female priests


#1

just recently read a thread replied by an Apologist argueing that male only priests is as natural as female only child bearers.

seemingly a valid arguement but females are biologically build so that they alone may bear children. Im not sure God build males so that they are perfectly suited to be priests.

Considering there is no scientific evidence of sort and what evidence we do have sents the message that males would be worse priests with them being more aggresive.


#2

The correct term would be “priestess.”

Considering there is no scientific evidence of sort and what evidence we do have sents the message that **males **would be worse priests with them being more aggresive.

You assume that men and women are different. (As a Catholic I would point out that they’re different in a complimentary way, but that is besides the point.)

Would you prefer a priest to be passive?

If you assume that they are different, perhaps these same qualities that you see as dangerous could be the very thing that spurs them on dispite opposition, to love even when it is difficult. Perhaps this “aggressiveness” as you see it is at its core something esle, and its this something else that gives them something extra to stand up agaisnt a nation and call them to “repent, repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and be willing to loose their heads for it.

Now I don’t think this exactly myself as there have been many, many women martyrs, but I am trying to prove a point.

When sombody falls, it is thier good qualities that enable them to fall so hard. Who would Atilla the hun be wihtout his courage, what about Hitler without his charisma? Who would George Washington be without his courage? Who would Ronald Regan be without his charisma? Could this thing that fuels negative aggressiveness be meant for something else, something good? The same root that gets them all riled up that could lead to a negative expression of aggressiveness could also spur them on in zeal for the Lord if expressed correctly. Just as people can fall hard, so too can they achive greatness.


#3

Jesus had no female Apostles. The Pope says no female priests. Two persons I have the highest regard for among the entire world. That’s good enough for me.


#4

Does it actually say anywhere that he disallowed female apostles???

If it did, that would make Jesus a misogynist and, as a consequence, imperfect.

The pope is only a person.


#5

No, it doesn’t state implicitly that the New Covenant priesthood is to be male only. But, it did say so for the Old Testament priesthood. Thus the precedent was there for a male priesthood and I say the burden lies on you to show where Our Lord says that female priests will henceforth be allowed.

And no, disallowing female priests does not make Our Lord a misogynist any more than it makes Him a misogynist for deciding to create two sexes rather than one and choosing to give certain qualities to males that are not given to females.

Nita


#6

DITTO You also.

Your wrong! I’m right!


#7

To really understand this you have to understand exactly what it is the priests are doing that makes it imperitive that priests be male.

The priests act “in persona Christi” - as “in the person of Christ” when they perform the sacraments that are specific to the priesthood. To say that a woman can act as in the person of Christ is assuming that women and men are the same, that gender is irrevelant. That is not true - men and women are different. That doesn’t mean they aren’t equal as persons but they are different. That is not hard to see. :slight_smile:

That is not also to say that women are not called to “ministry”, in fact women have many specific gifts that make them as valuable as any man to the Church, in fact, we have at least two women “Doctors of the Church”. But just as Christ was a male, His priests need to be male as well.


#8

Does it say anywhere that any of the Apostles were female? :slight_smile:

Just because He set up a male priesthood doesn’t make Him a misogynist.


#9

Hi Jennifer123,

I would take your answer a little further and say that a priest shares in the Groom Christ’s nuptial relationship with the Bride Church. A female priest and a “female” church is as wrong as Bruce and Steve wanting to marry each other.

No. Homophobic, maybe :rolleyes: . But not misogynist.


#10

But, it did say so for the Old Testament priesthood. Thus the precedent was there for a male priesthood and I say the burden lies on you to show where Our Lord says that female priests will henceforth be allowed.

The new covenant is fundamentally different than the last. The continuity between the two preisthoods is symbollic. The Law saw women as less than worthy or at least more apt to defilement than males. Evident in the way that purity laws were more harsh with females.

I am always perplexed as to how Catholics never seem to acknowledge that the gospels were written in a patriarchial context and that it is only logical that they would reflect this society to a significant degree. The gospels have no Christian priesthood and make no specifications for one.

Because Jesus had no female apostles is not a legitimate point against females as priests. He had many female disciples. When the Old Testament makes a moral proclaimation such as “do not covet your neighbours wife” we say this applies to both male and female? Why? If we’re going to be gender speicific and completely ignore the fact that the scriptures were written in a male dominated period…then we need to ignore that on all accounts.

