women's ordination


I know that the Church has already spoken on the issue regarding women’s ordination. I was told there were ontological and gerontalogical reasons why. Like fore example ordinatio sacerdotalis for example says that women cannot be priests. Right? The twelve apostles were all men right? Ok. Is it on the basis of gender that women can’t be priests? Is it because of difference in biological parts? My sister asked me this and I didn’t know how to answer that. I’m looking for reasons besides what sacred tradition and the bible say. I would really appreciate your guy’s help. You guys have been so good to me on this forum. And it’s a miracle that I came here. God bless.



peterkreeft.com/audio/09_priestesses.htm This could help.



one arguement is that the apostles were all men, and never have women been ordained in the mainstream church even in areas where the society would allow female clergy.

One is that a man is the better symbol of christ when he is acting in Persona Christi, as a woman could not be present as a man, which Jesus is.

ANnother is that for whatever reason (I dont know this one too well), women are not valid matter for ordination. That is, the capacity to recieve ordination subsides in male-ness but not in Female-ness.

Of course as you said in the original post, the most important reason is that the Holy Catholic Church, guided and protected form error by the Holy Spirit of God and the promise of God the Son, says so. That is good enough for me.



Those are all good points! :thumbsup:

I have two to add:

  1. From Catholic Answers’ "Women and the Priesthood"
    While women could publicly pray and prophesy in church (1 Cor. 11:1–16), they could not teach or have authority over a man (1 Tim. 2:11–14), since these were two essential functions of the clergy. Nor could women publicly question or challenge the teaching of the clergy (1 Cor. 14:34–38).

I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing because it’s very well written and explained: catholic.com/library/Women_and_the_Priesthood.asp

  1. Another less significant reason is that the motives behind people who want this are often shaky and the people themselves are often not orthodox in many other beliefs other than this one. Most of the time they are supporters of “reproductive rights” and “gay rights” as well. I think that pushing for women’s ordination shows a lack of understanding of and faith in Tradition and the God to whom Tradition belongs.


None of those links explained any actual reason, they just quoted bible passages and cited traditions that just flat out said so. There is certainly no biological or neurogical difference that would prevent them from performing any kind of duties that men can.

I think more realistically you should realize that there was an inherent sexism in people back then and such things have leaked into the bible. If you really try to take everything in the bible literally for God’s world you end up supporting slavery, infant slaughter, genocide, and all sorts of nasty stuff. Be careful in how you understand the context that everything originated.



Ask your sister if she believes in the Incarnation and the Resurrection of Christ and in the authority of Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition.

If she says no, ask her to defend her position. The Church’s Doctrines are completely logical and reasonable when held to the standard of Reason, but when these Doctrines are held to the “Standard” of “Feelings”, those Doctrines don’t make so much sense. In that case, It’s not the fault of Doctrines - It’s that of the Faulty “Standards”.

You can always reming her just how revolutionary Jesus Christ and the Church really was during the Roman Empire:

*You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29 NIV*

Romans practiced something called “Pater Familia” which eant that the Father of the Family was nothing short of god. He could even order his daughter who had committed Fornication or adultery to be killed to to have an abortion and to order his wife to have an abortion and then divorce her if he suspected unfaithfulness. He could order his son or daughter or marry one person or to not marry another, and he could order a slave to beaten or killed at his whim.

The Church opposed Abortion in all circumstances from Day one, along with the use of Contraceptives which was widespread in the Roman Empire and had been develped by the Egyptians. The Church said that the Father’s power over the family was only that of love, leadership by example and self-sacrifice and that the slaughter of God’s children was an abomination, and the Church said that slaves were to be treated as brothers and sister in Christ and never to be beaten or abused in any way,

The Church has maintained from the beginning that God needed a Virgin’s womb to be born on this earth, and that as He did this, He made the Blessed Virgin Mary the Human Ark of the Covenant. and, That as Jesus died on the cross, He made His Virgin Mother the Mother of the entire Catholic Church. And, When the time came for His mother to die, Jesus took her and enthroned her as His Queen Mother, making the Kingdom of Heaven a Messianic Kingdom.

But, Jesus NEVER ordained this most worthy and sinless of women as a bishop or a priest or even a deacon. This woman whom the Gospels said Jesus tasked with saying “when” to the beginning of HIS Road to Calvery.

