03Dec Ordination of women would correct injustice, says NCR

The call to the priesthood is a gift from God. It is rooted in baptism and is called forth and affirmed by the community because it is authentic and evident in the person as a charism. Catholic women who have discerned a call to the priesthood and have had that call affirmed by the community should be ordained in the Roman Catholic church. Barring women from ordination to the priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand.

The most egregious statement in the Nov. 19 press release announcing Roy Bourgeois’ “excommunication, dismissal and laicization” is the assertion that Bourgeois’ “disobedience” and “campaign against the teachings of the Catholic church” was “ignoring the sensitivities of the faithful.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Bourgeois, attuned by a lifetime of listening to the marginalized, has heard the voice of the faithful and he has responded to that voice.

Bourgeois brings this issue to the real heart of the matter. He has said that no one can say who God can and cannot call to the priesthood, and to say that anatomy is somehow a barrier to God’s ability to call one of God’s own children forward places absurd limits on God’s power. The majority of the faithful believe this.

Let’s review the history of Rome’s response to the call of the faithful to ordain women:

In April 1976 the Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded unanimously: “It does not seem that the New Testament by itself alone will permit us to settle in a clear way and once and for all the problem of the possible accession of women to the presbyterate.” In further deliberation, the commission voted 12-5 in favor of the view that Scripture alone does not exclude the ordination of women, and 12-5 in favor of the view that the church could ordain women to the priesthood without going against Christ’s original intentions.

In Inter Insigniores (dated Oct. 15, 1976, but released the following January), the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said: “The Church, in fidelity to the example of the Lord, does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination.” That declaration, published with the approval of Pope Paul VI, was a relatively modest “does not consider herself authorized.”

Pope John Paul II upped the ante considerably in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (May 22, 1994): “We declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.” John Paul had wanted to describe the ban as “irreformable,” a much stronger stance than “definitively held.” This met substantial resistance from high-ranking bishops who gathered at a special Vatican meeting in March 1995 to discuss the document, NCR reported at the time. Even then, bishops attuned to the pastoral needs of the church had won a concession to the possibility of changing the teaching.

But that tiny victory was fleeting.

In October 1995, the doctrinal congregation acted further, releasing a responsum ad propositum dubium concerning the nature of the teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis: “This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.” The ban on women’s ordination belongs “to the deposit of the faith,” the responsum said.

The aim of the responsum was to stop all discussion.

In a cover letter to the responsum, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then head of the congregation, asked presidents of bishops’ conferences to “do everything possible to ensure its distribution and favorable reception, taking particular care that, above all on the part of theologians, pastors of souls and religious, ambiguous and contrary positions will not again be proposed.”

Despite the certainty with which Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and the responsum were issued they did not answer all the questions on the issue.

Many have pointed out that to say that the teaching is “founded on the written Word of God” completely ignored the 1976 findings of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Others have noted that the doctrinal congregation did not make a claim of papal infallibility — it said what the pope taught in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was that which “has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium.” This too, however, has been called into question because at the time there were many bishops around the world who had serious reservations about the teaching, though few voiced them in public.

Writing in The Tablet in December 1995, Jesuit Fr. Francis A. Sullivan, a theological authority on the magisterium, cited Canon 749, that no doctrine is understood to have been defined infallibly unless this fact is clearly established. “The question that remains in my mind is whether it is a clearly established fact that the bishops of the Catholic Church are as convinced by [the teaching] as Pope John Paul evidently is,” Sullivan wrote.

The responsum caught nearly all bishops off-guard. Though dated October, it was not made public until Nov. 18. Archbishop William Keeler of Baltimore, then the outgoing president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, received the document with no warning three hours after the bishops had adjourned their annual fall meeting. One bishop told NCR that he learned about the document from reading The New York Times. He said many bishops were deeply troubled by the statement. He, like other bishops, spoke anonymously.

The Vatican had already begun to stack the deck against questioning. As Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese reported in his 1989 book, Archbishop: Inside the Power Structure of the American Catholic Church, under John Paul a potential episcopal candidate’s view on the teaching against women’s ordination had become a litmus test for whether a priest could be promoted to bishop.

