, it will never understand the Church’s position on things.

I hope the 60% of those “Catholics” wake up as well.

Sorry, 20 something years of being told by society that women have to prove themselves the same as men to be equal has made me a little bitter.

Why is it that everyone seems to forget that women that want to dedicate their lives to Christ have an outlet to do so? Last time I checked that’s those women were called nuns.

It would seem to me that any Catholic women who want to serve the Lord can do so by being the best mother / wife, or if single, decent human being they can be.

This is just my own opinion, but it seems to me that any catholic woman who wants to become ordained as a priest may be doing so out of lust of some percieved power rather then to serve the Lord.

Mothers especially play an even more powerful role in the face of the Catholic Church than priests do. Evangilization begins at home. Going to Mass and sunday school mean nothing if you don’t help and teach your kids to live out those principles at home in everyday life.


More than a few Catholics that I know are CINOs.There is a Remnant Faithful that is the True Church,THEY don’t think this way-the rest abdicated their right to comment long ago.
I’m surprised the figure wasn’t 80% as that is the number in North America who are Cultural Catholics.

Consider the publication-Newsweek-one of the most pro-secular anti-Catholic publications on the news stand.We’ve survived for 2000 years.No sweat.

Write them back-set them straight.We have to come to the defense of Mother Church EVERY time she is attacked or we are pretty poor sons and daughters.

I can’t verify the statistics used (one can quote or make up any statistic on the spot anyway) but I can speak to the feeling of being marginalized.

Firstly, I know what the official doctrine of the Church is - no one need scream it at me again. I’m not a theologian, although I was educated in a Catholic university, and I don’t personally feel/think that the theology against women’s ordination holds up – but that’s just my opinion.

Secondly, I am a cradle Catholic, reared in the Church long before Vatican II, so claims of my being “un-catechized” aren’t valid, either. I do happen to be one of the many thousands of parishoners who were fortunate enough to have been brought gently, with great sensitivity and care, through the post-VII changes – by extremely well-educated and informed, creative and loving priests. I was and remain happy that the breath of the Spirit was allowed to flow freely in the Church – for a few years, anyway.

Thirdly, although you may choose to characterize me as a “liberal,” “dissident” or “progressive” Catholic, I believe in all of the essentials of the Catholic faith, am in good standing at my (not liberal) parish, serve as I am able, attend daily mass, etc. I am 100% pro-life and have lived that commitment. I am not gay and do not support gay marriage, although I have empathy and compassion for people who struggle with that state.

I do, however, reserve the right to my own opinions, based on my well-informed conscience, intelligence and personal experience.

I feel it is unrealistic to claim that women are NOT marginalized in the RCC as long as they/we are denied the fullest expression of service, which is ordination. Decisions in the Church, from parish level to the Curia, are made only by (ordained) men, which automatically excludes 50% of the human race. If that isn’t the definition of “marginalization” then maybe we need a new definition. If that isn’t a human rights’ violation, then I don’t understand human rights.

I know all the arguments that are exploding out of your brains so you don’t need to reiterate them for the one millionth time. The fact is, women are not permitted to serve within the priesthood simply because we are women.

Throughout history, from before Jesus’ time until the 20th century, women were subordinate to men in every culture. It’s not surprising that the Church, which exists within cultures, not outside of them, maintained that role for women. It would have no doubt been unthinkable for a woman to minister to (gasp!) men through those centuries.

That subjugation is over in our own culture, and in many other cultures of the world… not all… but many. It is my fervent hope that Jesus’ church will end its discrimination in the next few hundred years – I’m not unrealistic to expect it in my lifetime or even my grandchildren’s lifetime – but – I do believe in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and I do believe that at some point in the future women will be embraced as full participants in the life of the Church.

You have only to look at the apologies made by the current and previous Popes to recognize that “The Church” has not always acted according to her ideals. I’m hoping this will be one more apology made, with reparation, in say, 2300.

As to the OP’s question as to why women remain in the Church under these conditions, I can only speak for myself. This is Jesus’ Church and He is with us in the Eucharist. Through my father I was baptized into this Church and I choose to remain, even though I’m effectively a second-class citizen.

I tired to edit my post and some how managed to delete the whole thing with one click of the mouse lol!

Anns is bang on. :thumbsup:

Why is it that the “outside world” seems to constantly forget that women who feel called to serve the Lord in an exceptional way have no place in the Church? Last time I checked, those women were called Nuns.

And in my opinion (this is just an opinion) I feel that any catholic woman who feels the need to be ordained a priest may feel this way because they are experiencing a lust for power that they precieve the priest has and not really to serve the Lord better.

Besides, in the Catholic Church, mothers have the most influence or “power” over the next generation. Evangilization begins at home. If you don’t teach your kids to live out a christian life, Mass and sunday school once a week won’t make a lick of difference.

And to say that women priests would be less likely to molest children is absurd, there have been plenty of cases of women in power seducing children (think mary kay letourneau…)


Oh my God…please help us! 60%!!! I am a female, I am a femenist (I guess that depends on what you take to be a femenist…I believe in EQUALITY)- I feel I have to say this b/c when I say women **should not **be ordained, people think I like being supressed or something :mad:.

This makes me sooo upset. Traditionalist? Realist? There shouldn’t be different catagories of Catholics. There is only one way to be a Catholic. I’m sorry, but I’ve been seeing this so much, I just lost it now. :o

Women being ordained? At one point in my life I thought how great it would be to be a priest. And I realized that this is something that God made very easy for us. You never have to decide wether God wants you to be a priest or not, if you’re a woman. If he did, then he would have made you a man.

