My Mormon friend posted this on facebook and I have NO response for her. This really bugs me like she is bashing my faith. How do I answer?
RT: Early Catholic doctrine declared that women did not have souls. Adam gave a rib to create Eve, it was claimed, but did not give a part of his soul. This belief has never officially been changed. (Per "The Amazing Book of Useless Information.)
Genesis states that woman, just as much as man, was created in the image and likeness of God. This is not possible if woman is lacking a soul. As far as I know, the Church has always understood that women have souls and has always taught so.
Whatever your friend has read about Church teaching, I would make a substantial bet that anything stating that women have no souls is either NOT official Church teaching or has been badly misinterpreted. Indeed, it might be completely made up, unverifiable quotes allegedly from Popes or official church documents are far from unheard of.
I agree, ask for the original source document for this alleged teaching - don’t just rely on quotes in other books. Then read the WHOLE source to get the teaching in context rather than the (doubtless) cherrypicked phrases contained in the book.
By the way, the Catechism certainly is clear enough that women have souls as well as men and THAT is indeed official Church teaching, so there is no basis for stating that it is current Church teaching. :shrug:
Paul explicitly says "in Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no slave or free, no male or female . . . " so from the beginning the position of the Church has been that regardless of standing in human society, in the family of God we are all the same - which would certainly not be true if the Church taught that women didn’t have souls.
What a dumb statement, anyway. . . . body-and-soul is the definition of human.
Check out the catechism. Here is the section on souls and males and females. Where the word Man is used, it refers to men and women (might be hard to convince someone of that, though).
Look at 369 especially, where it says men and women “have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman.” Perfect equality as human persons - the person is not just the physical form, but the whole person, including the soul.
Adam didn’t give a rib, God took a rib. God gave Adam his soul and did not need any of Adam’s soul to create Eve’s soul. To believe otherwise would be to say that Adam had to give a bit of his soul to all of his descendents (ie - us) but this is not true.
Ooh, ooh! Found another bit that should dispel all doubt about the Catholic Church’s position:
355 "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them."218 Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is “in the image of God”; (II) in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds;** (III) he is created “male and female”;** (IV) God established him in his friendship.
There is the proof that the word man refers to male and female.
Great links! So the whole idea comes from a comment by ONE bishop, who was immediately contradicted by all the other bishops, in discussion at a Council. And that one bishop’s opinion is supposedly Church teaching?
That’s a bit like saying that because SOME at the Council in Jerusalem in Acts thought that Gentile converts should be circumcised, bound by Jewish dietary law etc etc that THAT became official Church teaching, when the opposite is true - it was the opinion of the majority who disagreed with the Judaizers that was and remains official teaching.
I saw the topic of this thread and thought, “That explains a lot!” I have looked over some of the comments, and I think you have been given some good information to disprove the claim of no soul (although I do have some doubts about telemarketers and lawyers, but that’s another thread). Of course, we are all one in Christ (as NHInsider pointed out). Also, God created man male AND female (Gen 1:27 and again in Gen 5:2), and Adam recognized this in Gen 2:23 (Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” - RSV). If your friend points out that there is no mention of the soul here, ask him/her/it to show you in Scripture where Cain and Able got their soul (or are they soulless as well?). The point is, all mankind (male and female) has been blessed with a soul by God.