The Problem with the Anglican Church? Women July 9, 2008

The Problem with the Anglican Church? Women

The (Anglican) Church of England passed a resolution on Monday which would allow women to become bishops. In the year 2015.

Guess who doesn’t like this attempt at equality?

The Vatican said Tuesday it regrets the decision by the Church of England’s governing body to allow the ordination of women as bishops.

The move by the Anglican Church’s General Synod “is a rift to the apostolic tradition” of ordaining only men as bishops, the Vatican said in a statement, and is another obstacle to reconciliation between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

Some traditionalists have threatened to abandon the Anglican Church for the Roman Catholic Church if women become bishops. Several hundred Anglican priests made that move when women were first ordained 16 years ago.

It was only about a month ago when the Vatican made the punishments for this action clear:

The Vatican’s doctrinal congregation has decreed formally that a woman who attempts to be ordained a Catholic priest and the person attempting to ordain her are automatically excommunicated.

Amazing what gets the Church worked up, right?

As submitter Jason notes:

This story from May is the one that finally pushed my wife (a somewhat still practicing catholic) to finally stop attending completely. As she put it, “How can they issue what is essentially a spiritual death sentence to women for wanting to serve the church while protecting pedophile priests?” Apparently it’s a worse crime to them to be a woman in authority than a man who rapes children. And of course now they (the Vatican) are blaming the Anglicans for future difficulties because they choose not to remain quite so bigoted.

How so many people take the Vatican seriously baffles me everytime a story like this comes up…


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  • Jen

    What the hell? Why wait 7 years?

  • llewelly

    Perhaps the trouble is that women are less likely to become pedophiles, and therefore, less able to fit in.

  • It is somewhat remarkable that religion simultaneously maintains the following two premises:
    1. That the soul “lives” infinitely long (eternally) and never actually dies
    2. That some subtle differences (like sexual differentiation) between souls have profound importance in spiritual matters both in the infinitesimally short lifetime (as compared to eternity) and eternity itself.

    For example, that it matters whether you are male or female (or heterosexual or homosexual) in whether you can fully participate in spiritual matters. Its all just human bigotry wrapped in spiritual cloth.

    But good for the Anglican Church for doing the right thing. They should not worry about some of the Anglican community splitting off and becoming Catholics or what-ever. Good riddance to those that don’t like equality.

  • Richard Wade

    The move by the Anglican Church’s General Synod “is a rift to the apostolic tradition” of ordaining only men as bishops, the Vatican said in a statement, and is another obstacle to reconciliation between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

    We gleefully await the Anglican Church’s reply respectfully suggesting that the Vatican should insert their opinion into the same rectal catacomb where they were told to stick it 477 years ago.

  • The Thinking Theist

    The move by the Anglican Church’s General Synod “is a rift to the apostolic tradition…”

    Apostolic tradition my ass…that’s the same bullcrap the Roman Catholics have used to attempt to dominate Christianity since the beginning of Roman Catholicism…

  • I like tea

    It’s hilarious to me that the Catholic Church can get away with blatant sexism.

  • Josha

    Good for the Anglicans! It will take the Catholic Church at least a couple hundred years to catch up.

  • mike

    I fail to understand what “obstacle to reconciliation” they are talking about? Is there a war I was unaware of? Do Anglicans desperately want to become Catholics and there is some sort of back-room negotiation going on? Was the pope going to ask God to not send Anglicans to hell, but now he’s changed his mind?

  • It isn’t the first time that England and Rome have been at odds over matters of faith. Last time we got to steal their church land and wealth and demolish most of their monasteries.

  • Larry Huffman

    There are so many things to comment about this item…

    Why does the vatican think it has any busines whatsoever butting into the business of another sect? Oh, I know why they think they do…but shouldn’t the angilcan church’s response…rather than to defend or debate or explain simply be, “Shut up and mind your own business ya bunch of pedaphiles”

    With the way one christians sect tries to shoot down another…it would seem that we would all ignore such commentary.

    And yes…if it is deemed proper to allow women to become Bishops…then what is the purpose for waiting until 2015?? That makes no sense at all. In fact, when it comes to religion…the only way to account for such changes in doctrine is for them to either admit they were wrong all along…which should cause them to begin ordaining them immediately, and apologizing for not having done so already. Or…god changed his mind and somehow communicated this to someone…in which case…again…they should begin ordaining right away.

