In my heart I have always felt a dilema over how I interpret the gospel, what I receive in prayer, and conversations with fellow christians in contrast to the fact my participation in the organized religion manifestaion of our faith is limited because of the gender God has blessed me. God is love and Jesus did not teach to be discriminatory but to reach out to all to love each other, serve one an other and God in honor of love. The Church as an insitution has certainly not always served in the best interest of Jesus' teachings but the desires of the men who have run it in the past- the inqusitions, excommunicating people who challanged teachings but covered for people who violated children are a couple examples. I believe the church has served earth and it's inhabitents very well in a lot of ways, but how can true justification of not giving equal opportunity for men and women to serve their faith in a Vatican recognized way continue? Do others feel the same? Do others find posing this topic to other catholics, espeically those in positions to change doctrines, results in the issue becoming dismissed and pushed under the rug? Who is to say the Holy Spirit isn't working through the resurging message of equality and living it in our church? I am looking forward to all responses so I can better underswtand the view of my fellow catholics.
You might have your answer in today's Gospel account:
 And Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is?  But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?
 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Jesus gave His authority to St. Peter and his successors, the Popes. Jesus also gave St. Peter his pledge in perpetuity and His word that St. Peter's (and his successors') binding and loosening would be ratified in heaven. As Catholics we believe this.
Jesus did not call women to form part of the Apostolic college. What He was doing was constituting the new Israel. The 12 tribes of Ancient Israel came from Jacob's 12 sons. As Jesus was reconstituting the 12, he chose 12 men and, as Moses chose 72 elders (also men), Jesus selected another 72 men to be collaborators with the Apostles.
When the question of Judas' successor came up, St. Peter and the surviving Apostles cast lots to choose between two men and the lot fell to St. Matthias. When the Apostles appointed seven deacons, they selected seven men to fulfill this office. Thus, from the very beginning, men have been chosen.
Our role as women is to collaborate. Our model is no less than the Blessed Virgin Mary, herself. Recall that the final words we have from her, as recorded in St. John's Gospel, are "Do whatever He tells you." Jesus entrusted His authority on earth to St. Peter and his Successors. By obeying the Holy Father, we are keeping with the Blessed Mother's admonishment.
I don’t know to whom you’re referring when you say, “especially those in positions to change doctrines,” since, not even the Pope has the authority to change even one Catholic doctrine. He has the authority to define dogmas that the Church has always taught in the way the Church has always taught them, with the support of the Traditions by which we have always practiced them, but that is a far cry from changing anything doctrinal. The only people “in position to change doctrines” are those who are outside the Catholic Church, clinging to the lie of Satan known as “sola Scriptura” by which they reject the authority of the Magisterium and supplant it with their own fallible, devicive, self-destructive, private interpretations of Scripture.
The Holy Siprit never works through the tidal fashions of society, but He most certainly was working through the late Pope Blessed John Paul the Great, who spoke of true equality of men and women, an equality that acknowledges our differences rather than pretending that mankind is a mass of genderless bio-machines built for hedonistic and materialistic selfishness. You, as a woman, can bear children; you are uniquely designed, by the very nature of your body, to welcome the life of others within yourself and to nourish them. This is something that, speaking as a man whose wife is currently carrying a life within her, is truly miraculous and is an ability that I am quite envious of. However, no matter how much I wanted to, I could never become a mother. Telling me that I can never bear a child in my womb (because I simply do not have a womb) is neither intollerant nor insensitive to me. It’s simply telling me the truth in love.
