Women and the Catholic Church


#1

What is the belief on women in the Catholic Church? is men considered more important than women? and is women thought of as dirty and seductive?

Also why isn’t women allowed to be priests?

Sorry if this has been discussed over and over…please link me to the threads if they have been :slight_smile:

Evanescence


#2

[quote=Evanescence]What is the belief on women in the Catholic Church?

[/quote]

That they are equal creations to men. Actually, the Catholic Church recognizes God’s Greatest Creation was a woman, not a man; Mary the Mother of God.

is men considered more important than women? and is women thought of as dirty and seductive?

Nope, On this I would really suggest reading Pope John Paul’s apostolic letter on women “Mulieris Dignitatem”

Also why isn’t women allowed to be priests?

Equal does not mean “the same”. God created men and women to have different roles, different functions. Since these roles were created by God, the Church has no authority to change them

For example, the Pope has no Authority to declare that males may now bear children. God ordained that women are the bearers of Biological Life. The Church cannot change that.

Humans are made up of two parts though, Body and Soul, Biology and Ontology, corprae et anima unis (body and soul united), to quote St. Thomas Aquinas (who was quoting St. Augustine). Without either one, there is no ‘human’.

To be equal, as God created females to be bearers of Biological Life, He created males to be the bearers of Ontological Life, the Eucharist and Confession.

Like Biological Life, the Church has no Authority to declare that women may now bring forth Ontological Life.

God created both sexes to be equal partners in the creation of human life, though each sex has a particular, unique contribution to Life that is decidedly seperate from the other.

And this seperation cannot be changed by the Church.

Sorry if this has been discussed over and over…please link me to the threads if they have been :slight_smile:

Evanescence

No problem at all :slight_smile:


#3

[quote=Brendan]… Like Biological Life, the Church has no Authority to declare that women may now bring forth Ontological Life…
[/quote]

That’s a very interesting (and effective) way to explain this - I’ve seen this question answered in many different (and perfectly good) ways, but not quite like that. Thanks!

I’ve sent this to my brother (a priest). He will appreciate it also!


#4

Brendan,

I too greatly appreciate the approach you have taken in answering this question. I have been present a number of times when this question has been asked of good and holy priests who seemed to be at a loss as to how to quickly and easily explain it. You have done an excellent job.

It is something that took me a long time to accept (back in my “ye of little faith” days) and I’ve been looking for an easy way of explaining it to friends who still don’t get it. I’ll see if it works for a fellow parishoner who still thinks it’s merely a matter of discipline, which she will obey only in obedience, but which she really struggles against.

Thanks and God Bless,

CARose


#5

Thanks folks!! :o

It isn’t really my analogy, just one I picked up in a Philosophy class (I’m a diaconal student).

The parallels are really there though. The mother is the Biological nurturer of the family. Who do the kids run to when they have a skinned knee? Or cares for those who have fevers?

Who was it that safeguarded your Biological safety (Don’t run with those scissors!; But on a coat, do you want to catch your death of cold?)

The father of the family has a different, but equally essential role, that of Spiritual safeguard, the Ontological head of the family,.

The father is the one who should most encourage prayer and demonstrate the Love of God, both by word and deed. The one who bandages a skinned soul with prayer or brings a sick soul to the ‘doctor’.

Too many fathers these days stick their wifes with both responsibilities, and THAT is not only incredibly unfair, but a denial of the particular gifts God created the sexes for.


#6

Not much to add, only to second the opinion that you should read “Mulieris Dignitatem”. This document will answer 99.9% of your questions. If it doesn’t, ask and we can move forward.
God Bless,
RyanL


#7

[quote=Brendan]Thanks folks!! :o

It isn’t really my analogy, just one I picked up in a Philosophy class (I’m a diaconal student).

The parallels are really there though. The mother is the Biological nurturer of the family. Who do the kids run to when they have a skinned knee? Or cares for those who have fevers?

Who was it that safeguarded your Biological safety (Don’t run with those scissors!; But on a coat, do you want to catch your death of cold?)

The father of the family has a different, but equally essential role, that of Spiritual safeguard, the Ontological head of the family,.

The father is the one who should most encourage prayer and demonstrate the Love of God, both by word and deed. The one who bandages a skinned soul with prayer or brings a sick soul to the ‘doctor’.

Too many fathers these days stick their wifes with both responsibilities, and THAT is not only incredibly unfair, but a denial of the particular gifts God created the sexes for.
[/quote]

While I truly appreciate how you explained that, and 100% accept and welcome the teaching…
in the back of my mind I can hear several of my non-practicing Catholic women associates saying “Well that’s because everything about the bible and the Catholic church was written by men…men who want to keep women in the kitchen and in the home, and who believe women are less than them and unworthy of being spiritual leaders”. :whacky:

How can I respond to that effectively, especially when everything you’ve explained so well and accurately still stems from man’s perspective, not a woman’s?


