More refutation help please

I am currently debating two other Catholics about why women can’t be Priests. They are female, and I am not, so I cannot put forth any arguments that may sound the least bit sexist.

I have argued that Priests are male because Jesus was male, the apostles were male, and Peter, the Rock, was male. They are not convinced and think that this is a weak argument and that things have changed over time.

I have argued that Priests are male because the Church is female, they marry the Church, just as Nuns marry Jesus. They have argued that this is metaphorical and holds no ground.

One of them asked me the question “How are women spiritually different?” I have no response.

They have also argued that women cannot go as high in the structure of the Church because they cannot become Pope, Bishop, ect.

I have brought up Pope John Paul II letter stating that Priests will be male and that all the faithful should hold to this, but they throw it aside as just another thing man does.

They also may not believe that the Holy Father is infallible on spiritual matters.

Because they won’t accept Church doctrine or the Catechism or probably not the Holy Bible, I think I will have to use purely logical arguments on this one. Assuming the arguments above are lost, do any of you have any more ideas?

Here are a few answers:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=120801

catholic.com/tracts/women-and-the-priesthood

archive.catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0201sbs.asp

Here’s your problem: They are rejecting history, tradition, and purpose as good reasons for an action. Priests are meant to represent Jesus at the mass, thus they are male because that is both tradition, as all apostles and Jesus Himself were male. and purpose, as they must represent Jesus, who was male.

You can’t make someone like that submissive to the Church using arguments, they need a change of heart.

The part I bolded stood out to me. You may not be able to get very far with this entrenched mindset in the other areas you have listed. But you might inquire to them - is being a priest, a Bishop, or the Pope about career ambition and how high one can rise and how much power one can have? It may well be to them - if they have ideas on changing the Church to suit their own ideas of what She should be and what She should teach. Which wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear.

But Jesus said that the one who wished to rank highest would be the servant. (See Mark Ch. 9) The Pope is called “The Servant of the Servants of God.” He must have humility. These women don’t seem to have a lot of that. I don’t mean that you should point that out in an uncharitable way, but gently challenge them to examine their hearts. When you mentioned you needed “purely logical” arguments you may not be able to find them since they’re coming at the issue from a different logical base in the first place.

A lot of times women who think the issue is simple equality of the sexes either are not able to see that the Church is structured differently than a democracy (or they don’t like that and wish to change it into one). Some have issues with men, perhaps fathers, and with the whole concept of God the Father. Sometimes the latter turn to “goddess” or “divine feminine” beliefs.

If you’d like, here is a group I started “Catholic Women Speaking Out Against Radical Feminist Ideology” - check it out! forums.catholic.com/group.php?groupid=784

It doesn’t matter if they are convinced. The facts are exactly as you stated them. Unless they show where there is an objective need for a change, then all they have is their opinion, which they are entitled to…but that no one else is required to submit to.

I have argued that Priests are male because the Church is female, they marry the Church, just as Nuns marry Jesus. They have argued that this is metaphorical and holds no ground.

Holds no ground with whom? With them? Who are they that their opinion trumps anyone else’s? You are submitting to one of the many explanations of the Church. If they assert that this holds no ground, the burden is on them to prove it.

[QOUTE]One of them asked me the question “How are women spiritually different?” I have no response.

Women are not spiritually different. What does that matter? Is the Priesthood ONLY spiritual? The burden is on them to prove it if they assert such. Given that Christ specifically chose to come as a man, and chose men to be His Apostles…I don’t think they can support this alleged assertion (which I am only projecting on them right now).

They have also argued that women cannot go as high in the structure of the Church because they cannot become Pope, Bishop, ect.

And? Do they think the Papacy is some goal to be reached? If so, they have a thwarted view, and unscriptural at that, about what the Papacy is. The Pope is the Servant of Servants. It is a role of servitude. Are they complaining that they cannot be the lowliest servants of all?

I have brought up Pope John Paul II letter stating that Priests will be male and that all the faithful should hold to this, but they throw it aside as just another thing man does.

