Female ordination

I’m new to the faith and I’m having a hard time explaining to my son why females cannot be ordained. *I think I have him to a point of religious assent but I know he has a nagging feeling that it is somehow “sexist”. *So I’d like a way to contrast this notion with the special dignity women have been afforded throughout Church history.

Oddly enough, an atheist friend posted the following to my facebook. *He went to school with this young woman, and she seems like a smart cookie, though I disagree with her assessment and lack of assent. *She appears to be requesting dialogue so I thought this an appropriate place to gather charitable apologists to oblige her :slight_smile:


I’m glad to see you have found these forums, as you said, they are a great place to find friendly apologists. Surly there are many people who will offer better and more Biblical answers, I’m more of a logical/rational thinker.

So, in this reguard, I see a couple topics that if adressed could help him get comfortable with Church teaching:

  1. Priesthood is ment to be the lowest servant career. They are not kings or royalty, but instead they are called to give their prayers, time, and energy to God in a more focused and perfectly humble way than others. Nothing remains truly their own. So, in some way, it is like the military not having women in front line combat, they are respecting them, not subdueing them. (I know it isn’t always that way, but priesthood perfectly lived is very humble indeed)
  2. It’s not the Church’s decision God decided, we just listen. If he is suggesting that Catholic specifically are choosing male priests in a prejudicial manner, that notion that God said it first may help. Look at how in the Old Testament God’s priesthood were all men. He always chose men to be the high priest. He can to earth in a male form. He chose all men as His apostles. And these men chosen and discipled by Him taught that only men could be priests. But again that doesn’t make men better. Mary has the highest position in the heavens of all creatures. Many women in the Bible were important figures. They saved the Jewish nation, they corrected the immoral, they seved as judges and prophets. They were/are very important…but they never serve as priests. God decided and we listen. The Church must be humble and do/teach as God directs or we fail to be His church.

And that’s mainly my arguement. Pride vs. humility. And historical/religous presidence. God make the world one way, we should accept that and listen. Not because we are lazy and don’t feel like arguing. Not because we are disinterested and just go throught the motions. But because obedience and humilty are greater virtues that all the courage, valor, indignation, or justice that Hollywood can whip up.

The Church teaching:

CCC 1577 “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.



It’s really quite simple: Jesus did not give the Church authority to ordain women.

Women would be perfectly capable of receiving Ordination, but the Church is incapable of bestowing it upon women. It’s not a limitation of women; it’s a limitation of the Church.

That’s why the Church can NEVER ordain women - even if the Church wanted to.

This is the best way I have ever heard it put. it from an interview with a Harvard’s Valedictorian to Become Dominican Nun

From its earliest years, the Church’s doctrine of the equality of all humans as beloved children of God and its reverence for Mary as the spouse and mother of God elevated women to a status previously unheard of. In our own times, the Church’s unequivocal opposition to practices such as abortion and contraception, which harm women physically and psychologically, and threaten to render them victims of their own and others’ unchecked desires, makes the Church a lone voice above the chaos, promoting women’s dignity and happiness.

Here is the whole interview thesacredpage.com/2010/08/harvards-valedictorian-to-become.html

hope this helps

Do research into the belief systems of women priests in the Catholic Church and women priestesses in the Episcopal church.

Specifically their views on “male domination”, Sacred Tradition, radical feminism, contraception, abortion, noncelibate same sex attraction, and gay marriage.

What ‘women priests in the Catholic Church’ would you be referring to?

(self excommunicated women priests who continue to clinge to the idea that they remain Catholic althou they vigerously deny papal authority)

Ok. Never heard of any. :o



The case against women’s ordination is irreformable, even the Pope cannot change that. The Holy Orders is a sacrament, the Church simply has no authority to change a sacrament instituted by Jesus. Such dogma is not equivalent to relegating women as second-rate members of the church. The Church has honored women throughout history for their contributions to the Church. All people can fully participate in the Church, but as St Paul reminds as in Cor 1, we all have our unique gifts and roles.

I think you’ll find this article very helpful:


No female ordination. Period.

Simple answer: women cannot be priests because they are not men.
Women cannot be Fathers. Men cannot be Mothers.

In an age when so many–both men and women–have forgotten, or do not care, that children need both fathers and mothers, it is tempting to think that gender does not matter. It does.

Catherine of Sienna told the pope where to go (Rome, not Avignon), but she did not seek ordination.

Thank you all for your thorough answers and link! This will definately help me explain things to him.

I like the post right above yours and I was going to say pretty much the same thing. Society today seems to want everyone to think that men and women are the same. We are not and it is a simple as that. We are equal, yet different, we have different roles. I can never have a baby, does that make doctors sexist against men? No, the Church isn’t sexist because women can’t be “fathers”.:shrug:

I always find it odd when the argument is based on what Jesus did not do or say. In other words - when Jesus is silent on a topic it is interesting that we somehow are able to get to silence providing or witholding authority…

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