    It is so obvious that the time delay is meant for this to be something of a trial ballon…and they gave the announcement a cool-down period so that everyone gets bent about it now, and then by the time they start the issue will have receded a bit.

    I love it when churches change doctrine…never does a church look more man made and silly as when they have to answer the question: By who’s authority do you make these changes?

  • Ron in Houston

    It was a pretty major deal when my former denomination, the Episcopal Church USA started ordaining women. The Vatican made a similar pronouncement back then.

    It’s just a bunch of religious double speak. The odds of any “reconciliation” happening is nonsense. When you have a Bible that says women shouldn’t even speak in church, it’s not surprising that crap like this happens.

  • Wes

    Amazing what gets the Church worked up, right?

    Yes, it is.

  • Lemme get this straight:

    480-odd years ago, Henry VIII (part 2) decided he’d had enough of the Vatican telling him his marriage was valid, so he split the Anglican Catholic Church off into a separate cult with himself as the head.

    Fast-forward to now: Good traditional Anglicans are volunteering to join up with the Catholic Church again? … Presumably because all that history doesn’t matter in the face of the threat from female clergypersons.

    I wonder what Her Majesty (HM Elizabeth II, Queen of [fast forward] and Defender of the Faith) thinks about it? Something tells me she’s completely down with women in positions of power, and funny hats.

  • Fr. Terry Donahue, CC

    As a Catholic priest who is an occasional reader of this blog, I’d like to say a few words in response to some of the comments above.

    “That some subtle differences (like sexual differentiation) between souls have profound importance in spiritual matters”

    Catholics believe that an ordained priest acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) when he celebrates the sacraments. For example, in the words of consecration, the priest speaks as Christ: “This is my body…”, in Confession “I absolve you from your sins…”

    Sacraments use visible signs to communicate invisible realities (the grace of God). The priest is a visible sign of Christ, so the maleness of the priest matters, preserving the natural resemblance of the sacramental sign. Christ is the Bridegroom offering His life for the Bride, his Church. This use of sexual symbolism parallels the bridal imagery used in God’s revelation to Israel in the Old Testament. The priesthood is reserved to men because God chose to become incarnate as a male in the person of Jesus Christ.

    I don’t expect many non-Catholics to be aware of these details of sacramental theology, so it does not surprise me that many people don’t see any good reason for the Church’s reserving priestly ordination to men. But when the Catholic teaching and reasoning is presented, I hope that those who disagree would not simply assume that the teaching is just a smokescreen for bigotry.

    Yes, sad to say, some Catholics are sexist. Many women have been treated with grave injustice over the history of the Church. But that doesn’t mean that sexism is the source of the teaching on women’s ordination. Let’s raise the level of discourse a bit by understanding each other better. From what I understand that’s one of the goals of this blog.

  • Erp

    The Church of England is a bit of an anomaly. After the split with Rome it did some veering between strict catholicism (minus who was head) and strict protestantism but ended up trying to be a big umbrella. So the current church is a combo of evangelical christians (many of whom don’t care for gays); anglo-catholics (many of whom don’t care for women in the priesthood and would like to have some reconciliation with the Catholic church [and possibly the Orthodox Church]); progressive christians (who have no trouble with gays or women in the priesthood); and middle-of-the-road christians (who mostly want a competent local minister who cares about them). Every once in a while a few anglo-catholics jump to the Catholic church (and it has not been unknown for people to jump in the opposite direction).

    In addition it is one church within the worldwide Anglican Communion which also includes the US Episcopal Church (which has ordained women as priests for years and whose current head is Bishop Katharine Schori, and, which has a bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who has had a long term partner, Mark, with whom he had a civil union earlier this year) and many Anglican churches elsewhere some of whom have bishops actively persecuting gays (e.g., calling for criminal penalties) and some of whom are poaching parishes (and even dioceses) from the US Episcopal Church.

    This month most of the bishops from all these churches will be showing up for the once in a decade Lambeth Conference in England. The Church of England approving the idea of women bishops is provocative to the more conservative bishops though most of their ire is directed at the US Episcopal Church for daring to choose an openly gay Bishop (who was pointedly not formally invited to the Lambeth conference though he will be there as a watcher anyway). The fireworks have already started (google on gafcon as well as Lambeth Conference).

