The Hidden History of Women's Ordination

I thought I’d share this insightful lecture. It’s almost an hour long, so if you have the time, it’s definitely worth watching. :thumbsup:

(March 24, 2009) Speaker: Gary A. Macy, PHD, the John Nobili, SJ Professor of Theology at Santa Clara University

(Start of Presentation: 9:02)
(“Rite of Ordination for a Deaconess”: 13:52)
(“Rite of Ordination for an Abbess”: 15:59)
(Understanding of “Ordination”: 17:47)
(Roles of “ordained” women: 29:05)
(Abbesses as “Bishops”: 42:17)
(Ordination of a woman “bishop:” 43:57)
(“Last Female Bishop” [1874] - Las Huelgas, Spain: 46:12)
(Conclusion: 50:08)


After watching the video, it would be interesting to know your thoughts on the subject. :popcorn:

Thank you, I will watch more later however I did watch a bit and “bounced” around.

He really seems to focus highly and heavily on the word ORDINATION rather than the priesthood in general and the actions of the Early Church and I don’t know why that is but there you have it.

Let’s just keep this simple shall we? Jesus ORDAINED twelve men to the priesthood and He is the one that established the church so there you go, that’s enough for me! In scripture the Apostles laid hands on other men, that is clear. This man’s talk might be interesting but those are my thoughts, God bless you and thank you for sharing.

It’s nothing new and was looked at thoroughly a long time ago. We got the answer that the Church has no authority to do this.

Old stuff. Bad translations interpretations.

We just celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Then there is the Concerning the Reply of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
on the Teaching Contained in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Women who seek “ordination” and men who seek women’s “ordination” do not have a problem with the institutional Catholic Church. They have a problem with Christ.

This lecturer uses the term ordination quite a bit, but offers no tie into the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Prior to 1976, men could be ordained to the Office of Porter, Reader etc… And that would be an ordination, but at no point in Church history was it a reception of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

In my parish, we have an ordained Chaldean SubDeacon. He is ordained, but has not received the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Certainly, a abbess could be ordained as an abbess, but it does not logically follow that the Church admits her to any Sacrament that exclusive to the Sacerdotal priesthood, or even the Diaconate.

The council of nicea specifically says that deaconesses do not receive holy orders. The matter has been settled for as long as the divinity of Christ has.

:thumbsup: Jesus Christ and His Church are One and the Same. Once you separate them you are following protestantism because that was the aim of protestantism…to separate Jesus from His Church.

The word consecration is noticeably lacking.

Apostolic succession is of equal importance.

I could ordain my wife to be the house deaconess, and the bishop of our street… but it’s not valid!


Women cannot be priests because it’s the “Sin of Adam” that is atoned for only by males from Adam onward. It’s insulting to women to ascribe Original Sin to the Woman & Seed, who were given their own divine grant of power and authority to crush Satan and his minions. Man up.

That is an excellent point. Do you know any works from the Fathers or the Saints that speak along those lines? :slight_smile:

Ordain means to be made a member of an order. There used to be the order of virgins and the order of widows. These had ordination rites when people were ordained into them.

Abbesses are not bishops. They used to wear the miter and carry a crozier as a symbol of authority because they have the authority of Christ in the convent, but they are not part of the Order of the Episcopate. There is no such thing as a female bishop.


I haven’t watched the video yet, but will.

Does he mention the paintings of the female priests wearing vestments on the walls of the catacombs?


Yes, he addresses it. Dr. Gray’s talk focuses on 3 points: (1) The evidence for the ordination of women, (2) what “ordination” meant in the Early Church, and (3) what roles ordained women played in the Church. In his conclusion, he briefly goes over the implications for the present.

I suppose they think John was a female also. NCReporter is not a reliable source.

So…are you thinking the Catholic Reporter doctored their photos of the catacombs??

The photos/articles about the newly restored paintings in the Catacombs of Priscilla, which were unveiled last November, were written about all over the world–The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Canada’s National Post, The Voice of Russia, The Japan Times, The Sunday Times, Time Magazine, The Associated Press, and so on…

The New Catholic Reporter pretty much wrote and showed the same info/photos as the other publications.



.No, but their interpretation is very skewed. Take John at the last supper. Take any pictures of Mary.
Anything that looks feminine has to prove, to them, that women are important and worthy of being ordained.
Our worth doesn’t depend on that.
What makes NCReporter unreliable is their constant spread of heresy.

The particular painting in the catacombs that “proves” for them regarding women’s ordination assumes heavily that orans position, posture assumed they were a priest and not just in prayer.
It was considered, especially when depicted with a burial, as hope, longing for eternal life.

This has been addressed before. Female Abbesses wore the miter and carried the crozier because they had the authority of Christ within the community. The garb is a sign of their authority. They were not members of the episcopate.


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