Women in the Church

Does anybody have a difficult time accepting the church’s teaching on the role of women in the church?

Kendy

Nope. Anything in particular you have a problem with?

[quote=Eileen T]Nope. Anything in particular you have a problem with?
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Eileen,

You can’t exactly answer my question with nope unless you are confident that you speaking for everybody :smiley: .

I was just wondering if anyone struggles with accepting that all the decision makers in the church are men? From Deacons to the Pope.

And I am not really interested in sharing my views on the matter. I just want to know what other people think.

Kendy

Kendy, I read your post concerning your stuggles with returning to the Church. We all want to help you on your journey. Could you clarify you question about the role of women in the Church? The Catholic Church stands up for the rights of women to fullfil their God-given potential. Men and women are not the same (I am sure that this has not escaped your notice!). I feel that when men and women accept their complimentary roles, life is smoother and everyone is happier. The Church has always given women opportunites not availble generally in society. For centuries nuns have democraticly elected their leaders, and run convents that supported themselves. Even in the 1950’s when I was a child, my mother use to joke that if a woman wanted to be a college president, she had better be a nun!
If by the role of women in the Church, you mean that women cannot by priests, there have been many threads on these forums that have delt with this subject much better than I could. Just remember that even a man must be called to the priesthood, and does not have the right to become a priest. Our Lady herself was not a priest and did not seek it. We all have our places in the Body of Christ, and each one is important as St. Paul told us. Out side of the priesthood itself, it appears to many that women are practically running the Church to the point that some men are uncomfortable with the situation. I am sure that you have read posts in the liturgy forum about parishes that seem to be run completely by women! If you can be more specific about your question, and I am sure that you will get many responses to help you. God bless you on your journey.

Well, it might be true that many things in the church are done by women, but that’s true of most if not all Christian churches. Woman make more up than 60% of the average church membership and an even greater percentage of the volunteers, which makes the fact that they can’t be ordained even more perplexing.

Anyway, I am not trying to make men and woman interchangeable, but I have a hard time seeing how the priesthood requires masculine skills. Plus, it’s not just about sacraments; it’s about decision making. Given the structure of the catholic church, it seems to be that when there are crucial matters being discussed outside of a parish, there are no women voices present.

Kendy

[quote=Marysann]Kendy, I read your post concerning your stuggles with returning to the Church. We all want to help you on your journey. Could you clarify you question about the role of women in the Church? The Catholic Church stands up for the rights of women to fullfil their God-given potential. Men and women are not the same (I am sure that this has not escaped your notice!). I feel that when men and women accept their complimentary roles, life is smoother and everyone is happier. The Church has always given women opportunites not availble generally in society. For centuries nuns have democraticly elected their leaders, and run convents that supported themselves. Even in the 1950’s when I was a child, my mother use to joke that if a woman wanted to be a college president, she had better be a nun!
If by the role of women in the Church, you mean that women cannot by priests, there have been many threads on these forums that have delt with this subject much better than I could. Just remember that even a man must be called to the priesthood, and does not have the right to become a priest. Our Lady herself was not a priest and did not seek it. We all have our places in the Body of Christ, and each one is important as St. Paul told us. Out side of the priesthood itself, it appears to many that women are practically running the Church to the point that some men are uncomfortable with the situation. I am sure that you have read posts in the liturgy forum about parishes that seem to be run completely by women! If you can be more specific about your question, and I am sure that you will get many responses to help you. God bless you on your journey.
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[quote=Kendy]Eileen,

You can’t exactly answer my question with nope unless you are confident that you speaking for everybody :smiley: .
[/quote]

I meant that, no, I don’t have a difficult time accepting the church’s teaching on the role of women in the church.

I was just wondering if anyone struggles with accepting that all the decision makers in the church are men? From Deacons to the Pope.

Again, No. The Holy Spirit guides the Church and will never abandon It. Believing that, I trust that God will keep an eye on the labourers in His vineyard.

As a woman I am proud that women have always been highly regarded and valued in the Church.

My favourite example is Catherine of Sienna who, although she rebuked the pope in her time, she is a Saint and proclaimed a doctor of the Church. I was so impressed I named one of my daughters after her.

In the Catholic Church, I have the amazing blessing to live my life as a Bride of Christ…I have absolutely no problem with that:)

[quote=Kendy]Woman make more up than 60% of the average church membership and an even greater percentage of the volunteers, which makes the fact that they can’t be ordained even more perplexing.
[/quote]

Priesthood is a spiritual fatherhood. The priest ministers to us (the Church) in the person of Christ. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Males and females have their different roles, like being mothers and fathers.

