Proof of women's ordination in Scripture and Tradition


#1

Is there any?

This is the only (and I mean ONLY) way this can ever be made part of Church teaching and practice.

Any takers?

Peace


#2

There isn’t any…I’m sure people will disagree.

If anyone is interested in getting a look at a pretty fair (pro-ordination) argument from a conservative Protestant point of view, you could do worse than to look out a copy of “On the Ordination of Women”, by Benjamin Titus Roberts.
Roberts was the founder of the Free Methodist Church. Because he was theologically very conservative, many people are surprised to discovere that, on this issue at least, he espoused an extremely liberal (especially for the mid-19th C.) point of view.


#3

[quote=dennisknapp]Is there any?

This is the only (and I mean ONLY) way this can ever be made part of Church teaching and practice.

Any takers?

Peace
[/quote]

Heckuva way to start a thread. By the title of it it’s bound to get some looks. I can’t imagine any proof of womans ordination in either scripture or tradition. Of course you’ll always have those who twist things around in scripture and try to find a loophole, it’s happened throughout history.

The only real tradition is a secular standard of egalitarianism born more or less in the last century which certainly isn’t bad but applying it in this case is …off the mark.


#4

The closest thing that people will be able to find is references to deconesses in the early Church, both in writings of the fathers and in the Bible. These don’t matter, however, as the term deacon is used quite differently now from how it was at the time. The word literally means “servant.” The references people may pull up are references to women whom were simply servants of the various churches. They were not ordained as are today’s deacons.


#5

[quote=dennisknapp]Is there any?

This is the only (and I mean ONLY) way this can ever be made part of Church teaching and practice.

Any takers?

Peace
[/quote]

I don’t believe there is any. For Catholics, however, you’d be wise to read **Ordinatio Sacerdotalis **from Pope John Paul II. Here’s an excerpt:

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.

Which is fairly cut and dry, I’d say.


#6

[quote=dennisknapp]Is there any?

This is the only (and I mean ONLY) way this can ever be made part of Church teaching and practice.

Any takers?

Peace
[/quote]

Well I think you can fnd support in “The Davinci Code”…http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#7

[quote=dennisknapp]Is there any?

This is the only (and I mean ONLY) way this can ever be made part of Church teaching and practice.

Any takers?
[/quote]

Absolutely none and this is what grates these people. They use this a proof of a conspiracy in the early church to suppress all evidence of a Women’s Priesthood in the early Church.

When you are dealing with conspiracy theorist, logic flys out the window.

PF


#8

[quote=dennisknapp]Is there any?

This is the only (and I mean ONLY) way this can ever be made part of Church teaching and practice.

Any takers?

Peace
[/quote]

Dennis (and everybody else),

How much proof do you want? Romans 16:1 says “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is [also] a minister of the church at Cenchreae.” I have seen other translations that render the word “sister” as “deaconess.”

I certainly don’t support the ordination of women (family ties notwithstanding–my sister is an Episcopal priest and my mother is an Episcopal deacon) but the issue from the Bible is not as cut and dried as some would like to think.

  • Liberian

#9

[quote=Liberian]Dennis (and everybody else),

How much proof do you want? Romans 16:1 says “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is [also] a minister of the church at Cenchreae.” I have seen other translations that render the word “sister” as “deaconess.”

I certainly don’t support the ordination of women (family ties notwithstanding–my sister is an Episcopal priest and my mother is an Episcopal deacon) but the issue from the Bible is not as cut and dried as some would like to think.

  • Liberian
    [/quote]

That is true, but “deaconess” had a completely different meaning at the time of the Scriptures, or more accurately, it has a completely different meaning now.

The word deacon literally means “servant” in Greek. When St. Paul refers to Phoebe as a deaconess, he does not mean that she had any role in teaching, nor was she ordained. We know this all the more because St. Paul commanded that women not be given a teaching role over during worship. Also, remember that the word “minister” also carries different connotations, even today. We do tend to call the pastors in Protestant Churches ministers, but this is a relatively new meaning. To minister to someone means to serve them. Nurses minister to their patients. I can minister to the poor. We don’t use the word this way often, but it is a valid meaning, and the only meaning that existed at the time of Christ. We also know that women served in this capacity because we have letters from early fathers which speak more in detail about certain deaconesses. Today we have taken the Greek word deacon and used it to apply to certain ordained offices. This is our application of the word, however, and does not have anything to do with it’s actual meaning.

ftp://radio.catholic.com/calive/2004/ca040325.rm

Mr. Akin comments on this about 18 minutes into the program.


