Women Priests

A member of my church assures me that women were priests in the early church and should be allowed now. Not allowing women as priests is not infallible teaching of the Roman Catholic Faith. This person claims women priests were banned by a Pope in the 300’s who wanted to control the Church and did not do God’s will. O.K., I’m getting tired of hearing this everytime the opportunity presents itself. Please someone clear this up for me.

There might be evidence apparently of a bishop ordaining women, but there is no evidence it had ecclessiastical approval. That is, if they did ordain, it was invalid.

There is simply not enough in Scripture, Tradition or Church teaching that would authorize the Church to ordain women and plenty against. As far as the Papal plot in 300 to control the Church (what the heck does that mean?)–this is fantasy conspiracy theory right up there with The DaVinci Code.


You’ll get a lot of great information, but my two cents are that Jesus sent the apostles to do His work, He who hears you hears me…He could have included Mary, His mother or Mary Magdalene in the grouping of twelve, but He didn’t. Why? Obviously it was a statement about the kingdom on earth He was building, not to mention Paul wanting all priests to follow his example…as a celebate male…
At least in the Catholic tradition, a priest acts “in persona Christi”, in the person of Christ. What would it say about the nature of God, about His Fatherhood, if women were allowed to act in the person of Christ?

Anyways, hope that is helpful!!

Type in “ordination” on a search engine and the first hundred sites that come up are all about womens ordination. The short answer is that no one has the power to ordain women. Just like men cannot ever give birth. A donut and orange juice can not be consecrated to become the Body and Blood of Christ. It comes down to matter and form. In the Eucahrist bread and wine are required and a validly ordained priest as the proper matter. The form is the priest saying the words of consecration. If any of those parts is missing it is an Invalid celebration of the Eucharist. In ordination a man is required along with the bishop going through the prescribed rites.

A bishop could say all the prayers he wanted and do all the prescribed rites of ordination over a woman and nothing would happen aside from sacrilige because the matter is wrong, and because she is the wrong matter the Church has no power to ordain her. Just as the Church could never consecrate your breakfast into the Eucharist because it too is the wrong matter.

Much of the current confusions that are arising with this are a misguided reading of many documents and Scripture. The Church for its part has aided this confusion by using terms such as universal priesthood and royal priesthood of believers. These priesthoods are not the same as the ministerial priesthood that has been passed down through the Apostles, their successor bishops, and aided through ordained priests all of which was started by Christ. To act in the person of Christ. Acting in the person of Christ is a key part ot understanding the role of priests. If you don’t believe that at certain times in his ministry the priest *IS *Christ then you need to reexamine some of your beliefs. Start by reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Additionally no one has the right to become a priest, it is a gift, not an entitltement

Many of the arguments that are brought up for the ordination of women hold no water as well.

  1. That it was a cultural bias that had only men be priests.
    Well Christ did a lot of Counter cultural things, but he didn’t ordain women.

  2. Being baptised as priest, prophet, and king entitles them to holy orders.
    Nothing entitles anyone to holy orders and people who think the royal priesthood is the ministerial priesthood should read Lumen Gentium.

  3. Women have been deacons.
    Yes, so what. Deacons aren’t priests and there are no women deacons any longer. There were women deacons to allow cloistered nuns to receive Communion. Since then the Chruch has found a seperate way around that problem.

  4. The other churches have women priests.
    There is a reason why they are called heretics and were burned at the stake.

  5. The sex abuse wouldn’t have happened with women priests.
    The Lutherans and other groups that allow women “priests” have the same problems.

[quote=Woody Buck]A member of my church assures me that women were priests in the early church and should be allowed now. Not allowing women as priests is not infallible teaching of the Roman Catholic Faith. This person claims women priests were banned by a Pope in the 300’s who wanted to control the Church and did not do God’s will. O.K., I’m getting tired of hearing this everytime the opportunity presents itself. Please someone clear this up for me.

I had a woman at church try to tell me the same thing in our RCIA group. I asked her to show me any evidence to suggest this other than someone’s opinion. Of course she couldn’t. Someone had told her and she believed it.

I’m against women ordination simply because to me it would feel just weird to see women priests - but when has that ever been a valid reason?

Yes, Jesus came to buck the trend way back then, but His main goal was to bring the Kingdom of God to us, it may not have been as successful if He had roped in women at the time. He was already gonna come up with some revolutionary concepts that would rock the realm of religion, would he really need to rock the cultural realm as well? We have to remember that it was an extremely different age then, women had very different roles. However having said that, it should be noted that, even then women featured very prominently in His ministry.

The first person to receive the Holy Spirit was a woman, and on Pentecost the women were not left out either. As a spiritual being, would we even have a gender? Aren’t married couples supposed to be one in spirit? Which gender might that be?

I think, anthropologically, we’ve been a patriarchal species, and that may explain the exclusion of women in our ordained thus far.

If we continue to deny women ordination, would it really be due to what God wants or due to our own idiosyncrasies?

There are certain Catholic doctrines that will never change. I’m not sure is this is one of them though. Just because it wasn’t done before does not automatically mean it cannot ever be done.

Technically speaking, would we really be going against the Word of God by ordaining women? (And by Word of God, I do not refer to documentation of past practices that only allude to the fact that only men were chosen, but specific passages that say “NO” to women.)

Keep in mind that while the Church once appointed deaconesses to assist at full-immersion baptism of adult females, they were never ordained.

Nor did they have the duties of today’s deacons.

It’s not up to us. We can only follow our Church which follows the example set forth by Jesus Christ. An action that has remained true for nearly 2000 years.

Read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. The Church does not have the authority to ordain woman. That’s dogmatic – it cannot change. It’s not open to debate within the Church. It’s part of the deposit of faith. Done deal. Finis. Move on.

“Word of God” = Jesus Christ. Yes, to ordain women would be to put the social pressures of today before God.

It just will never happen, period. There was a previous thread on this issue. The church cannot ordain women as priests. A priest acts *in persona Christi * --in the person of Christ-- which is more than being a representative of Christ or of the church. He lends Christ his body and personhood for Christ to use in the sacramental life of the church. A women priest would effectively require Christ to change his gender.


The Cathechism of the Catholic Church (p. 1577) states:
Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.” The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.

Even from the perspective of natural law, it is the woman’s role to “receive” life from the male - hence why the Church is referred to in the female gender. As a receiver and bearer of life, it is “beneath” her to assume the male role of “giving.”

I find it oddly amusing (and glaringly ironic) that some groups/individuals claim that this teaching is the Church’s attempt to control and subjugate women when the most venerated created being within the Church is a woman.

God Bless,

-]Women Priests/-]

Women “Priests”


It is not up to you or us to refute baseless claims. The onus is on the person making the claim to provide you with “evidence” to support their claim and then we can discuss it. It only hot air if they can’t come up with anything.

Wow, this is I think the oldest ‘resurrected’ thread I’ve personally seen!

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