Explaining why women can't be priests is not anti-women


#1

First of all, please, I am not wanting to start any debate on why women should/should not be priests. They cannot be priests in the Catholic church.

I am looking for information and maybe looking for something that doesn’t exist? Specifically I am trying to find something that explains the reason why women cannot be priests and more importantly that the reason this is so is not anti-women or about lessening women’s roles in the church. I have a non-believing colleague that I talk with about this and I’m afraid I cannot put the reasons behind this into words eloquently enough for him to understand and hence am looking for some help.

Can anyone point me to anything that was written on this subject that might perhaps shed a better light on the topic?

Thanks and God bless.


#2

There really isn’t any argument for it from a secular perspective, because (to secular eyes) it is by definition and application anti woman.

Even from the official Catholic teaching (That Christ chose no female apostles [liberals will argue Mary Magdelene was one] and cannot go against his example) is avowedly anti-feminist. I wish I could help, but the easiest way to explain it is probably to say “Men can’t give birth, the same way women cannot consecrate the Eucharist. It’s a function unique to the sex”.

You could try reading this catholicbridge.com/catholic/against_catholic_women_priests.php


#3

You know what did it for me? This is going to sound really weird, but finding out that priests have to have testicles. Castrated men can’t be priests.

I do not see the policy as anti woman anymore. I see it as a quirky belief, and it definitely solidifies my belief that Catholicism is way to concerned with genitalia. But I no longer see it as disrespectful, just strange.


#4

#5

Sorry about the double post. I tried to change my ‘to’ to a ‘too’ and I guess I screwed it up and quoted myself.:blush:


#6

Neko started part of it. It really has to do with God’s plan for creation and humanity. Each gender has its own specific roles. Neko mentioned the obvious: “Men can’t give birth, the same way women cannot consecrate the Eucharist. It’s a function unique to the sex.”

If you throw God out of the picture, yes, the belief looks misogynistic. But look at some other situations. For example, anyone can be moral. However, if you throw God out of the picture, you are not going to know true morality. You will know and practice bits and pieces, but your conscience won’t tell you to go to Mass every Sunday, give monetary support to the Church, etc.

It is important to keep God in the picture. Without Him, we lose sight of the way things are supposed to be. So the priesthood is reserved for males, because God intended it to be that way. It is the same case for motherhood: God reserved this special role for women.


#7

@BEL, this is addressed to your post, but I am not quoting it directly, as I find the way you phrased it skewed and offensive.

Here is the Canon on castration from the First Council of Nicaea:

  1. If anyone in sickness has undergone surgery at the hands of physicians or has been castrated by barbarians, let him remain among the clergy. But if anyone in good health has castrated himself, if he is enrolled among the clergy he should be suspended, and in future no such man should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this refers to those who are responsible for the condition and presume to castrate themselves, so too if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians or by their masters, but have been found worthy, the canon admits such men to the clergy.

It’s also generally found in Canon §1041 in the current code:

5/ a person who has mutilated himself or another gravely and maliciously or who has attempted suicide

Men who have undergone orchiectomy for medical reasons (such as cancer) can become priests.


#8

Okay, you made look.

However, based on this quote from the First Council of Nicea, the issue does not seem to be whether or not the man has testicles, but whether he has chosen to undergo castration by choice. Men who were castrated by physicians due to illness or by force at the hands of barbarians were not excluded from priesthood:

If anyone in sickness has undergone surgery at the hands of physicians or has been castrated by barbarians, let him remain among the clergy. But if anyone in good health has castrated himself, if he is enrolled among the clergy he should be suspended, and in future no such man should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this refers to those who are responsible for the condition and presume to castrate themselves, so too if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians or by their masters, but have been found worthy, the canon admits such men to the clergy.

(Hat tip to DavidFilmer, who shared the above quote when this issue came up three years ago.)


#9

Priests are male because our LORD was a man, and they represent His very real being.

Feminists raise the issue that priests are not limited to being chosen from Jewish Mideasterns, etc. But those issues are superficial. Maleness goes to the core of one’s being, through the DNA, and even the mind.

ICXC NIKA


#10

Absolutely! I recommend this talk by Dr. Peter Kreeft.

youtube.com/watch?v=kgou9QDR4KM


#11

Sara Butler is a Sister and a theologian, who has written a book entitled The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church. She is hardly “anti-woman” and you may find her work helpful to you. You may also want to read several of the writings of St. John Paul II, who wrote extensively both on the role(s) of women and on the male-only priesthood.


#12

It is my understanding we don’t have women priests because Christ didn’t ordain any women.


#13

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19761015_inter-insigniores_en.html


#14

To me it seems like this is more of an issue for non-Catholics than it really is for Catholics. As a Catholic woman, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that the priesthood isn’t for me, I am concerned more about what God’s vocation for me is.


#15

Roman Catholic Priest works IN PERSONA CHRISTI; during the Holy Mass he presents Christ Himself - Christ is a man, so also priest should be man. Amen.

In Christ,
br. Jacob a.k.a. Attempto :smiley:


#16

Jesus was male, therefore, priests can only be male.

Fill in the blank: our Holy Mother was female, therefore only females can be _________???

??? :confused:


#17

No kidding?!! I never knew that.
But I wonder…how many castrated men are there in the world, and of that number, how many try to be priests? If the number was large, I imagine someone would fight this one to be changed! Do we have any reports in modern day, in this century, of a castrated man wanting to be a priest and being denied?
And what if a longtime priest was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to have them removed? Would he have to then stop being a priest?

Maybe back then, they had a lot of eunichs? But again, if someone examined this rule today, I’m thinking it would be seen as archaic and senseless…and it would be changed, as per my priest example above.

For the same reasons that if the female/priest thing is based on male-only apostles, it doesn’t make sense for today, either. He would have been making that choice in the reality of the context of the bronze-era times.
A woman wouldn’t be chosen to be Emperor of Rome then, either–we didn’t see women in those positions yet. But today, they are prime ministers and presidents. Back then we didn’t have females in any roles that we do today–doctors, teachers, business owners, etc.
But today, other areas of hiearchy in most countries and vocations of the world, we have updated these traditions with our new knowledge that women are more than capable.

Mary M did go and give sermons all over in Rome and elsewhere after Jesus died. And if the others died a martyr’s death–as per “tradition”–I suspect she did, too (actually, I bet she was smart enough to evade it).

St. Augustine–whom i see many Catholics revere-- calls her “the Apostle to the Apostles”.

.


#18

Easy. The answer is sacred virgins or consecrated virgins who have been consecrated byy their bishops in a Rite contained in the Pontifical. Only female virgins can represent the Church as Virgin, Bride, and Mother. So there ya have it. Ordination reserved to men and sacred virginity reserved to women. Both require a prayer by the bishop and the man/woman cannot self ordain/consecrate.


#19

There was actually only 12 Apostles to begin with and all others are really disciples, including Mary Mag. The Apostles were the first Bishops and Mary M, could never have been a Bishop. I wouldn’t worry about liberals, they go against everything the Church teaches. Pray for them.
God Bless, Memaw


#20

The Holy Church is not obsessed with genitalia.

Rather, in the 100 generations that it has been in operation, it has understood that gender is more basic to the human being than just genitalia, and our LORD was a male.

It wouldn’t matter if there were 50 apostles and half of them female, the priests are not a priori stand-ins for them, but for HIM.

It is rather the general society that insists that gender is fluid and socially defined and therefore should not matter.

In any case, the Church will be there when all these issues are forgotten.

ICXC NIKA.


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