Ask your sister, If Jesus ever intended for the Church which overturned the rest of Greco-Roman Society, why didn’t He make The One who was Born and Lived without sin, who was the Human Ark of the Covenant and who was entrusted with triggering HIS march to Calvery, the Church’s first woman priest?

The Church isn’t a Democracy - it’s a Monarchy, and Christ is the King, and the Pope is the Prime Ministrer, which is why he carries the keys that look like the keys that were carried by the High Priest and the Prime Minister of the Nation of Israel. And the Church isn’t just any kind of Monarchy - Our Lord Jesus sits on the throne of His father David. And, Since Our Lord sits on the throne of Hs father David, His Mother sits at His Right Hand on the throne reserved for the Queen Mother of any King in the Line and Lineage of David.

Because of that, we don’t get to have a vote. All of those whose votes count are in thrones in heaven.

Your Brother in Christ, Michael


There is nothing complex about the issue. The Church has no authority to ordain women therefore it will never happen. There is no ongoing debate because case is closed.

CCC 1577 “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.


So really the questions she asks are irrelevant right?


The whole spousal aspect between Christ and His Holy Church needs to be looked at carefully here.
Christ is the bridegroom and the Church the Bride. When the Word became flesh, he came into our world as a male. This was no arbitrary decision. Jesus’ sexuality, his maleness, was essential to his mission. He came as the heavenly bridegroom (Jn 3:20; Rev 21:9) to surrender his body for his bride (Eph 5:25), the Church.

All Priests therefore in persona Christi must be male by means of this spousal relationship.

Let me be very blunt here: For Holy Mother Church to suddenly decide to confer Holy Orders on females would make a lesbian of the Church. Therefore a female priesthood is impossible not only by mandate but by nature.


You have all explained very well where God has said that women can’t be ordained, but that still doesn’t explain why.


The reason why is dignity of women and men.

It would be insulting to women to represent a man as a woman has her own dignity of being a woman. Unless someone has a flawed concept of what it is to be a woman which most women do these days.
It would be insulting their womanhood to want to be fathers as they should be proud to be sister, mothers, both physical and spiritual.
Women should not want to be like men as they have their own dignity as women and are their model of perfect womanhood would be the Blessed Mother. The most perfect person ever created.
(though men can imitate her example they should not want to actually be moms)

A man likewise has his own dignity and in the same way would be insulting his own manhood to want to be a woman.
A man should want to be happy to be a father, both spiritual and physical, as that is what we are made to do.
Their model of the perfect man is Jesus, who not only being God was also man.
They can never actually “be” but can model their lives after Jesus as a brother, to us all and spiritual or physical fathers to others.

Either way for women to want to actually be a priest who represents Jesus on the altar would be insulting to women and misrepresenting the truth of the position that a priest holds.

So yes they actually can be ordained but it would be against God’s design of men and women and defying God by our own pride. Which would be evil in it’s purest sense as it would be us putting ourselves superior to God, which is probably the worst sin and what sends us to Hell.

Obedience is difficult and contrary to the culture of this day so this is a more common question as obedience is not part of the popular culture, yet God demands obedience.
Otherwise we make Gods out of ourselves.

In Christ


Didn’t you read post #8??

The Catechism of the Catholic Church which I quoted there explains why!!


So really the questions she asks are irrelevant right?

Basically, but answering someone with “Your question is irrelevant” usually isn’t too effective. :wink:

To look at it pragmatically, yes, sure, a woman could do what priests do if you think of priests as protestant ministers. Women can write a homily, can read out of the missal, could help people with their problems etc. I don’t think anyone doubts this.

However, the pro-women’s ordination people and people who are just simply ignorant of the matter generally look at the issue on a very materialistic scope. Priesthood goes beyond the banal equality of action that exists between men and women.

It really gets at the point that everyone has a duty in their state of life. Priesthood is simply not a part of the duty in life of any woman throughout all of history, for all the reasons the Church has put forth.