Less than a year after Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was issued, Mercy Sr. Carmel McEnroy was removed from her tenured position teaching theology at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana for her public dissent from church teaching; she had signed an open letter to the pope calling for women’s ordination. McEnroy very likely was the first victim of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, but there have been many more, most recently Roy Bourgeois.

Blessed John Henry Newman said that there are three magisteria in the church: the bishops, the theologians and the people. On the issue of women’s ordination, two of the three voices have been silenced, which is why the third voice must now make itself heard. We must speak up in every forum available to us: in parish council meetings, faith-sharing groups, diocesan convocations and academic seminars. We should write letters to our bishops, to the editors of our local papers and television news channels.

Our message is that we believe the sensus fidelium is that the exclusion of women from the priesthood has no strong basis in Scripture or any other compelling rationale; therefore, women should be ordained. We have heard the faithful assent to this in countless conversations in parish halls, lecture halls and family gatherings. It has been studied and prayed over individually and in groups. The brave witness of the Women’s Ordination Conference, as one example, gives us assurance that the faithful have come to this conclusion after prayerful consideration and study — yes, even study of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

NCR joins its voice with Roy Bourgeois and calls for the Catholic church to correct this unjust teaching.

This Editorial was first published in the NCR on 3 December 2012 — see here

 

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On the same topic, below find the statement on women’s ordination from the international We Are Church Movement:

Women’s ordination ban stains the face of God in this world

(Saturday, 08 December 2012)

The International Movement We are Church (IMWAC) fully endorses the courageous ‘National Catholic Reporter’ editorial staff’s statement on Dec 3rd 2012 that ‘Barring women from ordination to the Priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand’ and joins its voice with the NCR and with Roy Bourgeois in their call for ‘the Catholic Church to correct this unjust teaching.’

The right of women to exercise every ministry including priesthood in the Catholic Church is a fundamental aim of ‘We are Church’ and very many of its members are to the forefront in the Catholic Church in demanding that this ban be rescinded as there is no basis either biblical or theological for its existence.

Throughout the Catholic world the ‘Sensus fidelium’ believes that this continuing ban on Catholic women who are called by God to priesthood is not only an injustice but stains the face of God in this world.

In spite of a critical lack of priests in the Catholic church which is leading to a Eucharistic famine for the Christian faithful the Pope not only refuses the possibility of open conversation about this vital issue but uses the most extreme form of sanctions against good Catholics who love their Church but only wish for a change of heart, metanoia, by the Pope on this issue even at this late stage of his life.

IMWAC believes that this demand for the lifting of this unjust ban on women is led by the Spirit of God and is a true sign of our times to be heeded as a matter of urgency by our Pope.

 

35 Responses

  1. Soline Humbert

    May Mary open the way,
    She who believed that “with God nothing is impossible”.
    May Her “Fiat” echo in our hearts.

    “Before supper in the upper room,
    breakfast in the barn.

    Before the Passover Feast,
    a feeding trough.
    And here, the altar of earth,
    fair linens of hay and seed.

    Before his cry, her cry.
    Before his sweat of blood,
    her bleeding and tears.
    Before his offering, hers.

    Before the breaking of bread and death,
    the breaking of her body in birth.
    Before the offering of the cup,
    the offering of her breast.
    Before his blood, her blood.
    And by her body and blood alone,
    his body and blood and whole human being.

    The wise ones knelt
    to hear the woman’s word in wonder.
    Holding up her sacred child,
    her God in the form of a babe,
    she said: “Receive and let your hearts be healed
    and your lives be filled with Love,
    for this is my body, this is my blood.”
    (Alla Renée Bozarth)

  2. Soline Humbert

    ….And now a 92 year old Jesuit penalised for his support for women’s ordination… http://ncronline.org/news/people/jesuit-penalized-after-eucharistic-liturgy-woman-priest

  3. Kathleen O'Connell

    AMEN!