  • Fr. Terry Donahue, CC

    I fail to understand what “obstacle to reconciliation” they are talking about? … Do Anglicans desperately want to become Catholics and there is some sort of back-room negotiation going on?

    Yes, in fact, there are front-room “negotiations” going on in the form of ecumenical dialogue between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church since the late 1960’s, after Vatican II (’63-’65).

    Why does the vatican think it has any busines whatsoever butting into the business of another sect?

    The response from the Vatican was a communique from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity – the same group that has been in dialogue with Anglican representatives for the past 30 years. It isn’t butting into Anglican business. It is continuing the dialogue by noting the impact that the Anglican decision has on the work towards Anglican-Catholic unity.

    The odds of any “reconciliation” happening is nonsense.

    For some Anglicans, perhaps. But for other Anglicans, such as the ~400,000 in the Traditional Anglican Communion, the odds are actually quite good:

    “The College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) met in Plenary Session in Portsmouth, England, in the first week of October 2007. The Bishops and Vicars-General unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union. The letter was signed solemnly by all the College and entrusted to the Primate and two bishops chosen by the College to be presented to the Holy See. The letter was cordially received at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” + Archbishop John Hepworth (see here)

    An excerpt from the letter indicates that this group of Anglicans already has doctrinal unity with Catholics: “We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church…”

  • Wes

    Catholics believe that an ordained priest acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) when he celebrates the sacraments. For example, in the words of consecration, the priest speaks as Christ: “This is my body…”, in Confession “I absolve you from your sins…”

    Sacraments use visible signs to communicate invisible realities (the grace of God). The priest is a visible sign of Christ, so the maleness of the priest matters, preserving the natural resemblance of the sacramental sign. Christ is the Bridegroom offering His life for the Bride, his Church. This use of sexual symbolism parallels the bridal imagery used in God’s revelation to Israel in the Old Testament. The priesthood is reserved to men because God chose to become incarnate as a male in the person of Jesus Christ.

    I don’t expect many non-Catholics to be aware of these details of sacramental theology, so it does not surprise me that many people don’t see any good reason for the Church’s reserving priestly ordination to men. But when the Catholic teaching and reasoning is presented, I hope that those who disagree would not simply assume that the teaching is just a smokescreen for bigotry.

    Yes, sad to say, some Catholics are sexist. Many women have been treated with grave injustice over the history of the Church. But that doesn’t mean that sexism is the source of the teaching on women’s ordination. Let’s raise the level of discourse a bit by understanding each other better. From what I understand that’s one of the goals of this blog.

    So your excuse for denying women these positions is based entirely on some abstruse symbolism, and nothing else?

    I find that very hard to believe. Besides, if what you’re saying is true, then the Church’s threat of excommunication of any female bishop or anyone who ordains one is rendered an even more petty and pointless overreaction than before. If it’s all about symbolism, is there any reason at all to believe that the Ruler of the Entire Universe is going to get so upset as to damn people forever if you change things up a little bit? Is God really so petty-minded that He would condemn someone to eternal hellfire over a little bit of symbolism? You’d seriously cut off anyone from your church, and proclaim that they’ll burn for all eternity, based on nothing but the fact that your priest needs to be male in order to symbolize Christ???

    If anything, that just makes the policy even more absurd. What I find rather appalling is that you actually seem to believe that all this talk about “in persona Christi” and sexual symbolism actually justifies what your church is doing. It’s another example of what I think many religions get wrong, and which results in enormous amounts of needless suffering: You’re making empty abstractions and symbols more important than living, breathing, concrete human lives. You’re making the symbol more important than what it’s supposed to symbolize, the idea more important than the people it’s supposed to benefit, and the beliefs more important than the people who believe them.

    The practice makes no sense at all, and your excuse, even if it’s true, is woefully insufficient. The practice is sexist whether it’s based on symbolism or not. And all your talk of the maleness symbolizing God still smells of being a smokescreen to protect a backwards and bigoted tradition which is grossly at odds with modern morals and values.

    You’re not doing the church any favors by spreading the “sophisticated theology” excuse for discriminating against women. If anything, claiming symbolism is the reason for it all just makes me even more disgusted with the practice. Why can’t your church say, “Hey, guys, let’s develop a new symbolism which doesn’t require discrimination against women”? I seriously doubt the Ruler of the Whole Universe would get upset if you found a way to treat all of his creatures fairly and evenly.