Well, on that basis, they cast aside Christ’s actions as well in His choosing only men.

They also may not believe that the Holy Father is infallible on spiritual matters.

Because they won’t accept Church doctrine or the Catechism or probably not the Holy Bible, I think I will have to use purely logical arguments on this one. Assuming the arguments above are lost, do any of you have any more ideas?

Turn the argument around. You hold to the teachings of the Church which directly mirror Christ and come from God via the Infallible Church He established on earth. The burden is on them to show you are wrong in doing so. And I don’t think they can show such. If you choose to argue to change their minds, you may just be wasting your time…sadly.

Don’t forget to pray for them in all of this. :gopray:

Well I’m glad they read the Gospels. Too bad they don’t listen to the Church.

If they were good Catholics they wouldn’t even be discussing the subject. Just sayin’. :shrug:

In my view, the key to reasoning with another is to see things from their perspective - not your own. It’s easy to reason with someone from one’s own perspective because they will think the same way. Seeing things from another’s perspective is not an indication you agree with them. It is an indication one can see things from the position of one that does not agree with them and consequently, one is more likely to have one’s view respected.

I would respectfully suggest your difficulty may be your starting point. If you are relying on the fact the Pope is infallible and the Church and the bible are right as your starting point, your words will fall on deaf ears. People who are not Catholic will not accept the infallibility of the Pope. If they did they would be Catholic. If they do not believe in God, they will not accept the bible. People today see no reason why women cannot be priests for the very reasons you have identified. They do not accept the infallibility of the Pope, they do not accept Church teaching or the bible. As such, in order for any Catholic theological argument to succeed on the issue of women priests, you would need to convince them of this in the first place. If you cannot, your argument will automatically fail.

The argument the Church is female means little to anyone who is not Catholic. It means little to Protestants. That is because they do not follow Catholic theology. As I said, if they did they would more than likely be Catholic. If you are debating with someone who opposes what one says, there is little to be gained from an ‘I am right’ starting position if you catch my drift, as this requires your opposite number to, in the first instance agree with you which they don’t.

From a theological perspective, which may be accepted by one who does not share your beliefs and it may not, depending on how reasonable they are willing to be, an argument you may try is Catholics believe the Mass is an actual sacrifice. Your opposite number is of course free to believe it is not, but it is highly unlikely the Church will change the theology of the sacraments to satisfy political correctness, or to satisfy non-Catholics or atheists in an attempt to make Catholicism more acceptable to them, and why should they? In the OT animals offered in sacrifice had to be male, and Christians believe these sacrifices foreshadowed the sacrifice of Christ. There are also some interesting theological discussions on the difference between the sin of Eve and the sin of Adam, in that the sin of Adam was the ‘death dealing’ one and not the sin of Eve. Paul implies this. In short, the sin of the world was taken away by a male and as Catholics believe the Mass in an actual sacrifice, the person who stands in place of Christ must be male. You can find information on this line of reasoning online. If you are speaking with someone who has a respect for your beliefs, don’t bank on them agreeing with you but if they are reasonable and genuinely want to understand as opposed to just knocking the Church, they may be willing to accept the fact that women priests would mean a complete overhaul of Catholic theology regarding the sacraments meaning, the faith would no longer be truly Catholic.

I don’t envy your task and I hope something I have said may prove positive.

I found where it says in the Catechism that God has no gender, does that apply though?

Alright, try this one on them. It is an excerpt from “Prodigal Daughters”, by Donna Steichen:

“In Defense of the Male Priesthood” was my first published attempt to use “feminist” arguments to explain and affirm traditional Catholic doctrine on the priesthood. Jesus gives us, in the priesthood, a subversive redefinition of manhood, I said: one of sacrifice, not domination; chastity, not sexual prowess. Jesus instituted priesthood “just for the men”, because it is a “school of humility” that requires them to put aside “self-assertion, will-to-power, and treating others as objects”, sins to which men in patriarchal cultures are typically tempted- but to which women in such cultures are not."