Thank God we have the Church to guide us and thank God (literally) that he said the Church would not fail.

Of course Catholics may treat women and men inequal, and do many people from different religions (of lack of.) However, God created Men and Women to be equal. Sin is what created inequality. Adam and Eve understood each other before the fall. They did not need to cover themselves, because there was no serperation before the fall. Sin divided us as it divides everyone. So God does not men and women to be inequal.

I’ll give an example. St Paul is often the target of people claiming him to be a woman hater. He told women to submit to their husbands. But he also told husbands to love their wives. Men never had to love their wives in ancient Rome. The Church started equality!!

And of course, by obeying and submitting. St. Paul means to love your partner and do what they ask if it is loving. Like if a woman was drinking and her husband told her to stop, she would obey and quit. Same happens vice-versa.

And today, we still have inequality. I still feel pressured by the media to look good…for men! Woman can’t be strong and mothers? Isn’t that unfair. And how about going the other way around. Men are sometimes put below women. Boys can’t cry, they can’t hit a woman, but a woman can hit a man (lets not hit anyone, OK?)

Our society is filled with double standards for both genders. So despite how far we have come in equality, we should realize how much we have ot go.

I respect you’re opinions, and I trust that you do know the Church teaching, but we obviously come to different conclusion. Part of my issue is with the depiction of gender roles in history as simply being women as subordinate to men. Yes, that is true in many cultures, but it is not at the heart of the Christian culture. Looking at the traditional family, the husband does everything he can to support the wife, and the wife does everything she can to support the husband out of love for one another. Due to the reality of their physical differences (women being pregnant for 9 months, and then caring for children - not an easy task obviously), their love is practically expressed through the husband going out to work, the wife taking care of the home. Society says the husband keeps the wife locked up in the home barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. The difference is that the Church sees humans through the perspective of love, and society sees it as a gender war, fighting for power. The Christian culture is the one that created the notion of chivalry. Is a woman truly considered less of a person if she is treated and respected as royalty? There is a reason why people say that behind every strong man is a strong woman - women are very power and influential - even those without a full time job.

I ramble not specifically to convince you about the Church’s teaching on ordination, but rather to say that viewing the Church’s intentions as only being inspired by power is as wrong as seeing the family dynamic as being simply the result of power rather than love between a husband and wife. The Church has not been afraid to go against culture before - there are plenty of martyrs and writers who can attest to that - what has been unique about the Church is that it seeks to stand up for the Truth regardless of what culture tries to tell it to do. Culture is not what makes the Church maintain a different, but equal respect for men and women.


I don’t want to come up with a trite answer to your very well written and refective post,but I’m convinced you will think it so.
I would love to have a baby(I’m a man)I would love to feel her/him grow within me and experience the excruciating JOY in delivering him/her but God did not give me the proper anatomy.I accept this.There is nothing I can do about it.So should you-as difficult as that is considering your apparently genuine desire.This is a cross you must bear in obedience.

The Pope has spoken.The debate ended.Period.I suggest you read “Come,Be My Light” the book on Blessed Mother Theresas spiritual odessy and personal agony at FIFTY-FIVE years of lack of Divine consolation.Once I read that book I became hesitant to complain about anything.

I dearly miss chivalry. I honestly believe that women are more respected in that sense. Does that mean women are weaker than men? Does that mean they cannot work outside the home, have full time jobs, have high positions in their work?
No! I am aghast at the thought.

But women and men are different, and need to be treated as such. Both need to be respected, and honored for the part of God they reflect. I firmly believe that if women are to be fully respected, men do as well, both in their own ways.

[quote=Flame4]St Paul is often the target of people claiming him to be a woman hater. He told women to submit to their husbands. But he also told husbands to love their wives.

Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Christ gave his life for the Church. To give one’s own life for another is the purest form of love. I cannot imagine a greater form of respect.

Sorry,I was trying to edit and another post came up.:blush:

Thank you for your heartfelt post.

I’m not qualified to say what percentage of people believes what.

But I DO have an observation. The modern feminist notion of the meaning of womanhood directly corresponds with a change to a negative lifetime fertility rate in EVERY nation in which it has taken hold.

To my way of thinking, if a culture is experiencing dramatic decline in population during a time of unprecedented plenty and comparative peace, SOMETHING is wrong, somewhere. I rather suspect a link. :wink:

Buried inside every argument for women’s ordination is the assumption that traditional women’s roles are inferior to traditional men’s roles in society. Isn’t it possible that we’ve got this all backwards? Instead of encouraging women to “get empowered” and delegate home and children to others along the way, maybe we should have recognized that raising up children is THE important thing getting done in society and that everything else OUGHT to be playing just a supporting role? Personally, I think “feminist” is a misnomer. They mostly denigrate feminity. They should be called masculinists. They correctly identified that fact that women were relegated to under-valued roles and proceeded to AGREE with the mysogenists that the role of mom and wife was inferior to the role of corporate attorney. Personally, I think a good mom is worth 500 lawyers.

Your welcome, I hope I didn’t sound too heartfelt:o. I have just been hearing about this so much and well, I got a bit upset.

I’m so sorry, for all the posts I’ve made, but I have to say I agree with this. I think that women should be allowed to have any job they like, be it lawyer, doctor, shopkeeper, what have you. However being a mother should also be considered as an empowering job.

Manual man, you’re my hero :clapping:

Notice the article says 60 percent of American Catholics support this, newsflash for the writers of this particular piece. The Catholic Church s an universal world-wide Church, it’s dogma and doctrines are not determined by America any more than they are by any other nation.

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