It’s interesting. I left a comment in reply to one of the commenters who claimed that the Church has never recognized women as real people. And in my reply I posted several Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church who taught the equality of women – but the comment didn’t post. I’ll post part of it here: [LIST]*]A.D. 30 - Jesus taught the full equality of men and women in Mark 3:35, and modeled it in His relations with women.
*]A.D. 60 - St. Paul taught the full equality of men and women in Gal. 3:28 and in his teaching on marriage: “Let each one of you love his wife as himself,” that is, as an equal. Eph. 5:33.
*]A.D. 203 - In Stromateis, Book 4, Chapter 8, Clement of Alexandria taught that women were equal to men spiritually, but unequal physically, and thus explained their different social status. The chapter is called “On [the] Equality and Inequality of the Sexes.”
*]407 A.D. - St. John Chrysostom taught that the woman is fully equal to the man: “She is of his kind, with the same properties as himself, of equal esteem, in no way inferior to him.” (Homily 15.1-3 on Genesis 2:20ff)
*]430 A.D. - St. Augustine on the image of God: “Woman, insofar as she has a rational mind, is made to the image and likeness of God.” “Because of her reasonable and intelligent mind [she has] equality of nature.” (Literal Commentary on Genesis Book 3 Chapter 22, Confessions Book 13 Chapter 32)
*]600-800 A.D. - Mixed-gender religious communities were founded in the seventh century in which the abbess had authority over both men and women (who lived in separate houses, of course). This is a reflection of their spiritual equality.
*]1161 A.D. - Hildegard of Bingen wrote about the supreme love which is equal in the man and in the woman and which springs up between them in marriage, and how they are called to share in a marital life based in mutually seeking the good of the other. The work is titled “Causes and Cures,” in the section on Adam and Eve.
*]1274 A.D. - St. Bonaventure: “In the first (chapter) of Genesis (it is written): God created man to His own image and likeness, male and female did He create them. If, therefore, the woman was created to the image of God and to equality with the man—just as her formation from (his) side hints at— …[then it follows that] in man and woman there is equally found the reckoning of (God’s) image.” (Commentary on the Four Books of Sentences, Book II, Commentary on Distinction XVI, Question 2, “Whether the image (of God) is more principally in the male than in the female.”)[/LIST]
This deserves a Benedict facepalm.
these arogant, demanding women do not impress me. Don’t act like women are such a superior type. Is it not women who are leading our present day holocost against the unborn? Women have no superior claim to Holiness. They think we need women Priests to have equality. Really? than it is your own opinion holding you down. It is your imagination holding you back, and making you think you need to do this to get equal. God gave us different roles to fulfill in society. Equally needed, equally important. You are created equal, and your job doesn’t change it or prove it.
Goodness, women already do most of the altar serving and are extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist and form a majority of parish ministry! I think they are just being power-hungry!
I am not a Catholic and am not seeking but I have some questions I would like answered.
One is that if the Pope is considered infallible by the Catholic church then why would a Catholic demand anything of the Church? Religion in my opinion is to guide the flock, not the other way around. If the Church agrees to change itself in answer to demands from the flock then is not the religion from the flock and not from God? If the Church says no woman or homosexual priests then that is from God for the guidance of the followers of the Church. If the follower does not agree with the Church is that person then NOT a follower but instead trying to lead the Church. Seems cut and dried to me.
Catholics believe that bishops guide the flock yes. We do not seek to change with the opinion of the world but instead to cling to God’s law and the teachings handed down by Christ’s apostles. And yes, if a person wants to change the church contrary to it’s basic beliefs, they shouldn’t be a follower there but people are irrational, goofy and stubborn that way.
Sounds about right to me.
I agree with everything said by the posters who posted above me, and I just wanted to point out that in posting the list of Church Fathers who taught the equality of men and women (see above), I wasn’t trying to imply that they supported women priests. They did not. I was just trying to undermine one of the arguments put forward against the Church, which is that it has never recognized the equality of women and men – in reality, the Church has always taught the equality of men and women because it is part of the teaching and example of Christ. It’s just that the Church has never been given authority to let women be priests. And those are different things: equality does not mean you have the same roles.
Agreed. Equal in dignity, but not necessarily in vocation. Blessed John Paul II wrote beautifully about this. vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081988_mulieris-dignitatem_en.html
Yes. The Church is here to change us; we aren’t here to change the Church.
the cantor …] is typical – and to the point. Asked if she thinks there should be women priests, she answers, “Yes.” …] “There’s no reason that deacons couldn’t be female,” she says.
“The horror! The horror!” :crying:
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis states in a way that cannot be questioned (unless we really trying to excommunicate ourselves):
Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. …]
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 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.
As for the figure of “deaconess” (…) the Councils of Nicea and Orange (among others) clearly state:
We have mentioned the deaconesses, who are enrolled in this position, but since they have not received any imposition of hands at all, they are surely to be numbered among the laity. Deaconesses are certainly not to be ordained
[she] counters: “…]And ever since Christ left it in the hands of a man – that’s when things started to screw up.”
I hope the priest of that Parish reads that article, because this is a matter of pastoral attention.
I exposed that New york times / cbs poll:
Women priests are never ever going to happen
The problem is that women today don’t want “equality” they want supremacy.
Thank you very much for posting this. It is indeed a beautiful letter. I had no idea he was such a feminist!
You are welcome.
Authentic femininity is a beautiful thing, and Pope John Paul II did a wonderful job of explaining it. Its starting to take hold, though we do have a long way to go. I know a number of young Catholic ladies who deeply love these teachings and are working to share them with others. Whenever someone pulls out the old standby of “the Catholic Church oppresses women, etc.” I just show them this and move on.
I also think you are seeing the beginnings of a resurgence of authentic masculinity as well. More and more men that I know are looking to the Fathers of the Church, and the ancient saints, to find a spirituality that is more masculine in tone and focus than what is often found later in the Church. I see this as a very good thing. Please don’t misunderstand and think I believe there is anything wrong with later saints, because I don’t. It is merely my observation that they tended to take on a bit more of a feminine tone and romantic focus. In that, they are likely products of their time and culture. Groups like Fraternus or the Argument of the Month Club, among many others, are going a long way towards helping men reclaim their spirituality and discover what it means to be a man of God in today’s world.
Speaking purely from personal experience, when my wife and I spent some time looking into what it meant to be a Christian man and a Christian woman, our marriage, which was already strong, improved greatly. Even that tricky passage from St. Paul “wives obey your husbands…, and husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church…” has taken on great meaning for us. There is a CD set from Brant Pitre that does an incredible job of talking about that, and is worth a listen. store.catholicproductions.com/the-sacraments-of-service-wog-2009-cd/
Jason, re your post 18:
This is long overdue, methinks. (Not that, as you mention, the Fathers of the Church weren’t there all along, but that the framing of that for men, and other approaches appealing to men, have not been emphasized enough.)
Agreed. I think it will take some time to come to fruition, but the seeds are there.