  4. roy donovan

    The emperor has no clothes! I think that most people today especially young people can’t understand why women can’t be priests. This is one of many reasons today why the Church has little ‘cred’. Many women would claim that they represent more than men what Christ did at the last supper ie. This is my Body – the woman who is giving up her body totally that a new life is born ie. This is my blood – women who are giving up their blood through menstration every month.If we really care about people; if we really believe in Christmas and the Incarnation then every woman’s experience of life and the Divine is equally as valid as a man’s. Of course, what I am saying is nothing new – I am only expressing what many of the ordinary children, women and men on the street are sensing/feeling and thinking!!! The Emperor has no clothes!

  5. Joe O'Leary

    “a 92 year old Jesuit penalised for his support for women’s ordination…” No; for celebrating the eucharist with an illegally and invalidly ordained person. Illegal ordinations create a situation of sacramental meltdown (invalid eucharists and confessions, etc.), and they are putting the cause of women’s ordination back by decades, for the Vatican says that “if we reward abuse of the sacraments we will have no credibility when the next abuses occur”.

  6. Ger Gleeson

    Roy Donovan (4) you said it all.

  7. Kevin

    Roy: I was thinking exactly the same thought earlier today: emperor with no clothes. And you saying too about the young people.

    I was reminded on one of the readings this morning.
    Luke Chapter 10: 21
    At that very moment he rejoiced in the holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned: you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will these things are not given to the learned but the little ones.”

    Ask the children. Love to hear what they would say.

  8. Brendan Butler

    This statement is a very significant step forward for all who believe in a God who is passionate about justice . The excommunication of Roy Bourgeous will prove to be the step too far taken by the CDF and endorsed by the Mary Knoll Order to shore up a Church slowly but surely imploding within itself. Another brick in the wall has been loosened and fallen off and hopefully with all of us united in the Spirit of God a church of equality and justice may soon shine out through this gaping hole to give light and hope to those who have unjustly suffered for the cause of justice in the Church.

  9. Mary O Vallely

    Thinking about what Fr Gerry Reynolds said recently about reconciliation. It’s about patience and keeping passion alive. Women with a vocation to priesthood have been sorely tested in their patience.
    How do you change mindsets? The Gospel of today shows Jesus moved by compassion to feed the hungry. How do we cultivate compassion, concern and empathy in those whose hearts seem implacable, intransigent and hard? Modelling Christ. We are not modelling Christ as well as we should be. Patience,keeping passion alive, listening to the fears of others, shifting a little as we compromise to reach out. We have the flags issue here in the north which is threatening so much good work done already. That “No surrender” mentality is shared by both Rome and wee Norn Ireland. We have so much in common! Yes,it’s about patience and keeping passion alive and keeping our trust in God with whom all things are possible. Courage, sisters and well done to the NCR for that courageous editorial.
    Mary V

  10. Eamonn Keane

    It is erroneous to assert that the Catholic Church acts unjustly in refusing to confer priestly ordination on women.

    Alongside the right of every person to choose his/her state in life is the parallel right of every free association or society to choose its own ministers and leaders according to the normative criteria laid down in its constitution. All one needs to do is read the statutes or by-laws of their local county council or football club to see that this is true.

    According to Catholic doctrine, in establishing a hierarchically structured Church, Jesus Christ linked to it the ministerial priesthood which he conferred on the Apostles and willed that they in turn pass it on to other men. That the ministerial priesthood be conferred on men only is something intrinsic to what the Catholic Church understands to be the foundational will of Christ for it.

    Regarding the teaching of Pope John Paul II on the question of women’s ordination, in an ad lamina speech to German bishops on November 20, 1999, he stated that “the doctrine that the priesthood is reserved to men, possesses by virtue of the Church’s ordinary and universal magisterium, the character of infallibility which Lumen gentium speaks of and to which I gave juridical form in the Motu Proprio Ad tuendam fidem.”

    The whole of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s address to the German bishops is interesting when read against the backdrop of demands for the Church to change its teaching on sexual morality and on the ordination of women. Such demands call for something contrary to the truth of being as rooted in the order of creation, and to the truth of the order of redemption as rooted in Christ’s spousal relationship to his Bridal Church. In the second century St. Justin Martyr warned against the dire consequences for individuals and civilisation itself of seeking to negate the twin orders of creation and redemption.

