Women Priests


#1

My friends say that when I am trying to defend the church’s posistion against ordaining women, I sound sexist. They know that I am not a sexist, but they think I sound like one when I discus the issue. I have to admit that I was pretty blunt about it, but I believe it is an infallible doctrine. Can anyone out there give me advice on how to defend the church’s position on this issue?


#2

[quote=Andrew_11]My friends say that when I am trying to defend the church’s posistion against ordaining women, I sound sexist. They know that I am not a sexist, but they think I sound like one when I discus the issue. I have to admit that I was pretty blunt about it, but I believe it is an infallible doctrine. Can anyone out there give me advice on how to defend the church’s position on this issue?
[/quote]

Give us an example of what they believe is your sexist attitude. Chances are they are being sensitive, but if you are as blunt as you say, you may just need to add in some language that lets them know you fully appreciate women for who they are.


#3

[quote=yochumjy]Give us an example of what they believe is your sexist attitude. Chances are they are being sensitive, but if you are as blunt as you say, you may just need to add in some language that lets them know you fully appreciate women for who they are.
[/quote]

One is an anglican and one is a cafeteria catholic (both male), so they both support women’s ordination. I said that men and women have different roles and the roll of priest is one of a fatherly figure. I also pointed out that Jesus appointed no women priests. It was when I was talking about the roles of men and women that they said I sounded sexist.


#4

I’m really not sure what being sexist means. Does the fact that men and women are different mean that God is sexist?


#5

You have to understand WHY there are only male Priests.

Here, read this, and then if you have any questions ask them :slight_smile:

The reason for calling God Father is twofold. 1. Beause Jesus reveals God and He called Him Father. That’s the short and sweet version. 2. The more detailed version: God is present to the world in transcendence and immanence. Transcendence is a reference to His superiority over the world, His standing over and above His creation. Immanence refers to God’s closeness to creation, His being a part of it. Now God is both transcendent and immanent with His creation but clearly His transcendence is greater. You wouldn’t want to emphasize His immanence because that would basically lead to paganism. We emphasize God’s transcendence because He is much, much greater than His creation and in fact cannot be compared to it. When we look at masculine and feminine we note that the masculine transcends his creation. The Father gives his seed and then stands back over and above and separate from his creation, i.e., the child. The feminine stands with her creation, she is immanent with the child. The child grows in her. Therefore when you emphasize transcendence you must refer to the masculine. This is why God must be called Father. Note how pagan religions always have priestesses. Its not a coincidence that those who emphasize God’s immanence always end up in paganism with priestesses.


#6

You should tell them it is for sacramental reasons. The male priesthood was established by Christ. That is what we know. Why he didn’t ordain any of his female followers can only be guessed at (although many of those “guesses” are very good arguments that have been rehashed on this forum over and over again). The simple fact of the matter is, the Church does not have the authority to ordain women because doing so is not a part of the deposit of the faith passed down from Christ through the Apostles and their successors. It’s really just for that reason.


#7

Also, tell them to read this and see if they still think you are sexist! :slight_smile:

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081988_mulieris-dignitatem_en.html


#8

Thanks Lazerlike42. Too bad this will probably be above their heads, but its one of the best arguments I’ve ever read (as long as it deosn’t go right over the head of whoever you are arguing).


#9

Great audio lecture by Peter Kreeft about this subject here:

peterkreeft.com/audio/09_priestesses.htm

You might ask your friends if God is sexist because He only allows women to have babies.

I’m a woman, and I don’t think a male only priesthood is sexist.


#10

I don’t see why God would be sexist just because He called some men to do a certain task for him. It’s like my father asks me to help in a certain issue insted of calling my sister. Maybe she already had her own task.

Do you agree?


#11

I agree with the person who said that equality does not mean sameness. I think I that’s Peter Kreeft. For me this is the key. I think it is something that the feminist movement in general would admit to some extent - that the equality = sameness notion is a mistake they have made in the past. THe other line might be to stress that the Church does not say you can’t - just that it doesn’t have the authority to say you can. (A bit rich perhaps - but might be worth a try!)

Here’s my two pence worth

The following isn’t so much a logically constructed argument (A implies B which means C must be true…). It is more a splurge. A random collection of points to reflect upon.

The Catholic Church teaches that at certain times in his ministry a priest acts in persona christi – in the person of Christ. At the consecration the priest does not say “this is Christ’s body” – the priest says “this is my body”.

Christ was a Man who appointed 12 male apostles

It has been argued that Christ lived in a male dominated society - but then Christ was hardly above bucking the trend

The Church doesn’t so much say that we can’t have women priests – but that the Church has not the authority to ordain them

This is not an issue about sex equality – men can do this so why can’t women. This is an issue about acknowledging and respecting the Mystery – the Mystery of the sacred Priesthood.

