Mary was the first woman in the Priesthood


#1

It has been argued that women should not be allowed to the Priesthood, as it has been argued that there have been no priestesses during the early Church, and this because they make a flawed image of Christ, since Christ was man. Yet this view, shared mostly through the Roman Church, is most flawed, for it ignores and defiles she whom the Romans rightly call immaculate. Mary was the first Priestess, doing what all the Priesthood does, for the Priesthood must be parent to their flock, must be the administer of the sacraments chief among which is the Eucharist, and must uphold the apostolic succession.

Firstly, Mary, as Mother of the Church, for Mary, Ever Virgin, Holy Mother of God and Immaculate Seat of Wisdom bore the author of the Heavens within her body. And as she bore the body of Christ as the Most Holy Mother, so other Holy Mothers bear the message of Christ. The Priest may be Father of a small part of the body of Christ, but Mary was mother of the Full Body.

However, this Mother must be able to teach from the crown jewel of the Tradition, Scripture, in which is written “Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Even, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty” (I Timothy 2:11-15).

This was written because St. Paul was writing against the gnostics, who would target first the teachers, to deceive them. This likely was placed here by St. Paul, because he had the vision of his culture, and so was sexist. But this was placed here by Our Lord as an inerrant message, to protect the woman as teacher of the future Christian generation. For women would have educated their children at home, and if they should be deceived, much more of the Church would be lost. For this reason, God sought then to keep women from the Priesthood due to circumstance and not ability, and also for the creation picture given. For in Genesis, each that is created later, is created with more beauty in a greater closeness to the heart of God. So I would say that woman, made after man, is closer to God’s heart, and it would grieve Him more to lose women from the Church than men. We see this in the beginning, as it hurt God more to lose woman than man, for man also fell, yet God did not here call him also transgressor.

And, because of this closeness, woman is given the chance to salvation. Woman is said to be saved through bearing children, because Mary’s child is the savior of us all. Christ would not have been born except that Mary submitted as a good and willing servant. As a mother is responsible for the birth and education of her children, so it is fitting the Holy Mothers in the Catholic Church are responsible both for the baptism of believers into the Church and the education of those believers within the Priesthood. And women are called to submission, meaning that they should place their actions under the mission of the men, and the mission for some men is the Priesthood, so should it be for women. Now, as the Church is established, there need be no more protection, as we need no longer fear that the Church should lose all those who were created closer to the Creator’s spirit.

Secondly, Mary was the first to administer the sacrament of Christ’s body, even before Christ Himself, for He was born from her. The Priest may call upon the Holy Spirit to incur the change of the wine and bread into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. This He does in the image of Christ. Likewise, the Priestess can call upon the Holy Spirit in a like manner, for she bears the image of Christ from the precedent of Mary most Pure, who above all the other Saints should be praised for being herself the best historical image of God the Father. For as Christ was begotten of the Father eternally, so he was begotten of the Mother physically, and so he is called to be present in the host by Holy Mothers over all the world presiding and teaching in the Church today. To allow for women to enter into the Priesthood is saying that Mary is co-redemptrix, and saying that Mary is co-redemptrix is allowing women into the Priesthood. And Churches who deny women the Priesthood risk denying Christ’s mother.

Thirdly, women uphold the apostolic succession by being successors of the greatest of the saints, the Mother of Our Lord. They have been blessed by the bishops in many different traditions, and much of Christianity has found their ordination most sufficient and good. They find blessing in the Anglican Church, which is the Catholic Church along with the Roman Church, the Orthodox Churches, and many other Protestant Churches. Their succession reaches back, from the proud history of the Americas, and of England, to the time when all the Church was one, to the original Apostles. The line is unbroken, and the power of history and tradition must be honored. From the time of Christ’s mother to now there has been an unbroken Priesthood of both men and women.


#2

What do you think of this argument? What points is it weak on? What does it have going for it?


#3

“For in Genesis, each that is created later, is created with more beauty in a greater closeness to the heart of God.** So I would say** that woman, made after man, is closer to God’s heart, and it would grieve Him more to lose women from the Church than men. We see this in the beginning, as it hurt God more to lose woman than man, for man also fell, yet God did not here call him also transgressor.”

Wrong. Why have so many scattered? She does not know God’s heart.