If Jesus could represent a woman on the cross, why can’t she represent him on the altar? On the cross Jesus transcended gender boundaries. There is nothing demonstratably different about a woman than makes her illegitimate for the priesthood or representing Christ. It paints a picture of atonement to which the penis is somehow fundamental in the salvation act.


#11

“represent him” - This may be the reason for the confusion.

I don’t think we Catholics regard our priests as representatives of Jesus. Preists act in “persona christi”, which means he actually becomes a Groom to the Church. (A woman can’t become a Groom.) see my post earlier above for more info…

To me, it’s just a mystery I have to accept, kind of like turning bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ; It’s a mystery. I have no idea how it all works. But apparently it’s the truth.


#12

Because a mother can’t be a father . . .


#13

Matthew 5: 17-18
17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
18 Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.

Unless the second coming has happened and I somehow missed it, the law still exists in full effect until our Lord returns.

Since the Levi tribe was raised to the priesthood for the Israelites, the law has been then only men are to be priests, and the church given the powers to bind and loose, and kept that law exactly as it was written.

So unless there has been some revelation that the law is no longer valid, I don’t think any good Christian should even contemplate let alone push for a female priesthood. It would be the same idea as pushing for a male motherhood.

God set the order in place it is not our place to question it.


#14

Since the Levi tribe was raised to the priesthood for the Israelites, the law has been then only men are to be priests, and the church given the powers to bind and loose, and kept that law exactly as it was written

So the Catholic Church only accepts actual members of the tribe of Levi as its priests right? You can’t use the Old Testament priesthood as a declaration of a Christian male priesthood and then not accept the other elements of the Old Testament priesthood.

Preists act in “persona christi”, which means he actually becomes a Groom to the Church. (A woman can’t become a Groom.)

So are women not part of the Body of Christ. Paul says we form the Body of Christ. How can females make up something that is male!?

The question that remains unanswered is why does Christ’s gender play a role in the act of salvation? So as to render women incapable of acting in the person of Christ on the altar? Do other physcial and pyschological traits not factor in to representing Jesus? If the priest acts in the person of Christ, surely, by some vast merit of grace, other non-Jesus traits are not taken into consideration?

Does one have to be in the person of Christ to hear confession? To bless someone?


#15

Christ’s gender is important because ever since creation, it has always been God’s plan for Man and Woman to come together to create life. Salvation is spiritual life, which Adam and Eve lost (hence we will die because of that original sin). God wants us to have spiritual life so we can live forever; A lot of christians often say that Jesus alone will give you spiritual life, which isn’t really true. Life needs to come from a male and a female. Sure, Jesus is the male, but the church is the female. This is why we refer to Jesus as the new Adam and the Church as the new Eve.

… Does one have to be in the person of Christ to hear confession? To bless someone?

Yes, one has to be in the person of Christ to hear confession. No, they don’t have to be in the person of Christ to bless someone.

Did you know that there is only two things that a priest is authorised to do, which you and I can’t do;
i) Hear confession and say "I absolve you from your sins"
and
ii) Say mass and turn the bread and wine into “My Body and Blood”.

Everything else a priests does, you can do. You can baptise people, marry couples and do everything else, except for those two things above. (Obviously, we don’t encourage people to baptise children and marry couples because it would be an administration nightmare; but technically, under church law, you are allowed to do so.)

When we call our priests “Father,” it’s not out of reverence or respect; We are acknowledging his role as “persona christi” for our salvation.


#16

Gnosis, your appraoch is reduced to two points:

  1. You’ve dismissed the passages of Scripture which talk about the bishop, priest or deacon’s necessity of being male as nothing more than a patriarchial bias.

  2. You’re conflating the passages of Scripture which note that all may partake in the Eucharist with all who may serve in the Church


  1. On the one hand, you’ve dismissed the passages of Scripture (such as those from 1 Timothy Chapter 3 for example – which do say that these people of position must be male) as nothing more than a patriarchial bias. It’s not. These are instructions from the Holy Spirit via the Apostle Paul.

Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

The Scriptures have developed three distinct roles of Church hierarchy.

At the highest level, we have the Bishops (episkopos). The Bible refers to them in Acts 1:20, Acts 20:28, Philippians 1:1, 1 Tim 3:1-2, Titus 1:7 and 1 Peter 2:25. The Bishops are priests with special responsibility and can be traced back to the original apostles.

