Grace & Peace!
The difficulty with this line of reasoning is that the facts that they were Jewish and that there were twelve of them are at least as important as the fact that they were men. In which case, the church should only have 12 male Jewish priests at any one time.
That doesn’t follow at all. Very early on the apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, ordained additional men to act as priests and bishops and they weren’t all Jewish. But they didn’t ordain women as priests.
A further difficulty is the idea of men as the only ones capable of acting in persona Christi–by ordaining men only we are saying that women are incapable of imaging God or of expressing in themselves the image of God with any accuracy. That is, men have more of the image of God than women or are at least more capable of manifesting it.
Again, this is only your opinion, it isn’t at all what the church says or implies.
The danger is obvious–either Christ saved all people by virtue of our common humanity, a fact which allows women to image Christ just as well as men, or he saved males specifically by virtue of his maleness.
Another false either/or statement.
If we accept the latter premise (which is your premise, not the church’s premise), then we might find ourselves believing that women are less human than men. This was, in fact, a common belief in the ancient world. But today, we all know that such a belief is absurd. But the church doesn’t accept your premise and doesn’t accept that women are less human than men.
Moreover, the question of who can give birth (women or men) is a question of biology. The question of who can image God is a question of theology and part of the much deeper issues of human ontology and soteriology. The two questions (that of biology and that of theology) are not equivalent. But the question of who can be ordained to the priesthood is not the same as the question “who can image God”.
Very true, they are two separate issues. That fact that women can image God has no bearing on whether they can be ordained.
I understand that PJPII stated that he could not change the current understanding of the priesthood. You mis-understand what he said. That is not what he stated. Guided by the Holy Spirit, Pope JPll said he is unable to change the constant Tradition of the Church in this matter. That means that this is a question of Tradition, not of Church discipline based on a current understanding of the priesthood.
But that does not strike me as a particularly well-thought-out theological response while as an institutional response (i.e., a response engendered by institutional rather than theological concerns) it seems just peachy. I understand, also, the Scholastic form-matter-intent formula for validity of a sacrament, but find its insistence on reducing humans to their sexes in the this case as reductive and, well, inhuman (I am, moreover, not a great fan of the Aristotelianism behind Scholasticism and wonder how the church can continue to embrace it as it does without a suitably Platonic corrective, particularly in light of the dangers of nominalism).
I’m not at all sure that it was a ‘theological response’. It was a response based on the Tradition passed down from the Apostles, not theology. To call it a just peachy institutional response is quite insulting, although, if you do think that’s what it is, you probably intend the insult.
Finally, to LilyM’s point…absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Just some thoughts…
Under the Mercy,
All is grace and mercy! Deo Gratias!