“As a mother is responsible for the birth and education of her children, so it is fitting the Holy Mothers in the Catholic Church are responsible both for the baptism of believers into the Church and the education of those believers within the Priesthood.”

This makes no sense, no corrilation. Just becasue you bear the child doesnt mean you are the one to baptize. Jesus was not baptized by Mary, it was John the Baptist. Jesus Christ was Divine, He didn’t need teaching, He is the Word made Flesh!

“Secondly, Mary was the first to administer the sacrament of Christ’s body, even before Christ Himself, for He was born from her. The Priest may call upon the Holy Spirit to incur the change of the wine and bread into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. This He does in the image of Christ. Likewise, the Priestess can call upon the Holy Spirit in a like manner, for she bears the image of Christ from the precedent of Mary most Pure, who above all the other Saints should be praised for being herself the best historical image of God the Father.”

The body of Christ is His own body and His blood His own, The act of Him giving it up for man kind is the sacrament! Mary was the first to administer what? We follow Jesus Christ but acknowledge His mother as a holy person.

Thirdly, women uphold the apostolic succession by being successors of the greatest of the saints, the Mother of Our Lord.

Actually Jesus Christ Himself never said anything of the sort. He did say that There was no one greater person than John the Baptist.

Mat 11:11- “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

I didn’t see this as a good argument. It is based mainly off personal opinion and the fact that Jesus was born of Mary that women should be the ones to baptize people into priesthood or to administer the sacraments. I just dont think women were ment for priesthood, look at His Disciples all of them male. If Jesus said it was to be so I wouldnt mind women being priests, but Jesus Christ handed down the task of spreading the good news to men. He gathered the Disciples Himself and didn’t pick women.


#4

It demonstrates how those who push hardest for ordination of women are quite willing to lead us into heresy, if they think it will advance their cause.

The issue of ordaining women is settled – the Church does not have the power to do it. End of story.


#5

Actually there is quite a bit of heresy in there regardless of the female aspect of the arguement.

Straight up opinion? It reads more like a New age movement than christianity and definately nowhere near catholic. Particularly the speculative bits about Gods wishes and why he did things the way he did. May as well ask why he didn’t send Christ in the 21st century instead of the 1st century if it was his plan anyway. Would have been a lot more conveneint.

However typologically and allegorically (you know how we interpret the bible?) none of the above has any prefirgurement in scripture. God already revelaed his plan and culminated it except for the second coming. (However this could fit in with the great apostasy at the end of time)

However Vern is correct, the church does not have the power to change what Christ ordained. End of Story.

Please don’t be angry at the reply, it is objective and that’s what you asked for.

Peace and God Bless
Nicene


#6

The Church says that women cannot receive the ordained priesthood. Since Mary was never ordained as a priest, receiving holy orders, she was not an ordained priest. Only an ordained priest can say mass or give confession, for example. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” in the section on priesthood speaks repeatedly about ordination to the priesthood, sections 1536 etc.


#7

Moderator, please close this thread, as it was started expressly for the purpose of hcallenging Church teachings.


#8

Firstly, Disciple87, thank you very much for spending your time and energy reading and arguing this point.

Christ may not have required teaching, but he saw it fit to become educated. Almost certainly, he went through Synagogue, and was educated also at home by his mother, until he was of age. If a woman can educate the Christ worthily, at any age, then a woman can be a Priest.

The body of Christ is His own body and His blood His own, The act of Him giving it up for man kind is the sacrament! Mary was the first to administer what? We follow Jesus Christ but acknowledge His mother as a holy person.

The Priest, submitting to the will of God, invokes the Holy Spirit to come upon the bread and wine. Mary, submitting to the will of God, invoked the Holy Spirit to come upon her to make Christ, body blood soul and divinity, within herself.

Actually Jesus Christ Himself never said anything of the sort. He did say that There was no one greater person than John the Baptist.

Hyperbole. The Orthodox praise Mary as greater than the Cherubim and Seraphim. And many Catholics hold her as the greatest among the saints.

I didn’t see this as a good argument.

Thank you for your honesty and candor.

Do you think there is a good argument for the ordination of women?

If you do not, then how do you see the quality of this argument, compared to other arguments for the ordination of women?