#10

[quote=Lazerlike42]The closest thing that people will be able to find is references to deconesses in the early Church, both in writings of the fathers and in the Bible. These don’t matter, however, as the term deacon is used quite differently now from how it was at the time. The word literally means “servant.” The references people may pull up are references to women whom were simply servants of the various churches. They were not ordained as are today’s deacons.
[/quote]

The Nicene council declares that Deaconess’s do not recieve Ordination.


#11

My grandmother was a deaconess ( Methodist), & I can tell you that it is not anything like a priest or other pastor…
She visited the sick & elderly in their homes, helped coordinate charitable contributions for the poor in the community, & led a Bible study class for girls in 7th, 8th, & 9th grades.
Yes, a pastor may visit the sick; so may you or I. Yes, a pastor is a teacher; he is not incharge of every Sunday school class & young people’s group in the church; again, people like you & I do the same thing…
The scripture cited, is admittedly, a point that can be argued–but not by me.
God bless.


#12

[quote=Zooey]f anyone is interested in getting a look at a pretty fair (pro-ordination) argument from a conservative Protestant point of view, you could do worse than to look out a copy of “On the Ordination of Women”, by Benjamin Titus Roberts.
Roberts was the founder of the Free Methodist Church. Because he was theologically very conservative, many people are surprised to discovere that, on this issue at least, he espoused an extremely liberal (especially for the mid-19th C.) point of view.
[/quote]

Hey! Someone mentioned my church! :slight_smile: Anyway, sorry for the thread hijack. Resume normal behavior. :smiley:


#13

The evidence in Scripture is strong against women’s ordination. When the Apostles choose someone to replace Judas, they choose from only men. When the apostles institute the diaconate, they choose only men. And when Paul writes about the qualifications of Presbyters and Deacons, he speaks only to men. On top of this, Paul also forbids women to teach, speak publicly in church, or hold any position of authority over men. That is more than enough Scripture to forbid women’s ordination. I don’t understand why the Church’s theologians don’t appeal to these texts more.


#14

From 1 Timothy 2:8-15:

8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer,
without anger or disputing.
9 I also want women to dress modestly,
with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or
gold or pearls or expensive clothes,
10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who
profess to worship God.
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.
12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority
over a man; she must be silent.
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman
who was deceived and became a sinner.
15 But women will be saved through childbearing–if they
continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

You can see that Paul makes a theological argument based on the order of creation and the fact that it was Eve was deceived by the serpent. My guess is that Scripture is teaching that women are more subject to deception.


#15

[quote=amateurthomist]The evidence in Scripture is strong against women’s ordination. When the Apostles choose someone to replace Judas, they choose from only men. When the apostles institute the diaconate, they choose only men. And when Paul writes about the qualifications of Presbyters and Deacons, he speaks only to men.
[/quote]

Yes but is that because women were never ever expected to become priests or because it was the first century and that is simply what they did back then?

[quote=amateurthomist]On top of this, Paul also forbids women to teach, speak publicly in church, or hold any position of authority over men.
[/quote]

and we adhere to this strictly?

[quote=amateurthomist]That is more than enough Scripture to forbid women’s ordination. I don’t understand why the Church’s theologians don’t appeal to these texts more.
[/quote]

because it is unclear if it is cultural baggage or a real forever for keeps teaching


#16

I think Pope John Paul II made it pretty clear with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

Furthermore, add to that the constant teaching of the Church from Jesus, to the Apostles and up to now. There are to be no women priests or women ordained into any Holy Orders. If women want to live the consecrated life, they are welcome and needed as sisters and nuns.


#17

Junia, a woman, was listed as an outstanding apostle by none less than Paul:

womenpriests.org/classic/brooten.asp

There are also examples in the NT Scriptures of female evangelists, prophets, and teachers…all ministerial positons within the church.