Next we have priests or elders (presbyteros). They are referred to in Acts 15:2-6, Acts 21:18, Hebrews 11:2, 1 Peter 5:1 and 1 Tim 5:17.

Deacons (diakonos) are the third level and the Bible mentions them in 1 Cor 3:5, Phil 1:1, 1 Thess 3:2, and 1 Tim 3:8-13.


  1. On the other hand, you’re conflating the passages of Scripture which note that all may partake in the Eucharist with all who may serve in the Church as bishops, preists and deacons.

Whereas before, under the Mosaic law, the women were excluded to the ‘women’s court’ during cerain aspects of worship, now, under the Covenant of Christ, all people may participate in the Eucharist so long as they are baptised and confirmed in the faith.

[quote=1 Corinthians 12:13]For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
[/quote]

And again…

[quote=Galatians 3:26-29]You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
[/quote]

As Dave Armstrong points out, Protestants, following Luther, cite 1 Peter 2:5, 9 (see also Revelation 1:6) to prove that all Christians are priests. But this does not exclude a specially ordained, sacramental priesthood-- since St. Peter was reflecting the language of Exodus 19:6, where the Jews were described in this fashion.

Since the Jews had a separate Levitical priesthood, by analogy 1 Peter 2:9 cannot logically exclude a New Testament ordained priesthood. These texts are concerned with priestly holiness, as opposed to priestly function.

The universal sense, for instance, never refers to the Eucharist or to the sacraments. Every Christian is a priest in terms of offering the sacrifices of prayer (Heb 13:15), almsgiving (Heb 13:16), and faith in Jesus (Phil 2:17).


#17

Contemporarily popular ideas like this one always remind me of a brief line from a Stephen King short story, " Flip wilson’s church of what’s happening now " .
What’s the basic history of every protestant sect I have studied? One guy memorizes the Bible, he gets two people to agree with his interpritation of the Bible, and bingo! - You have yet another protestant denomination.
i.e. " Flip Wilson’s church of what’s happening now."
Likewise I’m always being reminded of where in " The Gulag Archipelago " Alexsandyr Solzinitsyn goes to some pains to point out the relative handful of people put to death by the ignorant, backward, corrupt, bigoted , superstitious, provincial, elitist, patriarchal Tsars in the last 200 years up to 1914, and the hundred thousands ( ? ) put to death in the first two years of the rule of the enlightened, progressive, egalitarian, idealistic, humanistic, humanitarian, Bolsheviks.
We tend to automatically and habitually assume that we KNOW BETTER than our grandfathers…
But ahh, DO WE?
How many women were burned at the stake as “witches” by the patriarchal churches between the 15th and 18th centuries?
Well, it is indeed interesting to learn just how many…
Especially when you then ask, for example, just how many non-combatant women were killed when the US 8th Air Force bombed every major German city flat 1943-45?

  • or if you don’t like that particular one, here’s another; just how many enlightened German women voted for Hitler?
    ( they had exit polling in the Weimar Republic, you might be surprised at the answer to that one. )
    I could go on much, MUCH LONGER-
    But I’ll cut it short by saying that, for my part, I am quite comfortable with a tradition that’s over 1,000 years old.
    PERHAPS it has endured so long for a good reason???

#18

So why is that part of the OT not disregarded, like other unsavoury parts have been?

So set another precedent then, it happens all the time.

No, I simply asked if it was written to expressly forbid women. You said “no it wasn’t”.
Now I want to know why the church expressly forbids it, when it is not written so.

It would if he was the one disallowing females.


#19

Re-read my post before you comment, I never threw any accusations, I asked questions.


#20

The way that I’ve heard it described and the best way that I like to describe it is this way;

The Priest is “married” to the Church.
The Church is the “Bride” of Christ.
Christ is a Man.
Therefore the “Bride” need be a “woman” correct?
If a Priest is “married” to the Church, then the Priest
needs to be a man to be married to a “woman” which in this case, the Bride of Christ.

The Priest draws children for God through the Church.
The Priest has spiritual children just as Paul did as he called himself their "Father."
Hmmm, Priests are called “Father” too. :smiley:
So if you had female priests that just would not work.
A female cannot be married to the Church because
the Church is the Bride of Christ.
That would be a “lesbian” relationship.
Lesbians cannot draw life one with the other.


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