Women teaching.

I know full well the teaching of the church on women as priests, but I wondered what the position was on women teaching in general spirituallly. I come from a background where women had to be silent in church situations except the women’s meeting and sunday school so that’s why I’m wondering about this.

I’ve had women teaching Catechism classes, so there should be no barrier against that. Not in the Catholic Church.

Don’t forget the nuns who also teach at Catholic schools.

Wasn’t there a woman who got fired, she taught Hebrew, from a Baptist university because the powers that be thought that women were not permitted to teach men?

There are woman Doctors (meaning “teachers”) of the Church, such as Saint Therese of Liseux, so there certainly isn’t a barrier. I guess you could say, going back a bit further, that Jesus gave St. Mary Magdalene a sort of teaching position.


If the women didn’t step forward and teach there would literally be hardly any catechesis in the parishes.

The Church is real fine with women in teaching positions. Almost all the DRE’s I know are women. Very few men, and those tend to be Deacons.


It’s my understanding that the prohibition against women priests is because women can’t act in the place of Christ. It has nothing to do with not being able to fulfill a priest’s role as teacher.

Hence, women can teach - see the other posters’ examples.

In the Catholic Church, women (and lay men) can’t preach at Mass, or at any other public liturgy.

However, they can teach all day long outside of public liturgy, esp if they have the appropriate knowledged.

God Bless

My favorite and most memorable CCD teacher was a woman, I’d find it rather sad to hear they can’t teach :confused: lol.

There is no problem with that. Nuns teach and in schools women teach the catechism. Some people have this idea that women have no say in the church but as a woman myself I can’t help but feel it’s the opposite…Mary has received the highest decree in heaven by God, she is Queen of heaven, God gave her to us as our mother who prays constantly for us her children. The role she has and because she is Jesus’ Mother she is higher than the saints.

So just out of curiosity, what do you do with the Scripture passages that say that women cannot teach, nor speak in churches? So many branches of the Church obey these admonitions; many do not (Anglicans, for instance.) For all that people here on CAF say that Cafeteria Catholics ‘cherry pick’ what choose to obey (and not), it is curious to see people here doing just that around women and teaching.

I’m not criticizing, because clearly my own tradition has chosen to disregard those passages in Paul, but I’d like to understand the reasoning in people’s minds and experience.


St. Paul was meaning, at Mass. Priscilla was teaching and St. Paul approved of her teaching; there were other women working alongside St. Paul as well, and far from condemning their actions, he praises them.

He was not forbidding women to teach at all; rather, that women (lay people) should not give the preaching at Mass.

Interesting interpretation. I don’t believe in Paul’s time, tho, they had a liturgical celebration of ‘the Mass.’ So there would be no preaching, per se. They had table fellowships and they had synagogue teachings (and of course teaching in the public square, as it were) but nothing like a modern day Mass. That didn’t come until much later.

So where did Paul’s restrictions for women come in?

Silent in “church situations”?

What kind of situations?


Here in Ireland there have long been women mostly Sisters, teaching in the seminary at Maynooth and a sister is the Vicar of religious also.i

We are and have always been in many ways the “power behind the throne.”

I wasn’t allowed to preach, give the reading or pray the prayers.

Thanks for the input everybody, it’s really helpful. I guess the sticking point for a lot of people is 1 Timothy 2, where it says women should not take authority over men and should be silent. I think this is a complicated passage that contradicts other places where women are clearly teachers and prophets. My own feeling is that it has to do with the cult of Artemis being a great influence in the surrounding culture, leading to some confusion about the message of Christ and the message of Artemis. But I am still on a journey in working it out.

There is a huge difference between the differing roles and skills of women being in the service of the Chruch and what they call “equality”.

artemis my eye!! I think your gps has led you up a side road.

Certainly always possible. :wink:

Fwiw, I don’t think women are called to be priests, but I do think they clearly have some role in teaching according to scripture. I am just trying to work out the trickier passages.

Women do teach. We teach eg children… and as I said, even in Maynooth…We teach compassion in our daily lives. Does it HAVE to be in public with a huge self congratulatory fanfare… As Jesus says, then you have been rewarded in public. Many of us prefer to be rewarded in secret by Our Father in Heaven

It is my understanding that this man/woman aspect had more meaning for husband/wife. Based on the context of the discussion, and some more confusing aspects involving a mixture of Christians and pagans that I don’t feel like looking up… but I think since it is preceded with women not focusing on pagan style dress of the area/era that it was more in line with getting pagan wives to the church and getting them to be able to hear the word without shall we say arguing about their pagan interpretations.

Yes, that makes sense.

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