    The campaign for the Church to change its moral doctrine and its teaching on the male-only ministerial priesthood seems at times to be also related to a deficient understanding of the nature of the Church. Here the Church is understood primarily according to political categories, whereby proposals for changes in its structures would seek to have it governed along lines of Western liberal democracies. Contrary to such a view, Chapter 1 of Vatican II’s Lumen gentium presents the Church as first and foremost a mystery rooted in the Blessed Trinity, a reality that should inform our interpretation of the rest of the document.
    Eamonn Keane

  11. Soline Humbert

    If God calls some women to the priesthood (As some of us believe…And St Therese of Lisieux did..) it is unjust to block those vocations, without any hearing and genuine process of discernment. It is first and foremost an injustice to the church, the People of God , which is deprived of those vocations. And since the church exists for the sake of its mission to the world, it is an injustice to the wider community. And most importantly an injustice to the Blessed Trinity in whose image women, as well as men, are made, and who is not served or glorified by women’s vocations being denied.

  12. Joe O'Leary

    “the doctrine that the priesthood is reserved to men, possesses by virtue of the Church’s ordinary and universal magisterium, the character of infallibility which Lumen gentium speaks of and to which I gave juridical form in the Motu Proprio Ad tuendam fidem.”

    Tells us more about JP2’s way of interpreting Vatican II than about anything else. He undercut collegiality just when the Church needed it most desperately.

  13. Fergus P Egan

    …and in Baptism we are one with God. There is no longer Jew or Greek, freeman or slave, male or female. We are all clothed in Jesus Christ. And when God calls us to the priesthood, let us show our clean hands and pure hearts.
    Oh, No! Scrap that! Examine our crotch areas to determine the legitimacy of our vocation.

  14. Eamonn Keane

    I think Vatican II’s teaching on episcopal collegiality is often interpreted in erroneous ways.

    The question of episcopal collegiality is dealt with in Chapter 3 of Lumen Gentium. Here, in affirming the collegiality of the bishops, the Council went to great pains to simultaneously reaffirm the primacy and infallibility of the Pope as Peter’s successor. It affirmed that the plenary and supreme teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff in matters of faith and morals, whether exercised solemnly ex cathedra or by way of the exercise of his ordianary magisterium, rested wholly and exclusively upon the mandate entrusted by Christ to Peter and his successors as His Vicars upon earth. Thus did the Council teach that the Pope does not need the approval of others to exercise his divinely constituted authority to teach and rule the Church. Hence, in Lumen Gentium we read: “The Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered” (n. 22).

    A characteristic note of the teaching of Vatican II on episcopal collegiality is that whenever it is mentioned it is frequently conjoined with expressions like “in communion with the successor of Peter” (Lumen Gentium, n. 25). Elsewhere it says that “the college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head” (ibid. n. 22).

    I think that to use Vatican II’s teaching on collegiality to excoriate Blessed Pope John Paul II for exercising the very authority the Council said he possesses as Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ, is to engage in an act of Orwellian double-think, i.e. to hold two conflicting views simultaneously while asserting both to be true, all the time believing reality is not being violated.

    Eamonn Keane

  15. Joe O'Leary

    “to engage in an act of Orwellian double-think, i.e. to hold two conflicting views simultaneously while asserting both to be true, all the time believing reality is not being violated.”

    Some say that primacy and collegiality are as difficult to reconcile as divine unity and trinity or freedom and predestination.

    Vatican I meant to discuss the powers of bishops. Vatican II said a lot about collegiality. Eamonn Keane seems to think that Vatican I’s Pastor Aeternus said all that needed to be said, so that neither the projected Vatican I document nor Vatican II were necessary at all.

    Or perhaps he could explain what Vatican II said that was new, and how he would reconcile that with his account of papal primacy?

