Is the Church a Patriarchy?


Yes but evidently that wasn’t as important as His maleness.


Considering the number of female school teachers who have been convicted of sexual abuse, and the fact that school systems have been acknowledged to have been less than transparent about other sexually abusive teachers, that case is not exactly made.

Ultimately the issue of a patriarchy is not the fault of the Curia, nor the bishops, nor the popes; it is the fault of Christ (if one is assigning fault) as He chose the 12 and they were all male. And before we dive into “Well that was culturally driven” , any fair reading of the Gospels and an understanding of Jewish and Middle East culture at that time would show that Christ, if He was anything, was not culturally constrained in regards to women. God could have chosen to enter the world in any fashion so deemed appropriate, and what was deemed appropriate was to be born of a woman. Had Christ chosen to make a woman a priest, the best choice would have been to start with Mary, the only sinless person in history (and thus one of the only non-prejudiced individuals).

He didn’t. Nor did he do that for any of the important women in His life - Mary, Martha, and on down the line. Christ set it up, and now women are blaming the “patriarchy” for “putting them down”. Some of that, from what I have hear from women, has even gone as far as “blessing an abortion”.

I am not suggesting that women would do so if they were “making the decisions” (and whatever that means) but I have heard enough and read enough from “progressive women” to know that some of them would redefine moral law to their liking. And I do not suggest it of any women in this thread; women come from all sorts of backgrounds and I certainly do not define them all as progressives. However, the greatest amount of kvetching on the matter has been from progressive voices.

Back to one of the subtopics, I have already voiced my thoughts about girls serving; some of them are going to go on to professed religious life; and a vocation can just as easily be instigated in a girl as in a boy. Further, eliminating girls from serving is simply going to mean that the pool of boys will not be larger, but simply rotated through server duties more often. We are no longer in the 50’s where the average number of children per family was higher. There were more boys available to serve back then; it is poppycock and/or the choice of parents concerning boys not wanting to serve with girls.


He also chose married men to be some of his Apostles, and we have had married priests in the Catholic Church ever since.


Uh, I’m not sure a bishop has serious authority outside his diocese. He can’t ordain priests outside his diocese without the consent of that local Ordinary, and I assume the other Sacraments (except maybe Mass) are the same way.


Thank you!


Which is part of why the tradition was that even married priests were supposed to be continent. Unfortunately the standards have… relaxed.


I’ve read many times that most psychologists believe men to be more likely to sexually abuse children. But it’s really neither here nor there.

Christ was definitely more affirming of women than was culturally acceptable in that time and place. But here reality shows its ugly face again, because if Christ had sent women instead of men to proclaim the Good News, likely very few would have listened and we wouldn’t be discussing this now. His choice doesn’t speak to whether men or women should do the job, only to the situation of the time. And the Twelve were more missionaries than priests anyway. The priesthood as we understand it didn’t develop until later.The situation is different now, so shutting women out is the fault of the leaders of the Church, not of Christ.

On consideration, doesn’t Jesus’ very unusual inclusion of women suggest that women should have a greater part in the Church rather than otherwise?


I’d suggest reading Inter Insigniores (1976) issued by Congregation for Doctrine of Faith (CDF) and provides Six reasons why women cannot be priests


Good for them? Merriam Webster and Oxford isn’t the Emperor of English. English has no regulator, unlike Spanish which has the Real Academia Española.

Either way. That’s just semantics. And it avoids the critique of “the patriarchy” that people are concerned about.

Though now that I think about it… The Church does trace inheritance through a male line. The See of Rome will be inherited by someone, and it’ll be a man. At least, in the same way that, say, someone would inherit the Holy Roman Empire. (that is to say, elected) But again that’s all semantics and muddies the water.


I always find it ironic that, when discussing issues of human sexuality, the party line is that we all are far more than just our sexuality. We shouldn’t define ourselves or others by our sexuality, we should rise above our sexual desires, etc etc etc. But discuss the reasons why it shouldn’t take male anatomy to make a priest, and all of a sudden sexuality and the presence of the right “parts” are what it is all about.

I realize my expression of this irony is simplistic and distilled. I fully understand the teachings of the Church, so please don’t respond with a wall of text outlining the nuance.


Perhaps, though I’m not sure one could classify race and sex as being equally fundamental. Anyway, Jesus chose to ordain men, and his Apostles reaffirmed that decision by only ordaining men and Paul specifically outlined that it had to be a man. Since Jesus chose to do it this way, it’s not a matter of whether we like it or not. It is simply impossible. We could wish all day that Jesus had chosen differently and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference in what we are spiritually capable of doing. A bishop could perform the rites of ordination 10,000 times on the same woman and it wouldn’t make her a priest.

So the only question is why did Jesus chose to do it that way? The answers aren’t very PC so they tend to be ignored.


Gender/sex was raised in the OP by asking whether Church is a Patriarchy


I suspect very much that it had to do with practical reasons. People of that time and place wouldn’t listen to a woman, particularly if what she said went against their cherished ideas. Most likely, they wouldn’t have let her live long enough to start a movement, or a church, or even to say much of anything. Overcoming this would mean destroying their free will, which God refuses to do. Therefore, to get anything done Jesus pretty much had to be a man. Nothing un-PC about that.


I realize that. You really can’t discuss the idea of a male only priesthood without discussing sexuality. That is where I see the irony.


Except there is a difference between discussing biological sex and sexual attractions. They aren’t the same thing.


Sure you can. Jesus picked 12 men. No sexuality. Just observing his actions


Thay may have had something to do with it, though I don’t really see Jesus as being the type to worry about breaking social conventions.


I’ve read it. It’s wordy but not persuasive.


It’s also not a debate. So persuasiveness is irrelevant


They are different things, but they both have to do with body parts. And they are strongly connected. If Jesus was male, I suspect he had the requisite body parts, which means I suspect he had sexual attractions. This is what made him male.

It was just an observation on my part. Sexuality is something that isn’t a huge deal and we shouldn’t define ourselves by it, but it is the foundation for a male only priesthood.

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