By the way: Here is the description on the back of the book: “seventeen women of the Baby Boom generation tell their poignant personal stories of apostasy and repentance. Each left the Catholic Church to seek autonomy and fulfillment on the major cultural battlegrounds of this era: in feminism, sexual revolution, chemical abuse, academic skepticism, the arts and New Age spiritualism. Each eventually turned homeward to find, like her prodigal brother in the best-loved of Christ’s parables, that her Heavenly Father had been calling her throughout her absence, watching and yearning for her return.”

Sorry if the plug for the book is just as long as the answer to your question. You should give THAT to your friends, see what they make of it.

Now THATS what im looking for! That oughta work, please anybody give me more arguments like this!

Honestly, I hope you’ll consider getting that book! (Which, unfortunately, I cannot condense into one paragraph. ; )

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in those seventeen stories, and there’s no telling what would impact your friends the most. At the very LEAST though, I think they would have to be intrigued.

How could ANY woman simply abandon feminism? In favor of- of ALL things- Roman Catholicism?

Surely that is against the natural order of things?

Just ask them to defend their position. Say something like… “If you are Catholic how can you argue for women priests?” …"Well the Church has taught for two thousand years that the Eucharist is literally Jesus…but who cares…shouldn’t we change that too?

Excuse me, did somebody say that his friends “read the Gospels”?

More from “Prodigal Daughters”:

I read of a French priest of the last century who was embarrassed to read certain parts of the Gospel to his bourgeois congregation. He could not bring himself to preach on “Woe to you, you rich.”

But today’s Catholic feminists are worse than that cowardly priest. The will rewrite the Bible so they need never encounter a theology of the Father. Revising the texts, purging every word that does not fit with their phobias, they will make it impossible ever to be confronted by the Word of God.

"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.”

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_22051994_ordinatio-sacerdotalis_en.html

Also, priests are called Father because they are icons of God as father. You would have to call a female priest father for this reason. You would have an icon that doesn’t have a correspondent in reality. Like drawing a female Jesus. The icon just doesn’t match.

Now that is the ministerial priesthood.

We are all a royal priesthood by our baptism and confirmation.

Another question:
Why did Christ choose to be male and what significance does that show?

One of the reason I am Catholic, instead of being Episcopal or Methodist or any other variety of Protestant, is that the Catholic church holds to authentic Christianity. If someone wants a sincere but watered-down Christianity, she is free to walk away and join one of these other congregations.

I’m not disparaging the gifts which women have in ministry. But there just comes a time when we have to back down off our high horses and accept that God said so therefore the discussion is over. Why should we celebrate Eucharist? Because God said so. Why should we confess our sins to a priest? Because God said so. Why should we pray, or fast, or perform good works? Because God said so, God made the rules, and God has the final say. Why should we have Priests officially designated by church authorities through a formal process instead of just accepting anyone who stands on a street corner and announces that he or she is “called”? Because God said so. If you don’t like that answer you’re free to appeal to a higher authority, assuming you can find one.

The Episcopals have female priests. Some of them hold to the title “Mother,” others prefer a title that is gender-neutral, like Pastor or something. I recently met a female Episcopal priest; when I asked how she should be addressed she told me that Father was inappropriate, Mother was too much like a nun, she wasn’t a vicar, to the kids she was “Chaplain” and she preferred that the adults just called her by her first name. Whatever blows her hair back, I guess, but it just seems disrespectful. The inconsistent answers overall indicate a certain level of unnecessary awkwardness within the Episcopal church with the mess they created by allowing the practice in the first place.

youtube.com/watch?v=SsqzCDaS5uI

I think you’ve done enough refutation. Jesus told us to “hear the church”.

Penn Jillette (known atheist) took Piers Morgan (known “modernist” Catholic) to task for claiming to be a Catholic but denying Catholic dogma. It’s great. If you don’t want to “hear the church” that Jesus Christ founded, there’s tens of thousands of protestant churches you can go join.

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