How do I explain why women can't preach to a Protestant?

Hello! My name is Carson. My friend and I have just begun a bible study in which we give each other verses and questions about those verses. Then, we discuss those questions. The first one she gave me this week was 1 Timothy 2: 12-15. She asked, “Should women preach? Should they be silent in church?” How do I answer these?

In our Catholic faith the only time that women can’t “preach” is when it’s in the context of Mass. A woman can do the readings, but the gospel and the homily (the preaching part of the Mass) is reserved exclusively for a priest or deacon. This also means that men can’t “preach” in this same context if they are not ordained. But ordination in the Catholic Church has always been reserved for males, and this is an infallible (and therefore unchangeable) doctrine of the faith.

Redemptionis Sacramentum says:

[63.] “Within the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, the reading of the Gospel, which is “the high point of the Liturgy of the Word”, is reserved by the Church’s tradition to an ordained minister. Thus it is not permitted for a layperson, even a religious, to proclaim the Gospel reading in the celebration of Holy Mass, nor in other cases in which the norms do not explicitly permit it.

[64.] The homily, which is given in the course of the celebration of Holy Mass and is a part of the Liturgy itself, “should ordinarily be given by the Priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating Priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to a Deacon, but never to a layperson. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a Priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate”.

Other references:
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
Concerning the Teaching Contained in "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis"
General Decree Regarding the Delict of Attempted Sacred Ordination of a Woman

Who says women can’t preach? Women are free to preach all they want with the exception of Mass.

If we want to talk about preaching at Mass then 99.99% of all men can’t preach as well. The statement about women being silent in Church was followed very quickly but a statement that only a few men should speak and the rest should be silent.

If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silence in church and speak to himself and to God. (1 Corinthians 14:27-28)

Paul’s issue with the Church in Corinth was disorder. Everyone was speaking out of turn and speaking over each other.

but all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40)

Disorder was the issue and it pertained to men as well as women.


Women can give talks in church. Before mass. Or allowed to speak before the Creed.
I’ve heard missionary nuns give a talk at mass before the creed.

Also women in the healing ministry do the same, such as Sr Briege McKenna, or Stella Davis.

The time that was written in the bible, the culture of the time affected the writing, I do not think equal rights existed back then between men and women. But the modern world is different. So the culture/ traditions of the time affected the writing.

They can preach. But they can’t say mass.

Actually in certain cases women are allowed to deliver the homily.

During a Mass (From the sign of the Cross at the beginning until the Dismissal) only Clerics (Priests and Deacons) are permitted to preach. This is both in Canon Law and “Redemptionis Sacramentum”. One reason for this is that it Preaching is part of the Clerical Ministry. this is also partly shared by religious though they only preach outside of Mass. Anytime you see a woman speaking at Mass (not reading) that is an abuse. Excluding Rituals that take place at Mass, for example marriage or Religious Profession

You might mention that there is more to the actions of the Priest than saying the homily. The Priest represents Christ on earth, who was a man. We receive Jesus (who gave the Apostles the ability to act in his behalf as priests) All of them were men as well who served in their priestly roles.

In Protestant religions where they took the priesthood out and away from the sacrifice of the mass this is not understood. From square one, the one who believes that mass is all about ‘preaching’, doesn’t understand Catholicism. The focus of the mass is centered on Jesus who is present with us, not the preacher. The Eucharist is the source and summit of Our Christian faith.

I’m a woman and I’m not offended because I understand the role of a Priest. I hope that helps.

I didn’t know that women couldn’t preach to a Protestant.

:stuck_out_tongue: yep, any one of us women can preach to Protestants and have…lol:doh2:

This brings up an interesting point…

St. John Paul the Great taught that priestly Orders were reserved to men, but said nothing about the deaconate (and was very careful to restrict the teaching to priestly Orders, using the word “priestly” several times) . I opened a thread on this Forum asking if the Church has ever taught that women cannot be deacons - nobody offered any definitive teaching.

So it is possible that the Church could appoint women deacons some day. In which case they will (presumably) be able to read the Gospel and preach the homily at Mass.

Someone should then inform every Jesuit retreat house I have been to. In all, spiritual directors took turns delivering the homily.

In my experience retreats seem to bring out the “creative” even to the extent of violating liturgical norms. Homilies are only to be given by priests or deacons. Lay people, including spiritual directors, are often excellent choices to preach retreats but outside the context of the Mass.