  • Fr. Terry Donahue, CC

    You’d seriously cut off anyone from your church, and proclaim that they’ll burn for all eternity, based on nothing but the fact that your priest needs to be male in order to symbolize Christ???

    An excommunication is not a proclamation that someone is condemned to hell. It is a pronouncement that a Catholic has committed an act which separates him or her from communion with the Catholic Church. The intent of excommunication is to act as a medicinal penalty that shows the gravity of the situation, and the need for repentance in order to return to full communion. The Catholic Church also teaches that salvation is not limited to the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church (see Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium par. 16-17 here).

    You’re making the symbol more important than what it’s supposed to symbolize.

    I’m trying to be faithful to the importance that God gives to these symbols in choosing to establish and use the sacraments as one way to communicate his Divine life to us.

    You’re not doing the church any favors by spreading the “sophisticated theology” excuse for discriminating against women.

    The Catholic Church teaches “as an absolutely fundamental truth of Christian anthropology, the equal personal dignity of men and women, and the necessity of overcoming and doing away with ‘every type of discrimination regarding fundamental rights’ (Gaudium et Spes, 29).” (Ratzinger, Letter, Oct 28, 1995)

    I do not believe that God’s choice to use human sexuality to symbolize His relationship with His people was an injustice. Nor do I believe that Christ’s choice to ordain only men as the 12 Apostles or to reserve priestly ordination to men was an injustice.

    No one has a right to be a Catholic priest. Men don’t have the right. Women don’t have the right. It is a gift and calling from God. There are vocations within the Church which are reserved only to women – Consecrated Virgins.

    And all of this does not imply that women have a lesser holiness. In fact, the most qualified candidate for priesthood in terms of holiness was Mary. But Jesus chose not to ordain her. Her sharing in divine glory now exceeds all the Apostles, Popes, bishops and priests put together.

    Diversity in mission does not take away from equality in dignity:

    “…the presence of a certain diversity of roles is in no way prejudicial to women, provided that this diversity is not the result of an arbitrary imposition, but is rather an expression of what is specific to being male and female… When we consider the ‘iconic’ complementarity of male and female roles, two of the Church’s essential dimensions are seen in a clearer light: the ‘Marian’ principle and the Apostolic-Petrine principle.”

    “[Reserving priesthood to men] in no way detracts from the role of women, or for that matter from the role of the other members of the Church who are not ordained to the sacred ministry, since all share equally in the dignity proper to the ‘common priesthood’ based on Baptism.” (John Paul II, Letter to Women, 1995, 6 & 11)

  • Wes

    You’d seriously cut off anyone from your church, and proclaim that they’ll burn for all eternity, based on nothing but the fact that your priest needs to be male in order to symbolize Christ???

    An excommunication is not a proclamation that someone is condemned to hell. It is a pronouncement that a Catholic has committed an act which separates him or her from communion with the Catholic Church. The intent of excommunication is to act as a medicinal penalty that shows the gravity of the situation, and the need for repentance in order to return to full communion. The Catholic Church also teaches that salvation is not limited to the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church (see Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium par. 16-17 here).

    “gravity of the situation”… By which you mean “Doesn’t fit in with a particular symbol”…

    A woman can be excommunicated for even seeking to join the leadership of the church. For a symbol. A symbol.

    Let me ask you this: Could a woman who sought to be ordained as a priest, and who did not “repent” of it, go to Heaven? Could someone who ordained a woman, and maintained that what he/she did was right and refused to back down, enter Heaven?

    You like to use the weasel words like “salvation is not limited to the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church”, but that in no way diminishes what excommunication means. The implications of automatic excommunication are pretty apparent.

    You’re making the symbol more important than what it’s supposed to symbolize.

    I’m trying to be faithful to the importance that God gives to these symbols in choosing to establish and use the sacraments as one way to communicate his Divine life to us.

    Exactly as I said, you’re making symbols more important than actual human beings. The fact that you claim God “gives” these symbols this Better-Than-A-Person importance does not absolve you of this. I could also claim that God told me that the symbol $ or @ is more important than a human. I would be just as wrong as you are.

    You failed to answer what I was really asking: Does it make any sense at all to claim that the Ruler of the Whole Universe would be so obsessed with some particular symbol that He would actually consign someone to eternal torment over it? Are symbols more important than reality, more important than real, breathing people? Does it make any sense at all to expel women from you community merely because allowing them equal status in the community would alter some symbol?