#8

[quote=YinYangMom]While I truly appreciate how you explained that, and 100% accept and welcome the teaching…
in the back of my mind I can hear several of my non-practicing Catholic women associates saying “Well that’s because everything about the bible and the Catholic church was written by men…men who want to keep women in the kitchen and in the home, and who believe women are less than them and unworthy of being spiritual leaders”. :whacky:

How can I respond to that effectively, especially when everything you’ve explained so well and accurately still stems from man’s perspective, not a woman’s?
[/quote]

First of all, the Bible was written by the Holy Spirit, through, but not by males.

The words of the Bible are inerrant not only in matters of Faith and Morals, but in in all Truths that God wants Revealed to mankind, so that we might live a moral life. If there are moral lessons in the Bible, the lesson comes from, and are the words of, the Holy Spirit, not men.

The next thing to is, after outlining the Biological and Ontological unity of a person, and how both are essential parts of being human. Ask the person exactly what role God would have for men?

Are they just sperm donors, where upon women bring forth BOTH the physical and spiritual life?? Is that an equal role??

Why do the physical differences exist? It’s incredibly clear that God designed the sexes for different purposes. If the physical differences exist, why not Ontological differences, as a soul is unique to a person just as their body is? Why would it be such a stretch to hold that male and female are just as different Ontologically and they are Biologically?

A female’s body is physically equipped to recieve the ‘Ordination’ of new life while a man’s is not. The female recieves what issues from a man’s body and with the Holy Spirit, ‘ordains’ it to create physical life.

A bishop take what issues from a woman’s body and, with the Holy Spirit, and Ordains it to create new spiritual life.

It’s really such a beautiful cycle and such a brilliant plan!! The equality and interconnectiveness are there is such with such Wisdom, it’s mind boggling. Each sex performing it’s own unique part in the creation of a complete person.


#9

What a great way to express it!

From a feminist perspective (yes, I am one), I believe that we (feminists) have made the error of trying to ‘build up’ women by diminishing men. That is never right.

As far as women being priests, there is not basis in Holy Scripture or Sacred Tradition to support women as priests. However, I take umbrage that because I cannot be a priest that I am considered ‘less than’ the men in the Catholic Church. That is not what is being taught! I am a vital, necessary member of the Church and my role as a woman and spiritual mother to other members is one that has been honored since the model for this role - Our Blessed Lady - was created!

Now, in all honesty this role was sometimes overlooked by the people in the Church - but never by the Church herself. I credit JPII for bringing the light of wisdom back to the importance of women in the Catholic Church.

Anyone who thinks women are not valued or appreciated needs only to look at their own Parish…I will bet that Parish is ‘run’ by women!


#10

[quote=Brendan]First of all, the Bible was written by the Holy Spirit, through, but not by males.

The words of the Bible are inerrant not only in matters of Faith and Morals, but in in all Truths that God wants Revealed to mankind, so that we might live a moral life. If there are moral lessons in the Bible, the lesson comes from, and are the words of, the Holy Spirit, not men.
[/quote]

I’ve used that approach, and they come back with “well God revealed the message of the bible to men ‘of the time’ according to the ‘customs of the time’, and of course, women were regarded as possessions back then. That is no longer the case so we don’t have to live by old testament rules in today’s time” and so on…you get the picture. :stuck_out_tongue:

The next thing to is, after outlining the Biological and Ontological unity of a person, and how both are essential parts of being human. Ask the person exactly what role God would have for men?

Well, again, they’d fall back on that whole ‘look who came up with thatn Biological/Ontological theory anyway - men.’

Are they just sperm donors, where upon women bring forth BOTH the physical and spiritual life?? Is that an equal role??

Why do the physical differences exist? It’s incredibly clear that God designed the sexes for different purposes. If the physical differences exist, why not Ontological differences, as a soul is unique to a person just as their body is? Why would it be such a stretch to hold that male and female are just as different Ontologically and they are Biologically?

Well for one thing, I could see them bristling with the whole idea that men were designed to nurture spiritual growth. Think about it, these are women who are complaining about not being able to be priests ‘only’ because they were born women, when spiritually they believe women are more capable of such a life than men are. And they’d clearly bring up the point you raised, that man has abandoned his ‘designed role’ for the longest time, and women have stepped up to the plate and succeeded, thank you very much. So to now say, well yes, you did well covering for man, but it really his turn to get back to reality, you can go back to the kitchen now.

A female’s body is physically equipped to recieve the ‘Ordination’ of new life while a man’s is not. The female recieves what issues from a man’s body and with the Holy Spirit, ‘ordains’ it to create physical life.

A bishop take what issues from a woman’s body and, with the Holy Spirit, and Ordains it to create new spiritual life.