#18

[quote=ComradeAndrei]I think Pope John Paul II made it pretty clear with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis…
[/quote]

well yes and no

he didn’t say women can’t be priest
he just said that the Church doesn’t have the authority to change its current practice.

for all practcal purposes this winds up being the same thing

but who knows…mile high shining letters accross the sky speling out “Women rule,OK” may appear one day

you never know


#19

but who knows…mile high shining letters accross the sky speling out “Women rule,OK” may appear one day
you never know

Weeeeeeeeeeelllllll, anything IS possible, but I’d find it kind of strange if God suddenly decided that, by golly, women priests IS a good idea! Why didn’t He think of that 2000 years ago when Christ was going around chosing all male apostles and making the analagy of the church as the “Bride of Christ”? The world can flip flop around on what it thinks women or men should or should not be allowed on, but God generally sticks to His original ideas. Why would women priests only come into play now and not ten years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago…?

he didn’t say women can’t be priest
he just said that the Church doesn’t have the authority to change its current practice.

for all practcal purposes this winds up being the same thing

That does come out to be the same thing. If the church can’t change it’s current practices, then women can’t be officially ordained, which means they can’t be priests.

Plus, if you think about it logically, it would make things incredibly awkward. At my church, we have 2 priests. Can you imagine if it was a male and female priest having to spend all day together and living in a house together? Not only would it lead to uncharitable talk about their private activities, but it would really be a near occassion of sin (that thing we promise to try to avoid in the Act of Contrition) for the two of them. But that’s just a side note.

The main point is that if God wanted women priests, God would have women priests and nothing the Pope or anyone else said or did could stop it. As I see no women priests, I can only assume God doesn’t want them. And what God wants is what the church should want.


#20

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]…Why didn’t He think of that 2000 years ago when Christ was going around chosing all male apostles
[/quote]

well because it was the 1st century and people didn’t do that back then

you can’t push too far too fast
which is consistent with why the OT was written over centuries rather than all at once and why Christ wasn’t sent immediately to Adam or Abraham

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]and making the analagy of the church as the “Bride of Christ”?
[/quote]

when dealing with analogies remember that they are analogies and not literal definitions

Would you use that analogy to bar men from the Church because, after all, how can a man be a “bride”? No, you wouldn’t. So apparently the precedent has been set that your gender doesn’t matter on certain issues.

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]…but God generally sticks to His original ideas.
[/quote]

Tell that to the dinosaurs;)

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]Why would women priests only come into play now and not ten years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago…?
[/quote]

Why not?

 Why did He wait generations to provide the 10 comandments or establish the Levites as Priests?   Why did he wait until the time of Christ to reach out to gentiles?

 Like I said, humans move a little slow sometimes and God has to wait for us to catch up.

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]…If the church can’t change it’s current practices, then women can’t be officially ordained, which means they can’t be priests.
[/quote]

yet;)

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]… Can you imagine if it was a male and female priest having to spend all day together and living in a house together?
[/quote]

Oh come on that is specious at best. I work closely with women every day and I know many people who have house mates of the opposite sex with no romantic involvements.

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]Not only would it lead to uncharitable talk about their private activities,
[/quote]

  A billion person organization doesn’t make policy based on what others might say

This isn’t junior high school

People have been saying nasty things about priest and nuns (and choir boys) for centuries…we give them the attention they deserve

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]but it would really be a near occassion of sin
[/quote]

For most people I know in a “roommate” situation the only sin that might arise is murder over who left their dishes in the sink;)

As the recent unpleasantness has revealed those who want to sin are going to whether it’s an all boy club or not. So basically it comes down to a matter of trust and if you can’t trust someone they probably shouldn’t be ministering in the first place

[quote=MariaGorettiGrl]…The main point is that if God wanted women priests, God would have women priests and nothing the Pope or anyone else said or did could stop it. As I see no women priests, I can only assume God doesn’t want them. And what God wants is what the church should want.
[/quote]

  And how would God make women priests?  We know that He doesn’t use those mile high letters and generally works in more subtle ways.

 Would He perhaps give someone a calling?  Make them want to be a priest and have them ask to be ordained?

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