    You’re not doing the church any favors by spreading the “sophisticated theology” excuse for discriminating against women.

    The Catholic Church teaches “as an absolutely fundamental truth of Christian anthropology, the equal personal dignity of men and women, and the necessity of overcoming and doing away with ‘every type of discrimination regarding fundamental rights’ (Gaudium et Spes, 29).” (Ratzinger, Letter, Oct 28, 1995)

    I do not believe that God’s choice to use human sexuality to symbolize His relationship with His people was an injustice. Nor do I believe that Christ’s choice to ordain only men as the 12 Apostles or to reserve priestly ordination to men was an injustice.

    No one has a right to be a Catholic priest. Men don’t have the right. Women don’t have the right. It is a gift and calling from God. There are vocations within the Church which are reserved only to women – Consecrated Virgins.

    And all of this does not imply that women have a lesser holiness. In fact, the most qualified candidate for priesthood in terms of holiness was Mary. But Jesus chose not to ordain her. Her sharing in divine glory now exceeds all the Apostles, Popes, bishops and priests put together.

    Diversity in mission does not take away from equality in dignity:

    “…the presence of a certain diversity of roles is in no way prejudicial to women, provided that this diversity is not the result of an arbitrary imposition, but is rather an expression of what is specific to being male and female… When we consider the ‘iconic’ complementarity of male and female roles, two of the Church’s essential dimensions are seen in a clearer light: the ‘Marian’ principle and the Apostolic-Petrine principle.”

    “[Reserving priesthood to men] in no way detracts from the role of women, or for that matter from the role of the other members of the Church who are not ordained to the sacred ministry, since all share equally in the dignity proper to the ‘common priesthood’ based on Baptism.” (John Paul II, Letter to Women, 1995, 6 & 11)

    Nonsense. The policy blocks women from reaching the highest positions of authority in the church, thereby guaranteeing the church will be controlled exclusively by men. It subjugates women. It subjugates women (according to you) for the sake of a symbol. A symbol!

    Yes, it does detract from the role of women. It prohibits them from ever having any real authority. It guarantees that Catholic women will always be subjugated exclusively to men.

    Once again, I’m simply appalled by the position you’re taking here. It’s both an affront to reason and a moral outrage. To claim that a policy which automatically bars women from ever gaining a position of authority “in no way detracts from the role of women” is simultaneously illogical and reprehensible. Denying them positions of authority is intrinsically detracting from their role. And to do it all for the sake of a symbol, which you proclaim (based on no evidence at all) is so crucially important to the Ruler of the Entire Universe that any alteration of it must result in a person being expelled from the church, just makes it all the more irrational and immoral.

    How convenient that this symbol you love so much, which is apparently so crucially important to the Ruler of the Universe, is tied so closely to who has authority in the church. I suppose that’s all just a big coincidence, right?

  • Darryl

    Fr. Terry, I appreciate your recitation of the official justification for a male-only priesthood, but as an atheist I think it’s no more persuasive than advancing a simple male preference. There is no significant ontological difference between men and women that would justify this exclusion. Besides, gender is beside the point, isn’t it? Your doctrine of the priest acting in persona Christi is a patent invention meant to rationalize a prejudice. I must hand it to the Catholics, they have a gift for invention. If I had a religion of such stature as yours I wouldn’t allow it to be hampered by a primitive misogyny. You make yourselves increasingly irrelevant.

  • In fact, the most qualified candidate for priesthood in terms of holiness was Mary. But Jesus chose not to ordain her.

    It’s OK everyone, Jesus was sexist too!

  • VorJack

    Jesus, of course, only ordained men, or so our Bible tells us. Except for the letters of Paul, where women are occasionally mentioned as important players in the early church. And except for Pliny, who mentions that the leaders of a certain congregation were both women.

    But never mind, we know that the symbolism of the priest representing Jesus is important. At least in a visual fashion, somehow it’s never as important for his to speak in Aramaic instead of Latin. And, of course, Jesus was not Italian or Polish, yet there’s never a push to keep the priesthood restricted to young middle-eastern Jews. No, instead elderly europeans will do just fine.

    I’m sorry, but this is a smokescreen. It is intellectually vacuous.

  • Erp

    Galations 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Except of course when only males can act the role of Jesus in the Roman Catholic Mass.