  16. Joe O'Leary

    Perhaps Vatican II itself was Orwellian, the bishops falling for the sop of nice words about collegiality, and finding that the actual result was an unprecedented tightening of papal control and curial centralism. There was no episcopal input into the solo performance of Paul VI in 1968 and the attempts of episcopal conferences to exercise collegiality in their reception of the controversial encyclical prompted a Vatican reaction that reduced the standing of these conferences to a minimum.

    see http://www.womenpriests.org/authority/collegiality.asp

  17. Brendan

    Hold on a minute, take a step back and think about what you are really saying. Our Lord in His All-Powerful, All-Knowing Divinity was nothing more than an out of touch sexist, who was afraid to challenge social norms for fear of rejection! Have you read the Gospels? If you feel like you’re big enough to stand up to Christ and tell him he was wrong go ahead, but I certainly wouldn’t advise doing so. I would much rather prefer to humble myself and respect His ways, because I most certainly do not know everything.
    Our Lord decided to have an all-male priesthood because that is what He wanted for His Church. I don’t know why he decided this! I don’t pretend to know why, and I certainly don’t believe that this is in anyway a dismissal or a rejection of women.
    In today’s society we look a difference as being wrong, we look at difference as being some sort of social scourge. We can’t eradicate difference because we are different. Male and female He created them, if we eradicate difference, we eradicate our very being. I am a man, I cannot be a mother! Is this wrong? Is this sexist? Is this an inequality that must be corrected? No! It’s just the way it is! We each have distinct roles to play in the Church. If we focus too much on the differences we will soon lose sight of the true importance of our roles. Let our women be our saintly mothers, daughters, wives and sisters in the image of Our Blessed Mother Mary, and let our men be our saintly fathers, sons, brothers, husbands and priests in the image of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    Let us listen to Christ and focus on serving Him, loving Him and being faithful to Him and His Church rather than following our own agendas. It is not our Church but His Church!

  18. Veritas

    In answer to Brendan. The reason for the male Priesthood is simple. It’s nothing to do with silly 1960’s feminist notions of discrimination. Catholics understand that the Church is the bride of Christ. In his sacramental role the Priest is alter Christus (another Christ), therefore the role is inherently/naturally male. Quite simple really.

  19. Soline Humbert

    @18 Veritas
    The early church believed that all the baptized, women and men, were alter Christus, another Christ. In baptism we become Christ:” Let us rejoice and give thanks: We have not only become Christians, but Christ himself….stand in awe and rejoice: we have become Christ” (St Augustine). Only later on, in medieval theology would alter Christus be used exclusively for the ordained priest.
    There is nothing inherently/naturally male (or female!) about being Christ. Thank God!
    http://www.womenpriests.org/theology/nupt_gen.asp

  20. Sean (Derry)

    Soline @ No.19, thanks for the link to the Women priests website.
    It never ceases to amaze me as to why people want to belong to a Church which they are so opposed to. I suppose it is a bit like someone wanting to belong to the Association of Vegetarians, but only if they will be allowed to eat meat.

  21. Soline Humbert

    Sean@20
    About eating…
    Once upon a time Peter didn’t think God allowed him to eat certain food… he called them unclean…. Then he was ordered to eat them and his eyes were opened: they weren’t unclean in God’s eyes, after all! …
    Someday those who are considered unfit (unclean) for ordination because of their gender will be seen to be fit. That is the wonderful kind of work the Holy Spirit does….
    To tell the prophets whose mission it is to advocate changes in accordance with God’s will that they are opposing the church and should leave is self-defeating. Those prophets can no more leave the church than Christ can, for it is love that binds them.
    And that for me is truly a source of never ending amazement…

  22. Veritas

    Soline, not sure what early church you refer to. But let me try to break this as gently as possible to you. Jesus was male.

  23. Joe O'Leary

    “Our Lord decided to have an all-male priesthood because that is what He wanted for His Church.”

    The disciples of Jesus included men and women. The twelve Apostles were indeed male, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. There is no evidence that Jesus ordained priests, and indeed the early church has only elders and overseers, not priests in any sense. The only NT references to priesthood refer to Christ as High Priest (in Hebrews) and the people of God as a priestly people (in I Peter).