Plus, it’s not just about sacraments; it’s about decision making. Given the structure of the catholic church, it seems to be that when there are crucial matters being discussed outside of a parish, there are no women voices present.

Women’s voices are heard, and their opinions are considered, when decisions are being made.

Every priest, bishop and pope has (or had) a mother and sometimes sisters and aunts. They have female friends and staff and they don’t operate in a vacuum. I have had priest friends ask my opinion (even advice) so they can get a woman’s perspective.

[quote=Eileen T]Priesthood is a spiritual fatherhood. The priest ministers to us (the Church) in the person of Christ. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Males and females have their different roles, like being mothers and fathers. Women’s voices are heard, and their opinions are considered, when decisions are being made.

Every priest, bishop and pope has (or had) a mother and sometimes sisters and aunts. They have female friends and staff and they don’t operate in a vacuum. I have had priest friends ask my opinion (even advice) so they can get a woman’s perspective.
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Asking someone’s opinion is not the same as having decision making authority, which frankly women don’t have.

[quote=Kendy]Asking someone’s opinion is not the same as having decision making authority, which frankly women don’t have.
[/quote]

the Holy Spirit guides everyone’s souls, especially the men in charge, as well as the women who lead church organizations…as long as everyone learns to listen the the Lord’s will, it shouldn’t matter who is making the decision because, in reality, it will always be God’s anyway:)

Kendy,

as a woman, I speak on my own behalf. I do not agree that it is more than about the Sacraments of the Church and that it is about decisions. That is not the purpose of the ministerial priesthood.

We all belong to the Royal priesthood of Christ. However, some are called to be ministerial priesthood. It is Jesus who chose twelve men from amongst His followers to continue what He had established during the brief period of His Public Life. There were women who provided for Jesus and the apostles but they were not chosen by Him for the ministerial role.

Yes, it is about the Sacraments. It is about representing Jesus Christ. It is about the Mass, and the Eucharist. It is about carrying on the role of the Levites in the offering of the non-bloody Sacrifice to God. It is about offering that sacrifice in atonement for our sins.

Throughout the ages, women have had very powerful roles within the Church. One woman, St. Catherine of Sienna was an advisor to the Pope, coaxing him to leave France and return to Rome.

As members of the Royal priesthood we do not need to be ministerial priests because we have a fulfilling role as wives, mothers and other roles that are filled by women.

In parishes all over the world there are women who form part of the pastoral team. In my own parish we have a female pastoral associate - a woman who is a former Protestant minister, who in the end was drawn to the Catholic Church because of the Eucharist.

From what I have seen of women dressing up as priests and deacons, they seem to have an inflated view of themselves in those roles. From a personal view I know that I could never trust a woman in that more personal role, especially that of a confessor. I hear the comments that women are supposed to be more compassionate but that has not been my experience. What I have seen is pettiness and harshness from women who are in leadership roles.

Whilst it is true that not all the men who have ended up being the Bishop of Rome have been perfect candidates for the role, I should point out that there have been occasions when women have sought to influence the choice of the Bishop of Rome. The emporess Theodora springs to mind since she tried to interfere in the candidacy of papal authority.

I guess my real beef here happens to be that I do not accept the feminist argument relating to priesthood for the very reason that I believe that they are talking about their “wants and desires”, rather than accepting what God has decreed.

[quote=Kendy]Asking someone’s opinion is not the same as having decision making authority, which frankly women don’t have.
[/quote]

Kendy, women in the Church do have decision making authority. They are represented on the various committees that have been established in Bishoprics all over the world.

Besides, I have heard some rather unflattering things about the decision making of some of the women who have been in charge of recruitment for seminarians. Let me just say that they have a rather poor reputation when it comes to choosing appropriate candidates for the priesthood.

At the same time, many who are nuns have gone astray and have been following things that get very close to paganism - and that includes “the Crone” and other new symbols of womanhood. I am talking from a particular experience and I admit to being shocked when I discovered a nun promoting “the Crone” and other things associated with pagan worship.

[quote=MaggieOH]From what I have seen of women dressing up as priests and deacons, they seem to have an inflated view of themselves in those roles. From a personal view I know that I could never trust a woman in that more personal role, especially that of a confessor. I hear the comments that women are supposed to be more compassionate but that has not been my experience. What I have seen is pettiness and harshness from women who are in leadership roles.
[/quote]

So, all women in leadership roles are petty and harsh? I am sorry you feel that way, but you have just lost your credibility with me.