Similarly, telling you that you cannot act* in persona Christi* in the way that a priest is ordained to, is not being bigotted or anti-feminine, it’s simply telling you the truth. Priests act, in a far more real, bodily way than anyone else, in persona Christi, so, just like Jesus of Nazareth, they must be bodily male. They are called Father because that is what they are: fathers. As a woman, you simply cannot be a father. But you can be a mother! Both physically and spiritually. Nuns are mothers of those to whom they minister in an equal capacity as priests are fathers to them. As you live out your “feminine genius,” as Pope Blessed John Paul the Great called it, embrace your ability to be a spiritual - and perhaps, God-willing, even a biological - mother. Don’t deny it and wish for something that you will never be: a man. The only way to live out the vocation that God truly has for you in His perfect plan of salvation is to embrace the person He created you to be - a woman - not to try to change, ignore, or reject that personhood. You are a woman. Be the best woman for God you can be in a way no man ever could!
As Benedictgal said, look to Mary the Ever-Virgin and yet Mother of All the Living for guidance, love, and inspiration. She will never fail you and she will never fail to lead you to God’s most perfect will for your life as a woman. Mother Mary, like all the faithful nuns throughout the history of the Church, consecrated her virginity to God and served Him as His perfect bride. And, at the same time, like every faithful wife and mother throughout the history of the Church, she conceived, carried, and bore the Most Blessed Son of God and raised Him in perfect devotion to the Father. These two most holy vocations, both embodied in our perfect Mother are things that we men could never do, yet without them we could not be saved! Therefore, how could embracing that Truth ever be anything but liberating, empowering, and inspiring to women everywhere? Denying it in the name of “liberty” and “equality” is far, far more insulting and bedasing to women everywhere than is anything the Magisterium has ever said about womanhood.
The bumper sticker that fallaciously claims, “Obedient women never make history” ignores the most vitally important woman in the entire history of the world: Mary, the Mother of God. Without her perfect, eternal, sinless obedience to the Son of Man, this decadent American society that is now falling apart around us, but which was, in days of old, founded on Christian principles, would never have existed to allow feminists to create and proliferate that profoundly erroneous bumper sticker in the first place.
[quote="bird79, post:1, topic:246281"]
how can true justification of not giving equal opportunity for men and women to serve their faith in a Vatican recognized way continue?
I think this question is based on entirely false premises. The apostolates of both men and women are recognised and celebrated by the church, and there have been female doctors of the church (theologians who are recognised as having made contributions to the entire church's understanding of its doctrine). St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Sienna, moreover, have specifically rebuked and spurred men to action who were in need of a little prodding (including, in the latter's case, the pope himself).
Yes, the priesthood is reserved to men, but it is entirely misunderstanding the nature of that institution to equate it with power, or with somehow making its members more holy than those who are not priests. To think otherwise would fly in the face of what St. Paul teaches in 1 Cor 12, "And if the ear should say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were the eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him."
[quote="Tiberius1701, post:3, topic:246281"]
Similarly, telling you that you cannot act* in persona Christi* in the way that a priest is ordained to, is not being bigotted or anti-feminine, it's simply telling you the truth. Priests act, in a far more real, bodily way than anyone else, in persona Christi, so, just like Jesus of Nazareth, they must be bodily male. They are called Father because that is what they are: fathers. As a woman, you simply cannot be a father. But you can be a mother! Both physically and spiritually. Nuns are mothers of those to whom they minister in an equal capacity as priests are fathers to them. As you live out your "feminine genius," as Pope Blessed John Paul the Great called it, embrace your ability to be a spiritual - and perhaps, God-willing, even a biological - mother. Don't deny it and wish for something that you will never be: a man. The only way to live out the vocation that God truly has for you in His perfect plan of salvation is to embrace the person He created you to be - a woman - not to try to change, ignore, or reject that personhood. You are a woman. Be the best woman for God you can be in a way no man ever could!
Strong and well said argument Tiberius. I agree.
I would recommend a book called "Women, Sex, and the Church: The Case for Catholic Teaching." It is edited by Erica Bachiochi (sp?) I am posting a link - most of the writers and editors used to be secular feminists and have found that the true authentic feminism lies within the walls of the Catholic Church. I happen to agree with them. I am posting the link for you - since you don't like hearing it from the men maybe you will accept the arguments from women - and I think you will find that they are not just the theological arguments but also the social ones as well. God bless.