  24. Sean (Derry)

    I notice that the Americans often refer to the ‘N’ word rather than repeat an insult used against a Black person. I’ve recently noticed a trend among some priests where they fear using that awful ‘M’ word when it occurs in the Liturgy and either omit the offending word completely or replace it with a less derogatory term. I am well used to the priest suddenly losing his voice during the creed when it comes to the ‘M’ word. Forgive me for using the full word to explain, “..for us ‘MEN’ and for our salvation” has now become “for us”, but I had to smile recently when out local Fr Nice quoted Jesus as saying to Simon and Andrew, ‘I will make you fishers of ‘PEOPLE’. It now seems that even Jesus couldn’t bring himself to use that dreaded ‘M’ word.
    Sometimes you don’t even need the electric guitars and dancing during Mass to get entertained. Women priests are one thing but male Priests without a backbone are another.

  25. Joe O'Leary

    Fishers of people is the more CORRECT translation of ” ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων” , Matt 4:19, rather than “fishers of men”.
    “For us people”; or “for us humans”; is the more CORRECT translation of “propter nos homines” (rather than “for us men”).
    If the texts had “andrôn” and “virorum” the translation “men” would be correct. “Our local Fr Nice ” turns out to have a better grasp of Greek and Latin than his critics.

  26. Sean (Derry)

    Joe @25, good old Fr Nice certainly knows how to please ‘us humans’ and ‘us people’ at ‘his’ Christmas vigil Mass. No need for all the boring prayers, readings, gospel or sermon, at ‘his’ mass, he replaced these with the children acting out the nativity. Oh all the humans seemed to enjoy it very much judging by all those camcorders and cameras and waving and clapping. (Still I suppose it could have been worse, I half suspected that Fr Nice might have appeared dressed as Santa. Last year Fr Nice’s mobile rang just at the end of Mass and when he answered it was Santa Claus).
    Fr. didn’t seem too bothered with correct translations with his choice of the final ‘hymn’ either, ‘Jingle Bells’. Maybe it was a traditional Christian carol originally written in Greek or Latin and something got lost in translation with all the “andrôn” and “virorum” getting confused with ‘one horse open sleigh’, but anyhow everyone clapped and sang along and it seemed that all us people felt very nice afterwards.

  27. Anne

    Dr. Norma Jean Coon who last year renounced her alleged ‘ordination’ said the following:
    ‘“I confess to the truth of Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter ‘Ordinatio Sacerdotalis’,” she stated, “and recognize that Christ founded the ordination only for men.” In that letter, the Pope declared that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women,” and taught that this judgment was to be “definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”::

    I say well done to Norma Jean for coming back to the Church and for having the humility and courage to do so. God bless her. There is no ordination for women and never will be. There are people out there crying our for spiritual help and nourishment and they are not receiving anything while all this disobedience and arguing about women Priests and other issues is going on. It is really tragic. I continue to pray.

  28. Paddy Ferry

    Anne, I have no doubt that you sincerely believe what you have said @ 27 above. However, with respect, I wish to refer you to Angela Hanley’s address — “Quo Vadimus – lessons from history”– to the ACP on 2nd of June, 2011. During that address she explained how the Pontifical Biblical Commission in Rome was given the remit in the 1970s to study the evidence from Scripture on “Whether or not women can be ordained to priestly ministry (especially as ministers of the eucharist and as leaders of the Christian community)”.

    The commission duly reported that its forensic examination of Scripture could not answer the question one way or the other. So, no Scriptural barrier could be found to the ordination of women.

    I think this is a crucial issue — one of the crucial issues — that is responsible for the rapid decine that we are now experiencing in our church. Young people especially find unacceptable what they percieve as our institutional church’s demeaning attitude towards women. I speak with first hand evidence from my own cradle-catholic children.

    And not just young people. In the Amárach research published earlier this year into what practising Irish Catholics really believe we saw where nearly 80% of the faithful believes that priestly ordination should be open not just to men but to women also. And, I can assure you that it is not just practising Catholics in Ireland who share this view.