Continuing with the devil’s advocate role: “Hello, men and women issue from a woman’s body. A bishop can just as well ordain it to create new spiritual life as well as new physical life.”

To which I would respond, “No, a bishop cannot ordain a woman because it is not within his power to do so” and then I get stuck having to explain why his power is limited, and by whom.

It’s really such a beautiful cycle and such a brilliant plan!! The equality and interconnectiveness are there is such with such Wisdom, it’s mind boggling. Each sex performing it’s own unique part in the creation of a complete person.

Beautiful for you and me and millions of Catholics…now if only the Spirit would help the rest see the beauty of it all!!


#11

[quote=YinYangMom]I’ve used that approach, and they come back with “well God revealed the message of the bible to men ‘of the time’ according to the ‘customs of the time’, and of course, women were regarded as possessions back then. That is no longer the case so we don’t have to live by old testament rules in today’s time” and so on…you get the picture. :stuck_out_tongue:
[/quote]

But it is still God’s message, is it not?
Could the men involved with writting God’s Scripture have inserted, a Moral Untruth, a false lesson? No way!!

Well, again, they’d fall back on that whole ‘look who came up with thatn Biological/Ontological theory anyway - men.’

So, are they claiming the humans do NOT have both a body and a soul?

Well for one thing, I could see them bristling with the whole idea that men were designed to nurture spiritual growth. Think about it, these are women who are complaining about not being able to be priests ‘only’ because they were born women, when spiritually they believe women are more capable of such a life than men are. And they’d clearly bring up the point you raised, that man has abandoned his ‘designed role’ for the longest time, and women have stepped up to the plate and succeeded, thank you very much. So to now say, well yes, you did well covering for man, but it really his turn to get back to reality, you can go back to the kitchen now.

Since when have men abandoned it? Are there not good fathers out there? Are the priests of the parish not good spiritual leaders?

It is very true that many men have not been good role models for Christian living, but that is a call to men to improve. Is it the intent of these women for men NOT to be called to this role??

Continuing with the devil’s advocate role: “Hello, men and women issue from a woman’s body. A bishop can just as well ordain it to create new spiritual life as well as new physical life.”

Well the counter to that is that is it obvious that God’s Plan of Creation does not involve all issuances from a man’s body, but only one special one, specifically designed by God for the purpose of new physical life.

The tears of a man are equally holy to his sperm, but they do not have the same role, now do they?

To which I would respond, “No, a bishop cannot ordain a woman because it is not within his power to do so” and then I get stuck having to explain why his power is limited, and by whom.

By God. All Authority comes from God. When and where did God give the Authority to the Church to ordain women?

As I mentioned before, does the Church have the Authority to decree that Men may now bear Children? Of course not, it was not given that Authority by God.

Why would it have the Authority to do so for Ontological life?

Beautiful for you and me and millions of Catholics…now if only the Spirit would help the rest see the beauty of it all!!

AMEN!!


#12

Well, I can tell you what this woman is doing for the Church.

I am giving her new members by bearing children and raising them up to be faithful (I hope!).

Do you realize how hard that is? I don’t think any mother who is trying intently to raise her children up according to the Church would question why she couldn’t also be a priest. The jobs are similar, and there is nothing lacking in the job of a mother that could be fixed by becoming a priest.

I realize not all women will become mothers, but the qualities of motherhood are written into the heart of every woman. Those qualities are essential to the Church. The Church is, after all, a Mother, too!


#13

Hello, I have been talking to people here on the topic of the Catholic Church…

jehovahswitnessonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=6933&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

(go to page 4 on the thread I post under the name “Spiritual Girl”)

I don’t know much about the topic of women not being priests…and I’ve always been a bit curious about it anyways…

Brendon, this was a reply I got can you help me out here please…:o

**Quote:**Humans are made up of two parts though, Body and Soul, Biology and Ontology, corprae et anima unis (body and soul united), to quote St. Thomas Aquinas (who was quoting St. Augustine). Without either one, there is no ‘human’.

This is not a fact, merely a philosophical issue

**Quote:**To be equal, as God created females to be bearers of Biological Life, He created males to be the bearers of Ontological Life

Is there any scripture in the bible that actually states this or is it merely catholic dogma?

Thanks…

Evanescence


#14

I can’t think of anything off hand, but if you’re familiar with JP the Great’s Theology of the Body, I imagine it would be in the scriptural footnotes…

Wish I could be of more help.

As for your objections, I found a fairly succinct reply here:

It can’t be denied that there are women who could be more moving orators than some priests and provide more consolation within the confessional. But the debate over ordination is not over who could be a better priest but over who could be a priest at all.

So, if a woman’s abilities are not in question, what’s keeping the Church from ordaining her? For one, it should be noted that Jesus did not ordain any women. He selected all of his apostles, and none were women.