[quote=MaggieOH]I guess my real beef here happens to be that I do not accept the feminist argument relating to priesthood for the very reason that I believe that they are talking about their “wants and desires”, rather than accepting what God has decreed.
[/quote]

I have no want or desire to be a priest, but I have never been the kind of woman who doesn’t question things, and I don’t intend to become one now. And besides a quick look at human history is enough to justify why a woman might at least wonder why she’s being excluded from something. It may be that the reasons are quite legitimate, but so is the suspicion since very rarely is that the case.

Kendy

[quote=MaggieOH]Kendy, women in the Church do have decision making authority. They are represented on the various committees that have been established in Bishoprics all over the world.

Besides, I have heard some rather unflattering things about the decision making of some of the women who have been in charge of recruitment for seminarians. Let me just say that they have a rather poor reputation when it comes to choosing appropriate candidates for the priesthood.

At the same time, many who are nuns have gone astray and have been following things that get very close to paganism - and that includes “the Crone” and other new symbols of womanhood. I am talking from a particular experience and I admit to being shocked when I discovered a nun promoting “the Crone” and other things associated with pagan worship.
[/quote]

So, women can’t be trusted because they are more suceptible to false doctrines and exercise poor judgement. Well, at least we have a good reason!

Kendy

Jesus set up the Church structure 2000 years ago. Given that He is God, the Second Person of the Trinity, and He promised not to leave us orphans, I trust that God knows what He is about.

As a parent, I have often had to make decisions that affect my family. While I may take into consideration what my children have to say, the final decision rests with me and my husband. We each have different roles and responsibilities.

I, too, have always questioned everything. It used to drive the nuns who taught me mad. Also my teachers at the public high school I attended.

I just learned that I had to keep questioning people until I found one who could answer my difficulties to my satisfaction. Not every devout Catholic is a scholar or theologian. I just had to keep looking until I found one who had the answers, more often than not in the teachings of the Early Church Fathers or the Saints.

[quote=Kendy]Anyway, I am not trying to make men and woman interchangeable, but I have a hard time seeing how the priesthood requires masculine skills. Plus, it’s not just about sacraments; it’s about decision making. Given the structure of the catholic church, it seems to be that when there are crucial matters being discussed outside of a parish, there are no women voices present.

[/quote]

Kendy,
This is not true. I believe that the Pope has some advisors that are women. I do not think these women seek the spot light as they are faithful Catholics. I believe many bishops are advised by committees that have women on them. Even the heads of the various congregations in the Vatican have women advisors.

You then go on to say.

Asking someone’s opinion is not the same as having decision making authority, which frankly women don’t have.

Which seems to contradict what you said at first.

I do remember hearing that when Pope Benedict headed up the Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith that he had women advisors.

I am confused by what you are looking for. Are you looking for the voice of women to be included or looking for women in decision making? We have one of them, the other I do not see ever happening as the decision making is done by those ordained and women can not be ordained.

Women are “excluded” from fatherhood.
Men are “excluded” from motherhood.

I am not sure how a I have contradicted myself, but I do think that decision making is part of genuine inclusion.

But you’re right. It’s not going to happen.

Kendy

[quote=ByzCath]Kendy,
This is not true. I believe that the Pope has some advisors that are women. I do not think these women seek the spot light as they are faithful Catholics. I believe many bishops are advised by committees that have women on them. Even the heads of the various congregations in the Vatican have women advisors.

You then go on to say.

Which seems to contradict what you said at first.

I do remember hearing that when Pope Benedict headed up the Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith that he had women advisors.

I am confused by what you are looking for. Are you looking for the voice of women to be included or looking for women in decision making? We have one of them, the other I do not see ever happening as the decision making is done by those ordained and women can not be ordained.
[/quote]

Simple - God uses men for the leadership of His Church to show that the Holy Spirit must be responsible for anything good they do, rather than allowing the credit to go to human beings! :smiley:
Or maybe it’s to make up for giving them such a peripheral role in reproduction? A shorter life span? Or the fact that the only perfect human creature was female?

Hi Kendy, when I was younger, it really bothered me that I as a woman couldn’t be a priest. Even today, when I hear some uninspiring Homily, I think of all the things I would say much better. Sometimes I even give my children my better homily. They don’t seem to appreciate it for some reason. St Therese of Liseux wanted to be a priest. And she is a great doctor of the Church.

What helps me is to realize that there are different Charisms for men and women in the church. Actually, in life. And, really, a woman holding up the Eucharistic host would not bring Jesus to mind.

Pope John Paul the Great had a letter which is worth digging into–On the Dignity of Women. It is a slow and careful read because he writes on deep level. It might help you to see the great esteem that the Church has for women.

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