Is the Ordination of Women even possible?

I dont care if its Biblical or not, I just want to know if its possible.

If the Pope ordained a woman, could that woman be ordained validly?

I understand completely that Woman Ordinations are out of the question in the Catholic Church because Jesus never ordained woman.

All I am asking is if it is even possible to ordain women?

Thank you.

I guess the ordination would slip down the woman’s body to the ground like if she wore an ordination-repelent garnment.

Anything is possible, but the Pope would have to be a heretic to do so, and no validly elected Pope has ever been a heretic.

It’s kinda like asking if it would be possible for a Pope to declare polygamy legal. Or murder. In theory yes, in practice no because the Church is protected by Christ through his validly elected representative on Earth, the Holy Father, from error regarding faith and morals.

To sum up:D

It is an intellectual exercise only.:wink:

I believe that the Church states that any attempted ordination of a woman is invalid.

So even if a pope did so the Church would say that it is invalid.

The Church has not been clear as to why a woman is incapable of receiving Holy Orders only saying that it does not have the authority to do so.

Appreciate the clarification, fratello. :slight_smile:


The Pope could make all the right motions and say the right words, but it would be no different than an actor doing the same for a movie.

To make a Sacrament valid, there must be three things present: Form, Matter, and Intention.
The Form could be correct: all the right words and gestures. The intention could even be correct: he intends to ordain this person as a priest.The matter wouldn’t be, because a woman is not a man.

This applies to all Sacraments. A priest cannot confect the Eucharist using Necco wafers even if people like the taste better because it’s the wrong matter. Likewise if all he intends to consecrate is the bread and wine on the altar, the inventory in the sacristy is not consecrated even if it’s within the sound of his voice. Nor can he ad-lib the words and say, “Abracadabra. This is now Jesus!” and have it work.

The Church as been very clear. Both Popes Paul VI and John Paul the Great have written about this.

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.

Emphasis mine.

Consider that a priest is mystically married to the Church. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Woman cannot be married to the Bride of Christ for obvious reasons. The priest is alter Christus – another Christ. He stands in the place of Christ – in persona Christi.-- in offering the Sacrifice of the Mass and administering the sacraments, a role which women clearly cannot fulfill. It is Christ who offers the Mass, absolves our sins, anoints us when we are ill, etc. Christ acts through His priests. Woman can’t image Christ. Read what the popes have to say on the subject. Paul VI’s document on the subject is referenced by name in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

Thanks for the great explanations, Jim and Richard :thumbsup:

No. It’s an infallible teaching of the Church.

A bit off here.

The form for the Sacrament of Holy Orders is the prayer of consecration.
The matter for the Sacrament of Holy Order is the laying on of hands by the bishop and the anointing of the hands.

Now somebody correct me if i’m wrong here but i watched something with Cardinal Timothy Dolan and a man that is a monk his name was fr. Benedict Groeschel on the hhs mandate but you know cardinal dolan he was talking to him and got off track and talked about cardinals he said women could be come them. Apparently mother teresa was asked to become one but she turned it down and i was also told that its not a form of holy orders. I absolutely love watching Cardinal Dolan because he is funny and really down to earth and he mentioned that and i thought well thats cool. I’m pretty sure its true but it may not be some one correct me if i’m wrong i never really looked into it.

Why would a woman want to be ordained? I think some feminist women use this argument to make women of catholic faith seem less important. But really, God blessed us with the most important blessing of all: to give life. In a way, God the Creator of heaven and earth, gave us women the ability to create as well. Obviously men have half a part in the actual creation of humans (:D) but we are the ones who carry our little humans for month, and even after birth are made to be able to give life to infants through milk! Aren’t we special :slight_smile:

Also, if we take a look at a woman we know that woman are full of mercy, love, compassion and tend to lead with our hearts. Often times our hearts lead us astray from what is true. Not that men are less at fault then women (although we sure like to hold ourselves at a higher place ;)…

If you really thing of how amazing and graceful and wonderful it is to be a women…you start to really realize why it would be inappropriate to be ordained as a priest…

Everyone has they’re job. Catholic men aren’t making any attempt to take away our women rights like the rights to bear children, breast feed and such (and make attempts to do that themselves…), so perhaps we should show a little humility and let them take there place as well.