Some say that he was bound by the cultural norms of his era to suppress the roles of women, but no one has been able to prove that this was his motive. Furthermore, this accuses Jesus of sexism and it paints an inaccurate portrait of Christ, who had no qualms about shattering the cultural norms regarding interaction with women (Matt. 9:20; Luke 7:37; John 4:27). The idea of priestesses was not unknown to him, since it was a common practice in religions of his time and culture, though not Judaism. (If Jesus had wanted women as priestesses, he would have had the ideal candidate in Mary. Here was a woman who could have spoken the words of consecration literally: “This is my body. This is my blood.”)

There were other roles that Christ had in mind for women. For example, they played a key role in the spread of the Gospel, being the first to spread the news of the risen Christ. They were also allowed to pray and prophecy in church (1 Cor. 11:1–16), but they were not to assume the function of teaching in the Christian assembly (1Cor. 14:34–38; 1 Tim. 2:1–14), which was restricted to the clergy.

Two thousand years later, no one—including the pope—has the authority to change the designs of the Church that Christ instituted. Specifically, the Church is unable to change the substance of a sacrament. For example, a person cannot be baptized in wine, nor may a substance other than bread be used for the consecration at Mass. If invalid matter is used, then the sacrament does not take place. Likewise, since the priest acts in the person of Christ, the Church has no authority to confer the sacrament on those who are unable to represent the male Jesus Christ.

God Bless,
RyanL


#15

What is the belief on women in the Catholic Church?

well, the RCC officially recognises that they DO exist … yes, we do believe in women.

Our records show that they came onto the scene right after the first man!! Yes, that far back!


#16

Quote:Humans are made up of two parts though, Body and Soul, Biology and Ontology, corprae et anima unis (body and soul united), to quote St. Thomas Aquinas (who was quoting St. Augustine). Without either one, there is no ‘human’.

This is not a fact, merely a philosophical issue

Just because something is philosophical in nature does not mean it is not factual.

For example, 2+2=4 is a question of Natural Philosophy (have you ever noticed that the highest degree in Mathematics is a Doctor of PHILOSOPHY, Ph.D)

It is one whose factual nature has no real proof other than experiantial.

The same is true for the nature of humanity. If ‘humanness’ is defined strictly by the body alone, that would mean that is change of body is a change of person.

Does a removal of an appendix, for example, mean a person is less of a person, or a change their haircolor, they change their personality. Other than those on cosmetic commercials, the experiantial nature of the question would be in the negative.

Therefore, it follows that there is something more than the physical that defines a human. The common defintion of that ‘above physical’ aspect of a person is ‘the soul’.

So it is an experiantial fact that humans are made up of both body and soul.

Where metaphysical philosophy begins to differ is on the relationship between body and soul. Is the soul independant of the body or are they co-dependant.

Christianity differs from Eastern Religions in that the body\soul (Nefesh) form a unique entity, while Eastern Religions hold that the body is more of a shell.

But that distinction is actually irrelevant to the discusion, because the real question is then becomes

“God obviously designed differences in the roles the sexes have in bringing forth life; do those differences extent to Ontological life”

I think I have clearly shown that, if we are to assume God is a God of equality, those differences would exist"

To assume otherwise, the Church would have to have been granted clear Authority to ordain women, and that does not exist in Scripture.

In addition, the Church would be sadly mistaken if it assumed it possessed such Authority without clear proof, for such an assumtion would carry a measure of doubt. If the Church ordained women falsely, the Sacraments celebrated by such women would be invalid. The Eucharist would be simply bread, the Absolutions would be invalid.

Why would the Church risk infinitely invaluable souls on such a wager??


#17

Brendan, you are AWESOME! :slight_smile:

Who’s your Philosophy prof?


#18

[quote=Evanescence]**Quote:**To be equal, as God created females to be bearers of Biological Life, He created males to be the bearers of Ontological Life

Is there any scripture in the bible that actually states this or is it merely catholic dogma?
Evanescence
[/quote]

1 Timothy 2:12-15
usccb.org/nab/bible/1timothy/1timothy2.htm

I hesitate to show this scripture because it can seem harsh if misinterpreted.


#19

[quote=Detroit Sue]Brendan, you are AWESOME! :slight_smile:

Who’s your Philosophy prof?
[/quote]

Shucks thanks :o

I had Philosophy with Dr. Echeverria, the guy just plain rocks!!!

I’d love to have taken more, but I took all that was on the ‘Deacon track’

But it’s OK, our textbook for Moral Theology this term is Aquinas’s “Treaste on Virtues” :thumbsup:


#20

This was put to me very simply by my mother when I was a young child:

As a woman, Jesus has given me the same opportunity as a man to reach heaven, along with the same responsibility to safeguard my individual soul. That is the most important thing of all, since all earthly power and rivalries will eventually vanish.

~~ the phoenix, who also really loves Brendan’s reply!!!

:slight_smile:


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