The very nature of our Faith is that it is Revealed

There is a lot of Gender imagery in the Bible. Christ is the Bride and the Church is the Bridegroom

GK Chesterton has attributed to him the rather enigmatic phrase that “men are men but man is a woman”

My take on GKC is that next to God the Father all of creation is a woman. There is a feminine quality to all of creation – which is that all of creation is a receptacle for God’s Grace. (Perhaps that’s why the Theological virtues are Girl’s names - Faith, Charity and - hope(??)) Indeed - perhaps that is why “Grace” is itself a girls name!)

There is the well known scholastic classification of substance / accident. Some things are essential qualities of my being (my soul) while other things are accidental qualities (my designer stubble!). I heard someone argue once that gender occupies a kind of middle ground between the two. Gender is not so much an essential quality of my being. “I have called you by your name”. When God calls me he calls me in a way that he calls no other. When God calls me I don’t expect for one moment that he will call out “pilchard" When God calls me he simply calls out “NE”.

To say, on the other hand that my being a man is simply an accidental quality of my being also would not be right. I can have my hair cut but I can hardly have my sex changed (mmmhhh – maybe we shouldn’t pursue this argument to far!).

My being male, then is not so much an essential quality or accidental quality of my being – it is a relational quality of my being. A man is a man only in relation to woman. A woman is a woman only in relation to Man.

This then might give a hint as to why gender is an issue with regard to the sacred priesthood.

A priest is – well a priest is lots of things – but one thing a priest could be seen as is a mediator between God and His Children.

In other words the priest’s role is tied up with the fundamental Relationship – our relationship with God… and as Gender is a relational quality of being it may be an issue… and as the Church doesn’t have the authority to say otherwise… (you catch the drift of the argument)


#12

Ooh try this, why is “women priests” the perfect anagram of “new imposters” - LOL.

Also talk about why none of the other 6 or 5 main world religions have female preachers. It is only because of the Anglican (maybe some others, i am unsure) Church that the issue is even considered. Ask that did God not know that the issue of women priests would come up when he created the earth, yet he still did not let women preachers during the earliest years?

This should make sense but not sure it does though. :whacky:


#13

I am a woman and perfectly h appy with my role in the Church … thank you very much and in fact quite offended by the women that think that they should defy the Teachings of the Church and become priests … EXCUSE ME?!? :eek:

Sorry but this started with Adam and Eve and that is the way I look at and we have had our place since then. How women bel;ieve that our place is somehow less significant than man’s because we cannot do this or that I do not know, because it isn’t. There are pleanty of things that we can do that men have no place doing and cannot do either. In reality we are pretty much evenly keeled …

I do not mind being subservient to men, as the only man that I am required to be subservient to in that manner in reality is my husband. But in the Church we also have a family structure and everyone has their place. If we did not then it would become utter chaos.

God created male and female and made us distinct in feature and other ways to serv the appropriate purposes, and this is what we are to do, otherwise TOO many lines are crossed over and blurred and we see the results of this now. There is a clear distinction and I do not know about th other women on this forum but I do not mind being a woman and keeping my place as one …

My Blessed Mother is a woman and I follow her distinguished lead …


#14

I recently had a discussion with my (“cafeteria”) Catholic brother-in-law who was surprised that I didn’t support women’s ordination (he thought I was a “liberated, enlightened feminist” :eek: ). He, like so many people, equates being a priest to having power. Anyone who has been on a parish staff knows that being a priest is not a power position.

You might be able to influence your friends with the following statistic: According the the US Catholic Bishops Conference, approximately 50 percent of leadership positions in the Catholic Church are held by women (as of the June 2004 report).

'thann


#15

I believe in Scripture it teaches that Eve was deceived by the serpent and therefore she is not to be placed in positions of authority. Many social scientists would argue that women are by nature relational whereas men are more objective. This means that perhaps women are more likely to consider having good relationships rather than orthodoxy as the central focus whereas men are willing to break off relationships for the sake of truth. I know this is a generalization but it does seem reasonable to think that the woman’s “nesting” instinct prevents her from looking at things in an impartial, detached, and objective manner. Perhaps this is also why men tend to be better at mathematics and the sciences. For the relevant Scriptural passage, see 1 Timothy 2:8-15,

“]I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. [9]I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, [10]but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. [11]A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. [12]I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. [13]For Adam was formed first, then Eve. [14]And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. [15]But women will be saved through childbearing - if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. (1 Timothy 2:8-15, NIV)”

I’m surprised that the Church doesn’t reference this text more. It is sacred Scripture and the content is clearly doctrinal. Because of the Fall women are placed in a subordinate position to men and therefore should not be in positions of authority, in the Church nor in the home. God blesss. I hope I don’t cause too much outrage here :slight_smile:


#16

[quote=amateurthomist]I believe in Scripture it teaches that Eve was deceived by the serpent and therefore she is not to be placed in positions of authority. Many social scientists would argue that women are by nature relational whereas men are more objective. This means that perhaps women are more likely to consider having good relationships rather than orthodoxy as the central focus whereas men are willing to break off relationships for the sake of truth. I know this is a generalization but it does seem reasonable to think that the woman’s “nesting” instinct prevents her from looking at things in an impartial, detached, and objective manner. Perhaps this is also why men tend to be better at mathematics and the sciences. For the relevant Scriptural passage, see 1 Timothy 2:8-15,

