This is from the Luke E Hart Series on Catholicism
12. Who can be ordained?
For bishops or priests, as distinct from deacons, “‘[o]nly a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.’ The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. . . .The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible” (C 1577). It is not arrogance but humility that makes the Church insist that she has no authority to correct her Lord. One compelling reason against the ordination of women is that a religion with priestesses would be a different religion, and would implicitly signify a different God.To see this point,we must begin with data, with facts. One such fact is that the true God, the God who revealed himself to the Jews, the God of Jesus Christ, is never called “she” but always “he” throughout Scripture. Jesus himself always called him “Father,” never “Mother.” His mother was Mary. It is also a fact that the Jews, alone of ancient peoples, had no priestesses. For priestesses represent goddesses, and priests represent gods. God chose to incarnate himself as a man.This is also a fact; this we know.What God’s reason was, we do not know with certainty – though we do know what that reason wasn’t: it wasn’t because women are inferior or less holy, for Scripture declares “the image of God” to be “male and female” (Gn 1:27). But we do know that, as C. S. Lewis put it,“Christians believe that God himself has told us how to speak of him.” Three additional arguments against the demand for priestesses are that this demand is recent, local, and secular.
- The demand is recent. It has never been done. Throughout all of Jewish and Christian history, only men have been ordained to represent the God of Scripture. The reason most of the saints give for this is that “he” symbolizes the divine transcendence. God is other than and more than nature and human souls; and God comes into nature and into human souls from without, from himself, from Heaven. He is not within us automatically, by nature. He is not a part of human nature, like thoughts and feelings, and he is not a part of the natural universe, as planets are, or as the pagan gods were thought to be.All human souls are feminine to God, he impregnates them with new life, as he performs miracles in nature; for this God is not “Mother Nature” but is “other” than nature, as a man is other than a woman. There is surely a connection between the two historical facts that throughout the ancient world a) all Gentile religions, polytheistic or pantheistic, had goddesses and priestesses, and b) that these religions did not have knowledge of the divine transcendence or of the doctrine of creation in the proper sense of the word
- The demand is also local. It is limited to Western Europe and North America. It is almost as limited in space as it is in historical time.
- And the demand is secular. It is derived from secular feminism, with its language of “demands” and “rights.” Anyone who demands ordination for “empowerment” shows a radical misunderstanding of the priesthood. Christ’s priesthood, like Christ, is for service, not power (see Jn 13:12-15; Mt 20:20-28). And anyone who demands it as a “right” is also using a radically different set of categories – legal and political ones – than those of Christ.“No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.Indeed no one claims this office for himself; he is called to it by God [cf. Heb 5:4]. Anyone who thinks he recognizes the signs of God’s call to the ordained ministry must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church . . . . Like every grace, this sacrament can be received only as an unmerited gift” (C 1578). God ordained two sexes, not one, to be equal in value, different in nature,and complementary in function. He created women to be a kind of priest that men cannot be; for motherhood is a kind of priesthood and mediation between God and the world. Every mother brings a new image of God into this world as the Blessed Mother brought God himself into this world.