  29. Joe O'Leary

    The Catholic priesthood is the world’s most hallowed homosocial group; not taking women seriously is written so deep into our genes that we should have no trust in our instinctive reactions to proposals for giving women a greater role.

  30. Gill Slater

    re 22 “Jesus was male”. Whilst we’re stating the obvious – as were our Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, St Paul who spread the Gospel far and wide, all the Popes & the heirarchy of the Church. The Bible is inspired by God but put in writing by human (male) hands – how can the Church not acknowlegde that there may be some gender bias in the translation of Gods message and the development of our Church which has been moulded by men over a period of 2,000 years during which time they dominated all spheres of society.
    God is Neither male nor female, God is Love. The Church’s gender bar is restricting its ability to spread Gods Love – I wonder what God makes of that?

  31. Darlene Starrs

    There has been discussion on this topic I see, from all the above comments.

    By the grace and power of our Lord, working in my life, I have had the rare opportunity to deliver a homily, although, I’m not supposed to call it that. Almost 25 years ago, or more, I was asked by our Oblate Pastor and teacher of theology, to assemble a Lenten Vespers service and to give a reflection. This was not the parish of my parents, but they came to the service. My father was beaming after it was over, and said, something about me doing this work for my life. I said, “I can’t do that Dad”, and he said
    “Why not?”, “I’m a woman, and I won’t be allowed to.” He thought that was absurd…..My Father never raised his children to be defined by their gendre, particularly, in what they could do with their lives, especially, the girls. I suspect, our Father, in heaven is the same. By the authority of the Son, I have had the rare opportunity to be the “vocation” that Christ intended for the Church. We must remember that just as Christ is the Mystic in us, so a genuine vocation, is the “Christ” in Us. To deny a genuine “vocation in Christ” to anyone is to deny “Christ,” hence, the Church is in disobedience. The Vactican II documents state very clearly, that the Catholic, Christian, Community is responsible for recognizing and calling forth the vocations in their midst. Naturally, we have been trained to look for the priestly vocation among the men. However, the “resurrected” Christ is not limited to gendre. There has been much scholarly, theological study about the women of the scriptures, but in particular, the women of the New Testament. I’ll just point to one example…..Colossians 4……..As you read Colossians 4, you come to where St. Paul says……Give My Greetings to the Brothers and Sisters of Laodecia and to NYMPHA, AND THE CHURCH IN HER HOUSE.
    Generally, the Vatican has ignored all the scholarship that has been done on “Women In The Church”. Generally, the Vatican has selective listening. In a book by Richard McBrien, teacher and priest of Notre Dame,………In his book…….The Evolution of Catholicism……he quotes….the late, Father Raymond Brown, scripture scholar as saying……..IT IS URGENT, THAT THE CHURCH, EVALULATES THE SCRIPTURE COLOSSIANS 4. I’m sure that where St. Pope John Paul II is now, where ALL THINGS ARE REVEALED, he probably wishes, he could change or remove that paper that says absolutely, no women ordained and we’ll not talk about it again!

    Yes, St. Therese says she wanted to be a priest and once that idea enters the group consciousness, it cannot be erased. Lo and Behold She is a Doctor of the Church……..No accident….Just like with St. Brigid, who was originally prayed over with the prayer for the consecration of bishops……..Oops!

  32. Soline Humbert

    @31
    ” Generally the Vatican has ignored all the scholarship that has been done on women in the church”.
    For instance:
    http://ncronline.org/node/42036 Early Women leaders: From Heads of House Churches to Presbyters.
    http://ncronline.org/news/women-religious/meaning-ordination-and-how-women-were-gradually-excluded The meaning of ordination and how women were gradually excluded

  33. Darlene Starrs

    Terrific Soline….Thank you

  34. Soline Humbert

    Roy Bourgeois’s frank and powerful testimony: Very suitable for Holy Thursday/Good Friday listening…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK8sCSrNKes&feature=player_embedded#!

  35. Darlene Starrs

    Thank you Soline for the above entry. I’m very curious what Pope Francis’s reaction would be to Ray Bourgeois’s presentation.


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