“]I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. [9]I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, [10]but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. [11]A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. [12]I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. [13]For Adam was formed first, then Eve. [14]And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. [15]But women will be saved through childbearing - if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. (1 Timothy 2:8-15, NIV)”

I’m surprised that the Church doesn’t reference this text more. It is sacred Scripture and the content is clearly doctrinal. Because of the Fall women are placed in a subordinate position to men and therefore should not be in positions of authority, in the Church nor in the home. God blesss. I hope I don’t cause too much outrage here :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Ok now I have a bone to pick who’s fault was the Fall of mankind? Who did God blame? Yes, she was decieved, but if we go back to Scripture there was a reason that she was decieved.

Let us see how events unfolded shall we …

Gen 2:15 And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and to keep it.
Gen 2:16 And he commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat:
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

Here he obviously told Adam not to eat from the tree … BUT, he told Adam alone, not Eve…

then …

Gen 2:21 Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam: and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs, and filled up flesh for it.
Gen 2:22 And the Lord God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman: and brought her to Adam.
Gen 2:23 And Adam said: This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.
**Gen 2:24 Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh. **
Gen 2:25 And they were both naked: to wit, Adam and his wife: and were not ashamed.

Ok then we move onto the beginning of the next chapter …

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?
**Gen 3:2 And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. ** Gen 3:4 And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death.
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband, who did eat.
Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.

Now the distinction that is made here is what? The reason that God blamed Adam is why? It fell upon whom to explain to her what could and could not be done and why? Was that not Adam’s responsibility as Head of the family? Did he not fail his wife? So then who is more culpable Adma or Eve? Also, when she took the fruit and did eat did he correct her or did he join her? Thereby again making himself more culable for the act and therefore for the Fall of all of Mankind? So then whom is guided by whom here?

Your post insinuates that women cannot be trusted to make rational decisions, were any of the decisions that Adam made rational? And if they were then why did God punish Adam and Eve for their indiscretion to begin with?


#17

[quote=Andrew_11]My friends say that when I am trying to defend the church’s position against ordaining women, I sound sexist. They know that I am not a sexist, but they think I sound like one when I discus the issue. I have to admit that I was pretty blunt about it, but I believe it is an infallible doctrine. Can anyone out there give me advice on how to defend the church’s position on this issue?
[/quote]

The Sacraments are all given by Jesus Christ and must be in the same form and matter in which He gave them to us. The Church does not have any authority to change the form or matter of any of the Sacraments, including Holy Orders. In other words, the Church has no authority to ordain women. Even if it went through the motions, it would be a meaningless and empty gesture, or worse.


#18

[quote=thann]He, like so many people, equates being a priest to having power. Anyone who has been on a parish staff knows that being a priest is not a power position.
[/quote]

That is so true. Being chosen by God means being chosen to serve.

Any woman who wants to be powerful in the Church should strive to be a saint. Look at how powerful Mother Teresa was (and still is!)


#19

[quote=MysticRose]Now the distinction that is made here is what? The reason that God blamed Adam is why? It fell upon whom to explain to her what could and could not be done and why? Was that not Adam’s responsibility as Head of the family? Did he not fail his wife? So then who is more culpable Adma or Eve? Also, when she took the fruit and did eat did he correct her or did he join her? Thereby again making himself more culable for the act and therefore for the Fall of all of Mankind? So then whom is guided by whom here?

Your post insinuates that women cannot be trusted to make rational decisions, were any of the decisions that Adam made rational? And if they were then why did God punish Adam and Eve for their indiscretion to begin with?
[/quote]

When Eve took the fruit and ate, did she go home and talk Adam into eating too? No. Adam was right there with Eve the entire time she talked with the Serpent, and yet Adam said nothing. To whom did God give the instructions about which trees to not eat from? To Adam (who, by the way, obviously did a poor job of catechizing Eve based on her answers to the Serpent’s questions). Why did Adam fail to act? The Hebrew word translated as “serpent” or “snake” is closer in meaning to “very poisonous viper.” Adam kept his mouth shut because he was too scared to contradict the Serpent and thus risk his life for God and Eve.

Yes, Eve sinned, but she at least wrestled with the Devil and was thrown. Which of us here hasn’t done the same? Adam, OTOH, simply capitulated, abrogating his role as Eve’s husband and protector and as Creation’s caretaker.

Oh, and women can’t be ordained. :slight_smile:

– Mark L. Chance.


#20

Also we must not forget about a number of women who have themselves aqquired very respectful positions in the Vatican. Such as Mary Ann Glendon (think that is right) Head of the pontificial Academy of Science. She was also offered a number of other positions, and she also agrees that women should not be ordained.


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