There is always a way to serve God though, being a nun isn’t an old way of life. If you want to dedicate your life to God and the saving of others, there is other ways you can serve :slight_smile:

Hope that helps! Always nice to have a woman’s’ perspective!

Don’t know what you’re watching, but that is pure hogwash :wink:

Then perhaps you can tell us why these womenpriests are not really priests? If a Bishop laid hands on and used the chrism and said the prayers with the intention, what’s missing?

No, if ten cardinals, the Pope, and half a dozen metropolitan bishops laid their hands on a woman at once, in the middle of St Peter’s Basilica, with the use of Chrism that had touched Christ himself, Holy Orders would not and could not be conferred. (That is, the woman would not be able to confect the Eucharist nor perform any priestly functions: no indelible mark of orders would be upon her soul.)

Even if the Pope (in that case, an anti-pope) approved it, and said it was licit - it would still be invalid. Women are ontologically incapable of being ordained: no matter what authority would demand it, it would be impossible, unless the world is Occasionalist in its being, and God itself rewrote creation to make women male. That is, no matter who attempts to ordain a women - no matter if they are a bishop of the Catholic or Orthodox Churches - no ordination actually occurs, but a mere “simulation of the sacrament” (which is, incidentally, blasphemous), in a way analogous to a man who is not ordained attempting to confect the Eucharist - even if he stands behind a dedicated altar in St Peter’s Basilica with a valid host, and performs the rite perfectly, saying the words perfectly - the Eucharist never comes to be; it is still just bread and wine, that has not undergone transubstantiation. The same is unto women, who are ordained in what would otherwise be a valid ceremony: they are still just human beings, not priests, after the ceremony is finished, just as the bread and wine remain bread and wine if a non-ordained man would perform the rites over it.

The Deaconess is not an exception, as the Deaconess was not a complete parallel to the Deacon, and was not ordained - there’s a good article on this somewhere…

There’s a lot of verbiage up there, but the key phrase, the entire matter, is women are ontologically incapable of being ordained.

And the same argument (well nearly-you get my meaning :wink: ) is why a man can never become a nun.

I’m pretty sure I rarely agree with you, but that’s a funny and illustrative way of putting it, and mostly accurate (not completely, in the fact that no “ordination” ever came out of the bishop’s hands, nor did the Holy Spirit ever descend). For all practical purposes, you can visualize it in such a way and be spot-on.

There are some seemingly-good philosophical arguments for women being priests, based on the analogy of, if a woman is ontologically capable of being baptized, by definition, she is ontologically capable of being ordained, but they fall short (not always in terms of philosophy, but in terms of theology, Christian truth, and Biblical hermeneutics: as St Paul was so vehement and eloquent about, Christianity is not just another philosophy; it is not irrational, but supra-rational).

If someone speaks to the ontological capability of baptism in women, and compares it to being ordained, you are speaking with someone who is a very educated and sophisticated defender of the simulation of ordination of women (such as Luke Timothy Johnson, who is an excellent exegete).

Also spot-on (with Brother David’s erratum). Good responses.

Because the Church says that it does not have the authority to ordain women.

The form and matter of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is as I stated as that is what is taught in the sacramental theology of the Church.

Because a man becomes a monk.

A nun is nothing more than a female monastic. The title for a male monastic is monk. Many of the Eastern Orthodox Churches call both male and female monastics monks.

The religious life is not viewed as a Sacrament by the Church. Both men and women can make vows.

It is a false analogy to compare priests who are in major Holy Orders and nuns who are consecrated religious as there are male consecrated religious.

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