In the recent news, the US government has given women permission to serve in frontline military combat. There seems to be much disagreement on this. I have not seen an official Catholic teaching on it. Should women be allowed to fight in ground-based, frontline combat? Should they be in the military at all? Or is this a matter of opinion without an official Church teaching? Thank you very much, God bless.
At first blush, my inclination was to say that since the Church has canonized St. Joan of Arc, it can hardly prohibit women from engaging in combat. Actually, Joan led the troops, but did not actually engage in combat herself. Also it was God who intervened and told her to lead the army. This was an exceptional thing. By their nature, woman are not designed for combat. But the Church has not made any official pronouncement regarding women in combat.
The Church certainly recognizes the unique contribution that women give to society as mothers and nurturers. It is undeniable that small children have needs that can only be completely satisfied by a mother. The Church recognizes that a mother’s first priority must be her children. This is true of fathers also. But children need their fathers later in life. In the early years they need their mothers the most.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.