Hello Nick,
The fact that the church has spoken and tradition has spoken should be enough in themselves. However, I understand that in todays society with equal rights it becomes difficult.
I understand “ontological” but gerontological? I thought this means elderly. gerontology is to do with the elderly.
My understanding is that a woman cannot ever be priest because the priest stands for Jesus (alter Christi) when he says the words of consecration “this is my body etc…” how can a woman say that?
If we really and truly believe that the consecrated speciies become the body and blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, through the medium of the consecration, then it becomes impossible for a woman to consecrate.
She cannot say the words because she is female and she is standing in alter Christi.
We could even say that we are looking at liturgical lesbianism here.
For whatever His reasons God decreed that woman co operates with Him in bringing forth new life, and the male co-operates with Him in offering sacrifice. I think He has done so well, both the males and females have a unique role in co operation with God. I love Him and His ways madly.
Grace Angel.:angel1:



That’s not what I said, I apologize, as the answer was one offered late at night as I was on the verge of exhaustion from dealing with a member’s emergency and was trying to “decompress”. I’m also dealing with a situation with SSA and my HMO that both have left me at wits end and with much less than my usual amount of charity and patience.

I’m going to have to request some of both from the assembled members here.

I also must admit that I just can’t see how one could explicate the Great Mystery that is the Sacerdotal Priesthood where the priest stands in the place of Christ without recourse to Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition. It would be like trying to teach Quantum Physicis without using the works of Einstein, Heisenberg and Hawkins or any of the other great physicists of th mid to late 20th Century to someone who doesn’t understand Newtonian Physics.

Again, I ask for your patience and forgiveness.

Your Brother in Christ, Michael


None of that mentions what the fundamental difference between men and women is that bars them from being priests. I am talking rational reasoning here (by the way, “God says so” is not rational reasoning).


No, it doesn’t, and this is an important concept here.

“God says so” is not valid reasoning and cannot be the basis of any argument. Yes, you can show where your God orders and commands and claims things, but these are not reasons in themselves. They just mean there must be reasons out there (erm, I guess only supposing your faith is rational).

You may not see this as a problem, but again, this is where I strongly encourage critical thinking.

And don’t get superficial here; this goes way beyond the issue of women’s ordination.

Muslims said that their God commanded them to crash planes into the world trade center. They were completely wrong and immoral. Why? Because they could not justify their actions with logical, secular, rational reasons using humanistic morality.

See the problem yet?

Claiming you have divine backing is not enough. It’s hard to look at your own religion this way, so I’m using examples you will understand. You can’t hold the wtc bombings against the perpetrators unless you recognize that “God says so” is not enough.

It’s 3 in the morning and so I hope this is coming out correctly.

I’ll try to state this more clearly.

If you expect other religious people of the world to be rational in their beliefs and actions, you have to do the same.

Until you can justify all of your beliefs beyond “God says so,” you are in no position to condemn other actions done in God’s name, like the world trade center bombings.



As I said in my previous post, I never said that your sister’s questions were irrelevant, and, in addition, it’s not up to me to make that judgment.

At the same time, The Sacerdotal Male Only Priesthood is a Great Mystery in the sense that our faith is a Mystery, and when the priest stands to offer the “Unbloody Sacrifice” of the Mass, he stands “In Persona Christi”. At the same time, when the Priest says the words, “Do this in Rememberence of me,” according to the Greek in the Gospels, Our Lord says the priest unites us with the Apostles in the Upper Room and in the Garden and with the Lord at Calvery. And, According to the Apocalypse of St. John the Divine (see Dr. Hahn), During the whole Divine Lturgy, we unite ourselves with the Heavenly Liturgy in of the saints in Heaven.

As I said, trying to describe this without using the Deposit of Divine Revelation is sort of like trying to teach Quantum Pysics without using any of the writings by any of the physicists to a class full of students who didn’t understand the concept of Gravity.

Many things about God can be known without recourse to Divine Revelation. This isn’t one of them. Either one accepts the testimony of Sacred Scripture and the Holy Tradition of a Church which was so revolutionary that it’s very existence was regarded as dangerous to the social order by those empowered to preserve it, or one doesn’t. If one does, everything will pretty much make sense provided the doctrines are explained reasonably. If one doesn’t accept this testimony, all the arguing in the world won’t be enough to make the case for a Male Only Priesthood (or for most of the other doctrines of the Church for that matter).