It is based mainly off personal opinion and the fact that Jesus was born of Mary that women should be the ones to baptize people into priesthood or to administer the sacraments.

I just dont think women were ment for priesthood, look at His Disciples all of them male.

Jesus also chose only Jews for his disciples. This would suggest to me, by the same line of reasoning, that only Jews can be disciples.


#9

I would like to know how this falls into heresy. It may be that my statement is heretical, and I would like to know about this.

Straight up opinion? It reads more like a New age movement than christianity and definately nowhere near catholic.

What about it is strictly uncatholic?

Please don’t be angry at the reply, it is objective and that’s what you asked for.

Peace and God Bless
Nicene

I am very pleased with the reply. I would like you to elaborate.


#10

Could she not have been ordained without full form? After all, though we are bound to the form of the sacraments, Christ is not.


#11

My purpose is seeing the Catholic response to this particular argument.

My personal goal is to see how this argument holds up, from the Catholic mindset, as I do truly believe that women (and gays also) may become worthy priests.

My goal here is to see how Catholics would respond. This may become a serious argument for the ordination of women. When you would encounter such heterodox individuals as myself, how would you respond? What would be a good counter to this argument?

My primary intent is not to challenge Catholic teaching, but rather to challenge defenders of Catholic teaching. And a strong reason for this is so that they may become strengthened through these challenges as defenders of their faith.

There is a good reason for this thread.


#12

Woman should get over it…Men aren’t going to be mothers either. :rolleyes:


#13

This is a very good point, about which my first post and responses have not dealt with at all.

There are certain sacred duties (bearing children) that women can do, but men cannot.

Though this does not imply in any direct way that therefore the priesthood is for men alone, it would allow one to make an argument that, because in tradition there have been very few women priests (and none formally until very recently, and arguably none ever), therefore the priesthood is the realm of the man and not the woman.

I have no good response to this fine point. Simply a question.

Birthing, though, is a clear female gift, not intended for males, and we see this clearly through certain attributes (possession of eggs, reproductive function) that women have that men do not.

What attributes do men have, that women do not, that make them more able for the Priesthood? How are these apparent?


#14

Knowing Catholic teaching in this matter can be helpful. Catholics believe that the only way someone can be a priest and say mass, give confessions, etc. is by being ordained by a bishop. Someone cannot be a priest because they have the right attitude or for their virtuous actions no more than someone can be the governor of your state by having the right attitude or for their virtuous actions. The Catholic Church too holds that ordination has an effect on the person’s soul (the sacramental character), and so in this way too it is an objective reality.


#15

I am not sure I can convey my thoughts adequately but I will try.

Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament. The priesthood in the Old Testament was established by God through Moses. He did not include women and it would have been logical to do so. Marion was just as much a leader as her brothers and the Jews were surrounded by religions who had priestesses. So it seems to me that the design for the priesthood was always male. It was planned to be such in the beginning. It is God’s will. Your argument, as I read it, seemed to put Mary above God that was my impression. It lacked conviction that it would be God’s will which His Church says it isn’t.


#16

I believe that the Priesthood was exclusively male and Jewish before Christ came. And He changed both the requirements of maleness and Jewishness.

Your argument, as I read it, seemed to put Mary above God that was my impression.

Thank you for letting me know this. What, that I wrote, gave you this impression?


#17

#18

Says whom? Based on what premise?

God selected one man, Jacob, with whom to establish a Holy Nation through his 12 sons. Through Moses, He established the priesthood with the line of Levi of the tribe of 12 to carry His Word (until it was made flesh) and to act as intercessors between the Chosen People and God.

In the New Covenant, He came to earth Himself to chose 12 men, from which one was chosen to lead His Church. These 12 were given the power to ordain the new priesthood, the one for all people this time, not just the Chosen. To them was revealed God’s plan for His church through the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

That God Himself selected 12 men to establish the New priesthood is reason enough for the Church to respect His obvious will. Certainly when He came to earth to establish the New Covenant He could have chosen some women to set the New priesthood. He didn’t. End of discussion, there. The Church cannot undo what God has set in motion.

The Priest, submitting to the will of God, invokes the Holy Spirit to come upon the bread and wine. Mary, submitting to the will of God, invoked the Holy Spirit to come upon her to make Christ, body blood soul and divinity, within herself.