Religious Orders have some autonomy when conducting Mass for their own members. But, if members of the general laity (who are under the local Bishop) are present, all liturgical norms must be adhered to. At a retreat house, it should be the norm that Masses are attended by non-Religious.

When my brother (Fr. Eric Filmer, an accredited CA apologist) was in seminary (it was not a seminary for any Religious Order) the students had received a dispensation from the local Bishop such that upperclassmen could preach at the morning Mass in the seminary chapel (I think 7:00 am), but only if everyone present was part of the seminary. All Catholic Masses are open to anyone who wishes to attend, and if just one non-seminary person was present then the homily could be delivered only by one of the priests (who were the seminary instructors), and this rule was strictly adhered to.

Exceptions have been given quite frequently. For example, in my diocese, masses are said in multiple languages. Sometimes a priest rotated here may not be able to say mass in a certain language. Lay persons, nuns etc have been permitted to deliver the homily. If not for the solemnity of the Mass, it may almost appear comical to an outsider. The priest intones in one language and the congregation respond in another. Yes, we have shortages of priests who are multilingual.

I would be cautious about reading too much into what may or may not have been “left out”` of a teaching designed to respond to one question. I suppose if the pope (saint) had failed to reaffirm celibacy in a particular document, some would say THAT is significant. Or if the pope failed to reaffirm X, Y, and Z, I suppose people would say “His silence on those other issues means the Church is considering a change in her teaching” on X, Y and Z. I bet he “failed” to reaffirm indissolubility of marriage in the document you refer to. Hmm…

I’m just saying the door to female deacons has not been infallibly shut, as it has been with priestly Orders.

Personally, I don’t see this happening anytime soon (if ever). It would surely just reignite and stoke the “women priest” controversy at just the wrong time, from poorly-informed people who have this wacky idea that the Church can change doctrine.

But, if it ever DID happen, we could (I suppose) have women preaching homilies.

Of course, we could have that today. The restrictions about Gospels and homilies is only a rule, not a doctrine. But I don’t see that changing anytime soon, either.

No matter what the Church teaches, no matter how the Magisterium communicates teaching, there will always those who say “well, this door was not exactly shut” or “that is still an open question” or “I guess the Church isn’t quite ready to do this YET” (but will be in the future). All of this pretends the Catechism of the Catholic Church did not exist. But it does exist, written after Vatican II, promulgated by a pope who was there. The same is true for the Code of Canon Law.

Describing the reading of the gospel, and preaching, in terms of “restrictions” is pejorative language. As a layman I do some things at Mass the priest does not do, and he does things I do not do. When we sing Morning Prayer on Holy Thursday, there are parts that one group of laity sing or chant, and other parts that other people sing. I am silent during those other parts, but not “restricted”.

I am a father and husband. In our roles in the family, my wife and I do some of the same things, but other things are unique to me, and to her. We are not interchangeable (contrary to the secular culture). Within religious education, the DRE or principal have certain authority, but as parents we have other authority they do not have. The current Code of Canon Law strongly affirms - empowers - laity, as well as other persons. Men and women religious have much in common with me, but also certain rights, duties, responsibilities that I don’t have. That doesn’t make me feel “restricted”.

  1. I think people have forgotten St. Paul’s analogy of the Body.
  2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is only useful if people read it.

Only possible if it were a non-ordained deacon. But this wouldn’t satisfy any of the ones who want female ordination anyway. And what role would we need this for that nuns are not already doing? It would be pointless.

If you agree that the “door was not exactly shut,” are you suggesting it WAS actually shut? And you say this BECAUSE it was NOT shut? You leave yourself in the uncomfortable position of arguing that Humane Vite did not shut the door on artificial birth control, because the door was not shut.

What are you even TALKING about? I sense you and I are discussing something entirely different. You even drag in Canon Law, which is NOTHING, and could be completely abolished and replaced tomorrow (as the 1917 Code of Canon Law was completely abolished and replaced in a day).

Are we talking about the possibility that women could (someday) be ordained permanent Deacons of the Catholic Church? Is this actually contravened by the Catechism? Can you CITE that?

What are you even TALKING aboubt??? Cite SOMETHING. Because you are making no sense whatsoever.

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