If you sister is asking that the doctrine of the Sacerdotal Male Only Priesthood be explained reasonably, and that the Scriptures and the Traditions be shown which support that, her questons are perfectly relevant, and deserve a reasonable and cogent answer. Catholics should be able to explain how the Lord makes a priest and what sets a priest apart from the rest of us, and whose place every priest takes during the Sacrifice of the Mass and when hearing the Confession of a Penitent.

But, If you sister is asking for someone to tell her why the Church can ordain only Men without using Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition, or the history of the Church and the Ancient World, then she probably has severe doubts about the faith that that have to be dealt with before you deal with this issue.

That’s what I was trying to say in the post where you thought that I was saying that her questions were irrelevant.

Your Brother in Christ, Michael



Fergal #10.

I suggest you look at the model of reproduction and childbearing and who does what and when. Next, you may wish to look at how men and women function and physiological studies (size of Corpus Callosum and other brain structures as well as structures of the bodies).

Women are designed to be able to do things that men aren’t and vice versa. The difference is so important that that in Judaism, woman aren’t circumcized, but men are, and children are automatically JEWISH if the mother is, no matter what religion the Father is, unlike most other religions (something to do with Mitochondrial DNA which comes from the mother)

The Church doesn’t have to prove these to say that, in a world that did have Priestesses for many of the gods and goddesses, the Lord decided that only men would represent Him to His bride, the Church, when forgiving sins, and that only men would stand at the alter representing Him offering the Sacrifice He made on Calvery to His Father, and that only men would perform the great Mysteries of the Divine Liturgy where the Congregation is caught up to heaven while the Heavenly Liturgy is brought down to earth.

But, This isn’t about differences or not differences. Those who support the ordination of women to the priesthood have forgotten that the priesthood isn’t a job, it isn’t some prestigous position like a professorship or a CEO or even a Middle Manager. Priest is first and foremost a SERVANT and a CO-SACRIFICE with Christ.

If you look at the lives of St. Padre Pio or St. Maximillian Kolbe, you’ll see they not only served night and day, but sacrificed, St. M. Kolbe to the point of taking the place of a man who was chosen to go into the starvation chamber at Auschwitz. According to the Nazis, he was not all hat unusual. What was diffiernet here was St. Kolbe’s effect on the room and those who were in it which had formerly been a place of horror for all who had were in it.

During the Influenza Pandemic of 1917, often the only people who were taking care of those who were dying of this terrible contagion were celibate, male Catholic priests along with nuns and brothers, who often cared for and comforted mortally ill people regardless of race, religion and ability to pay. Most of them died during the Pandemic, caring for their patients even while sick.

Then there were the Catholic priests who went into “No-Man’s Land” to comfort the dying on both sides during WW I, risking death and severe injury as they did so. Many of them only heard the gratitude of thoe whose passage they ease and possibly their families if they heard about it.

The man who was the Rector at St. Marys when I first started attending in 2003 was one of the first priests to start visiting AIDS patients in the AIDS wards in the Westside of LA in 1983. At that time, even Doctors refused to deal with AIDS patients, because no one knew how contageous the disease was or how you got it (the Virus hadn’t been isolated yet). One of his parishioners was a Physicians Assistant who was treating these patients who saw that NO ONE was dealing with their spiritual needs.

Somehow, this P.A managed to communicate to this priest that the patients needed a PRIEST to talk to, and that it was worth the risk. Many of those patients repented of their sins and confessed or were baptized (some hadn’t been baptized), and some lie in repose behind the altar of St. Mary’s as they await the Resurrection of the Dead.

I personally know an Archbishop who went into a Muslim country to try to save one of the Bishops under his charge when we were afraid the Bishop hd been executed for "Blashemy (Preaching the Gospel and refusing to say the Islamic “Profession of Faith”).

I can’t give you details about how Archbishop Hepworth went in, but I have to say that it ended up being to recover the body of the TAC Bishop of Pakistan. He was Executed for Convertng a Muslim and refusing to say, “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet,” in spite of International outrage and letters from world leaders.

How many of the supporters of women’s ordination understand what I’ve described above is part of the deal of becoming a priest, and that a priest “lays down his life” when he’s ordained, and that he’s sometimes asked to ratify the decision in a Death Camp, Gulag, caring for someone with a contageuos disease, in “No Man’s Land” or in an Islamic Country?

Your Brother in Christ, Michael

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.