Mary did not invoke the Holy Spirit to come upon her.
God sent the angel to announce His plan for her. The angel had to receive her YES before the plan could go into effect. What mary did was give her YES so that the Holy Spirit could descend upon her in order that God could become Man.

Hyperbole. The Orthodox praise Mary as greater than the Cherubim and Seraphim. And many Catholics hold her as the greatest among the saints.

The Holy Spirit did not reveal a democracy to the 12 at Pentecost. That ‘many’ hold particular beliefs does not make them true, nor does it make them ‘official’ church teaching. “Many” did not receive the promise of Jesus that He would be with them always and that the gates of hell would not prevail against ‘them’. He made that promise to the Church, through the 12.

Do you think there is a good argument for the ordination of women?

No.

If you do not, then how do you see the quality of this argument, compared to other arguments for the ordination of women?

Consider this:
Women are the bearers of priests.
Without women, who give their yes to motherhood, there are no priests.
That role, as demonstrated by Mary, is to give our yes to Him so that we may bear His sons, raise them to know Him and to love Him, so that they will respond to His call for them to become priests in order that souls can be saved. It is a lot of work, let me tell you.
This is a noble and honorable role to play on this earth. We are co-creators of mankind! Why women wish to cast it aside in order to be what they consider to be “equal” to men is beyond me.

It is based mainly off personal opinion and the fact that Jesus was born of Mary that women should be the ones to baptize people into priesthood or to administer the sacraments.

Jesus was born of Mary because that was the way to be fully human. He had to be born of human flesh, through the human natural way. He couldn’t be born of a man or an animal. It had to be a woman, so He created her free from original sin for that purpose.

Women, like Mary, are the ones to bring priests into this world not to ordain them.

Jesus also chose only Jews for his disciples. This would suggest to me, by the same line of reasoning, that only Jews can be disciples.

He chose Jews for his apostles because salvation was to come from the Chosen People, who were the Jews.

You seem to be dismissing how the New Covenant is prefigured from the Old. After they were baptized the apostles became Christians - born again in Jesus Christ - though they still practiced their jewish traditions. This is the beauty of God’s Church - Catholicism is the fulfillment of Judaism but not all believed and so we still have the two Chosen lines coexisting today but in the hope that we will become One.


#19

The Church, Christ’s Church, disagrees with you here.

So the burden of proof lies with you to show that the requirements were changed.

You must use more than just your interpretation of Scripture. You have not done so as of yet.


#20

If a woman can educate Christ, then women can educate men. Education is, I argue, one of the three things a Priest must be able to do. My claim: God chose Mary as Priest, and the apostles have no extra powers that any Christian laity does not have. So the question would not be ability, but precedent. It may be that too much of Catholic teaching is denied for the sake of this argument.

What mary did was give her YES so that the Holy Spirit could descend upon her in order that God could become Man.

I would say that this is all that is done in invoking the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit did not reveal a democracy to the 12 at Pentecost. That ‘many’ hold particular beliefs does not make them true, nor does it make them ‘official’ church teaching.

Agreed. It just makes it more likely, or closer to official Church teaching.

“Many” did not receive the promise of Jesus that He would be with them always and that the gates of hell would not prevail against ‘them’. He made that promise to the Church, through the 12.

Or, through the twelve first, and then through all who believe.

As for the “Consider this” portion; I have heard the argument before, and do enjoy it. I do think there is something special about being woman that man has no access to. The policy of the Priesthood, I do not think, was meant to violate equality, but rather to protect women. But one must ask, what ability do women lack that precludes them from being Priests? As I can find none, but rather precedent for women in the Priesthood, realized most strikingly in this age in the Anglican Church, I would find women fitting priests.

You seem to be dismissing how the New Covenant is prefigured from the Old. After they were baptized the apostles became Christians - born again in Jesus Christ - though they still practiced their jewish traditions.

Wonderful words, but it still doesn’t change the fact that all the Apostles were males from the blood-line of Abraham, likely with beards and brown eyes. Maybe only bearded, brown eyed males from the blood-line of Abraham should be Priests. After all, what Christ has instituted should not be changed, right? Many of the Priests (and Popes) have been, in this case, a sad result of innovations.


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