Is the Church a Patriarchy?


The call comes through and to serve God’s one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church–which has no authority to ordain women. Period.


If a question is going to be posed, it helps to ask what evidence is sufficient for a positive conclusion and what evidence is sufficient for a negative conclusion.
Well, if He had meant to call women, one piece of evidence would be that He had actually done it.
Is there evidence that this was impossible for Him to have done at the time? Why or why not?
There could be other evidence, sure, but here is another question: What evidence would be required to conclude He really does only call men to that particular role? What evidence would be satisfactory to conclude that a male-only priesthood is God’s will?
The Church, considering the evidence, has deemed that the conclusion is clearly in the negative.
I’m asking you if you know what evidence you consider evidence for the positive and also what evidence you’d consider to be necessary for a negative conclusion. Are you open to reaching that conclusion?

Duties? The priesthood isn’t a job.
Moses wouldn’t be anybody’s first choice as a candidate for his role in salvation history, nor would David or Ruth or…good heavens, who on earth would pluck fishermen off of boats to be fishers of men? How on earth would the Church have thought to draft Saul?
No, this isn’t a “look at the resume!” kind of discussion.


Men are also better at one other thing than women. So much better, in fact, that the worst man imaginable can do it but the Blessed Virgin Mary herself could never do it.

Being a father.

I’m not talking about just male parenthood either. I’m talking about the very nature of being a father, such that God decided He wished to be called Father because of that nature.

Joseph was less holy than Mary, he almost certainly had less wisdom, and in all likelihood he was less intelligent. Yet when the tine came to tell the Holy Family to flee into Egypt, it was Joseph who was told. God could have told Mary. It is not as if Joseph would have complained. Or He could have sent ten legions of angels to carry the Holy Infant away to safety. In that case, the Holy Infant himself could have simply willed himself into Egypt and it would have been done.

But God chose to teach us a very important lesson about how He views the father and how He wishes us to view our fathers and our fathers to view themselves. Priests are our spiritual fathers. They preside over our spiritual life the same way a father presides over the physical lives of his children. A woman, even a woman like the Blessed Virgin, cannot fulfill this role.

God decided that His priesthood would be a spiritual fatherhood, and He ordained before all time that only men could be fathers. A woman can be every good thing in the world, but she can’t be a father.

Is the Church patriarchal? Yes. That is uncomfortable to our modern ideals, but it is how God wishes it to be. We have no right, authority, or even ability to change it. And honestly, if we are being faithful, we should have no desire to change it either.


A physical father, if he is worthy of the name, at least knows the names of his children and something about them. A priest barely knows the names of some of his flock and nothing of the lives of nearly all of them. He is not a father in any meaningful way. This is particularly true now, but I doubt if things were ever much different. As far as general spiritual oversight goes, a woman is quite as capable as a man.

In the Bible, an apostle is referred to as a spiritual father only in the sense of being the one who brings the community into being, and so has responsibility for it. The reference would be the same if a woman had done it, only she would be called a mother.

As for our right to change it, the Church has modified and changed many things over the years, many of great importance. Why is this so different?


I never meant to reduce the priesthood to a job. The person I was replying to had written of activities, so I was trying to answer in the same vein.


No, that is specifically addressed in CDF document I linked above. Jesus acted contrary to the social framework on how women should be treated and treated them far better than society deemed they should be, hence that can’t be s reason he didn’t pick them. From defending the prostitute from being stoned to Mary Magdelan who approaches Jesus when he’s with Pharisees and they say “You know what kind of a woman this is???” And Jesus says to them “Please, let her approach” and then “she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Your sins are forgiven” and Pharisees rebuke Jesus “What?? Only God can forgive sins!!”

So let’s take “Jesus was acting within social norms of women “ off the list of why he didn’t choose women

Also the likelihood that he randomly chose 12 men and all 12 just coincidentally happened to be men is 1 in 4300 (just take 1/2 to the 12 power)



Not sure if serious or trolling


Such as?


Why not both?

Let’s see what the mods have to say about it.


I recommend reading Rerum Novarum… maybe the most important papal encyclical of the past 150 years



There’s plenty of room for dissent.

I mentioned a Chestertonian paradox above. But the paradox of A) a clergy that is more than 50% homosexual and B) also militantly misogynistic

is just ridiculous.

I doubt anyone is offended here. In another paradox, a person doesn’t have to be offended to think a post is a bit goofy.

Why not back your post up with facts? The claims you made are pretty serious. If you want to be taken seriously, you should at least cite a couple sources.


You just posted

What was that, except to say that a priest is not in fact a father but only someone who provides “general spiritual oversight,” which (again) is a duty, not a role rooted in the identity of the priest as a person?


“The real reason is that, in giving the Church her fundamental constitution, her theological anthropology-thereafter always followed by the Church’s Tradition- Christ established things in this way.” --Pope Paul VI

“In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time.” --Pope John Paul II

Again: What evidence would satisfy you that Christ did indeed intend to ordain men and only men to the apostolic and presbyterial office?


Women are absolutely allowed to have hysterectomies for medical reasons. If you’ve come across a priest who has said otherwise, they are wrong. This is not Church teaching.


No, there isn’t. There is plenty of room for discussion in terms of gaining an understanding of the situation, but pretending that this is an open question when it is not is contrary to the facts. Why should this forum pretend that the unchanging nature of the situation is in question when it is not?

“Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

Solemnity of Pentecost, May 22, 1994

That is not to say that the male-only priesthood bars women from meaningful input into the decision-making or discernment within the Church. As Our Lord said, " “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:25-28) This means that the implication of having men in positions of authority in the Church should not be just the same as when that is the case in the secular world.


Personally, I don’t think a woman should ever get a hysterectomy from a priest, permission or no.



Thanks. But I wasn’t referring to dissenting the ordination of women. I was addressing Glen’s comment that there is no room for dissent on CAF, which was in response to a couple of us calling him out for his previous post. But perhaps ‘diversity of opinion’ is a better term than dissent.


…and nowhere in that article did it say that a woman needed her priest’s permission to have a hysterectomy.

In fact, this subject was recently discussed in another thread and clarification was made about what it actually defined…and the removal of a diseased or damaged organ does not need anyone’s approval…except the patient receiving the surgery, the doctor performing it, and the insurance company that is paying for it.


You aren’t getting it, are you?

Read this thread… the OP learned from it, perhaps you can too.

It came down to this- a hysterectomy for purposes of sterilization only is illicit…just like a tubal ligation. A hysterectomy because of a diseased or damaged uterus is fine, even if the obvious result is that she will be sterile. What is so hard to understand about that?


Sorry. Since the thread is about the “patriarchy,” I took you to be talking about the ordination of women.
Having said that, I do not see any problem with it if CAF doesn’t tolerate posts which imply that the firm teachings of the Magesterium are up for debate. That is probably a fair assessment, and if it is that is in keeping with the mission of Catholic Answers. They aren’t here to give people a place to debate whether what the Church teaches is correct or not, but to give people a place to learn the truth about the Catholic faith and to distinguish truth from rumor and opinion.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit