Is the Church a Patriarchy?


I’m unaware of any church teachings or practices that give men the right to treat women as inferior beings. Can you give an example of a Catholic teaching or practice that does this?


I don’t feel like the Church has ever treated me as an “inferior being”. So don’t generalize your experiences to all women. You can skip the “us” part of your statement, as it’s not about me.


Yes. For example, the Church has a rule that bishops and even individual priests can ban women from serving at the altar just because they’re women. But the Church doesn’t have any similar rules against men.


I’m glad to hear you’ve never been treated as an inferior being. That’s how it should be for all of us but unfortunately it’s not.


Have you read Mulieris Dignitatem - on the Dignity and Vocation of Women by pope John Paul II?


So hire women because they’re women? That sounds discriminatory and quite frankly insulting to women. Why does having an equal number equal equality?

Which is entirely vague. An all-male priesthood is “discriminatory”. Requiring women to be free of college debt before entering a convent is “discriminatory”. So where’s the line drawn?

And that attitude exists in a place that the Church condones where…?

There’s that word again. What exactly does that mean?

Where are the advocate groups advocating for rape and sexual harassment to be legal in your country? Are they as loud as the pro-choice crowds in developed countries? Are they passing laws allowing men to rape women? If I’m not mistaken, the Church has apostolate to support rape victims, do those mean nothing?


Not ‘just because they’re women’

a good case is made here


Are they banning them just because they are women or is it because it depends on how the bishop or priest view altar servers? If the bishop or priest views them as on a possible path to the ordained priesthood I can see why they would exclude women as altar servers. It also follows if the Mass is the extraordinary form. The traditional form would also exclude female altar servers.


Even if a Bishop bans female altar servers (which I suspect is rare these days) there are plenty of ways for women to serve the church. I’ve got lots of parishes in my area and go to most of them. At many Masses there are more females (both adults and children) serving in various capacities than there are males. But if someone is always looking at the glass as being half empty this won’t matter to them.


The Church is what it is supposed to be. God established this Church and it will prevail until the end of time. Is it perfect—NO! Because it is made up of imperfect people. Look at the 12 who Jesus picked. One denied Him 3 times and became our first Pope and one betrayed Him. And yet the Catholic Church is still here today and still His Church. The Church is made up of every single Catholic who belongs to Her and practices the Catholic Faith. Doesn’t matter what ratio of male—female there is.


The Church does not demand - and neither did Christ. Christ led, and the Church does the same.

And yes, I know all about the argument that the bishops need to publicly excommunicate certain political leaders; that was done more in the past, and perhaps the Church has learned something from its past that causes it to react in a different manner.

I find the comment about educating boys more than girls to be amusing. There are an outstanding number of women theologians, for example; I don’t think the Church is failing on that point. There are more women in college now than men; and some of those colleges are Catholic,

Maybe you are not listening; I have heard the Church speak forcefully about rape and sexual abuse; and it has a model for protecting children that is the best available - and wtill working to see if that can be improved. I don’t exactly see many churches or school systems running to find out more about it - sources of sexual abuse that in some areas are more egregious than what the Church’s history of, say the last 60 years shows about abuse and how to deal with it.

And your idea of having an equal number of women and men in non-ordained positions presumes an equal number means equality. IT doesn’t - but taking it a step further, should all grou[s of sisters put men on their board to determine how the sisters should carry out their vocation?

As to “discriminatory policies”, without something tangible to consider, that simply doesn’t carry water.


Why should I care what critics say?

Interacting and dialogue are good.


Sounds like something most could get behind.

In fact, I think official church writings reflect much of this.


People who see something as patriarchal see it as a power thing. It’s a service thing. Someone who picked up his cross to follow Christ in service. Is that the nuance you were looking for when this comes up in conversation?

I think that’s why we need more examples of service.

A lot of outsiders are used to seeing the Church in terms of power and manipulation, whether this is unfair or not, it’s a true perception for many.


Having altar girls HARDLY means men and women are the same :sweat_smile::thinking:

I think altar girls are here to stay, as are woman lectors.


This gets back to what I was saying: That an outsider probably won’t have the correct lens to view the Church as an institution. It depends on viewing the Church as a divine institution, because then you start to see the various roles in the Church as more than just function: but sacramental as well.


And your idea of having an equal number of women and men in non-ordained positions presumes an equal number means equality. IT doesn’t - but taking it a step further, should all grou[s of sisters put men on their board to determine how the sisters should carry out their vocation?

This is a false analogy because “non-ordained” leadership positions often include making important decisions for Catholics in general, and not just women or just men, like in religious orders.


The Church does not have a rule banning women from serving at the altar “just because they are women”. It says that the position of altar boy has been a source of young men being drawn to the vocation of priesthood.

One has not been done, to my knowledge, is any study considering what, if any impact serving at the altar may have on young women.

To wit: my parish has had two women make professional vows - both were altar girls. It might be interesting to see someone in the hierarchy have CARA do a study on the matter; they have done one about men.

The issue concerning the dioceses which do ban girls from serving tend to be more conservative in general, and they also tend to have higher ordination rates. It doe not prove the point a well as some feel, as there are other issues which can have impact on the matter too. More “progressive” dioceses have lower ordination rates, but again that is not proof - it is simply evidence. It fails to determine if there is or is not other evidence.

My parish has also produced 2 deacons and 4 priests; we also have had more than 25 years of Perpetual Adoration. any connection? Perhaps.


Do you really think that’s an issue in North American parishes? Perhaps in some cultures.
In my experience, most parishes are effectively run primarily by a combination of lay women volunteers and staff. At least at the parish level, outside of the clergy themselves, male staff is almost non-existent and certainly the majority of volunteers are women. Increasingly archdiocesan staff are women as well…the Archdiocese of Chicago has a lay woman COO reporting directly to the Cardinal.

This isn’t technically true. A man cannot pursue a vocation as a Consecrated Virgin.


I do not consider Life Site News to be one that I go to when looking at what the Church does. I could take that article and respond piece by piece, but it would take up way too much space.

In short, it ignores the fact that there is evidence to the contrary, and only looks for the extremes. I have already noted that in the discussion there is a tendency to look at one factor alone, as if it is controlling and there is no other evidence.

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