    More seriously the Bible and Tradition can be used to support almost any doctrine or practice whether it be slavery or abolitionism, discrimination on the basis of sex (or equality), freedom of religion or enforcing only one religion.

  • Its been a very interesting discussion between Fr. Terry Donahue, CC and the other people here.

    In speaking only for myself, I question whether Jesus only picked men. Even if Jesus did only pick men, I question why that would be significant. Why choose that to be an important symbol? I think the choice of this symbol was made by men who merely followed the cultural norms of the time (marginalizing women). There could have been any number of other symbols people could have chosen to recognize and ritualize. People chose to recognize the symbols that were convenient for them. Jesus himself is commended for challenging some of the cultural norms of his time. Perhaps the Catholic Church should challenge some of its own cultural norms.

  • cipher

    I don’t expect many non-Catholics to be aware of these details of sacramental theology, so it does not surprise me that many people don’t see any good reason for the Church’s reserving priestly ordination to men. But when the Catholic teaching and reasoning is presented, I hope that those who disagree would not simply assume that the teaching is just a smokescreen for bigotry.

    Not bigotry, but sexism. Fr. Terry, I agree completely with those who insist that the entire history of Christianity, and of the Abrahamic religions in general (not that the religions of Asia have been immune to this, either), has been manipulated by men who were profoundly misogynistic. Really, at this point, I am so absolutely convinced of it that there is no argument you could present that would change my mind. I’ve heard them all, and they amount to nothing more than upholding the party line – which is what you have been doing here.

    And, this may be off topic, but I want to take the opportunity to address it, anyway:

    The Catholic Church also teaches that salvation is not limited to the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church (see Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium par. 16-17 here).

    You know, you guys pay lip service to this idea, but when reactionary, preconciliar groups groups such as those under the influence of Fr. Gruener and Fr. Feeney (whose community is still flourishing and growing in rural central Massachusetts) teach ideas that are, supposedly, doctrinally incorrect – such as the belief that there can be no salvation outside of the Church or apart from conscious participation in its sacraments – the Vatican looks the other way. Even when individuals like Fr. Gruener are censored, it takes years for them to get around to it, and, even then, there seem to be no consequences for non-compliance.

    However – when you get a theologically liberal intellectual like Hans Kung, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can’t sharpen its knives quickly enough. How many lives were ruined by Ratzinger and his gang of thugs? Why is is that when a conservative commits heresy, the Vatican bends over backward not to notice, but when a liberal does it, they fall in on him like a dilapidated house?

    I don’t know why I go to the trouble to bring this up, really. You’ll just claim that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and I’m sure you’ll provide “evidence” to that effect, if you even bother to respond at all. Go ahead – let the apologetics begin.

  • Bill

    Fr. Terry,

    I’m an Anglican who has struggled to discern my own vocation over the years.

    I would like to thank you for your explanation for why the Roman Catholic church does not ordain women to the priesthood. In my opinion it was the best explanation I have heard for why you don’t allow women to become priests. I don’t believe it’s just to spite feminists, and I don’t believe ordination to the priesthood makes an individual “better” or closer to God. Thank you for stopping by to spell out these points.

    With all of that said, I still don’t buy it. I’ve heard all the theological arguments against the ordination of women and I find them all fundamentally unconvincing. I’ve never understood why the maleness of Christ is so central to “preserving the natural resemblance of the sacramental sign.” You and I agree that God chose to become incarnate in the a man called Jesus Christ, but I still see no reason why the fact that Christ was a man who called 12 men to be his disciples must necessarily preclude all women from the priesthood for all time. To me, calling only men to ordained ministry is a reflection of the social mores of society 2,000 years ago, rather than a point of incontrovertible dogma.

    Still, I thank you for turning up to clear up a few things. I have a feeling that you and I will continue to disagree on this matter, but at the very least we can consider the arguments of those with whom we disagree in an honest way.

    Bill

    P.S. In the Anglican diocese of Sydney (Australia), they don’t ordain women to the priesthood, but they do ordain women as deacons. Since deacons do not absolve sins or preside at the Eucharist, what would the Roman Catholic church say about ordaining women to the diaconate?

  • dan. a.

    as you make your point make none sentimentaly when you say anglican church and the catholic church you are making mistake considering the meaninig of catholic, i think it should be the anglican church and the roman catholic church because they are bolth catholics