Why The Catholic Priesthood Is Composed of Dudes

This might be the greatest video ever to happen to the Catholic Church. If I had tried to stick my tongue out at the kids who think a female priest isn’t a contradiction in terms, I wouldn’t have been able to muster up the genius required to make a thing quite so demeaning to the cause.

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Love it or hate it, the Catholic Church is the largest unified religion in the world. She claims 1/6 of humanity as her children. Her teachings have endured and rebelled against entropy for 2000 years. She, through her development of the university, the scientific method, and through the writings of her Saints, is responsible for the philosophical and religious tradition on which Western Civilization is founded, which she draws from to make claims. I mention this because (a) it makes me absurdly proud and (b) because I need people to understand me when I say the following:

If, in the course of human events, a cringe-inducing karaoke of an already over-played pop song is your primary response to the philosophical tradition of the Holy Catholic Church, you’ve negated yourself long, long before you’ve been rebutted.

Now, I understand why there’s a cry for the female priesthood. After all, a quick glance at things seems to indicate an apparent injustice, for women are equal in dignity to men, far more capable, far better-looking, and yet cannot be priests. But quick glances are misleading, and reality always requires us to peel away our preconceived notions and expose ourselves to the truth, however painful.

What follows is my explanation of why, precisely, the Catholic priesthood is a male priesthood. I speak without expertise, but as a pupil. Allow my defense to be C.S. Lewis’, that “the fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago that he has forgotten.”

A Brief and Certainly Not Extensive Defense of the Male Priesthood With References to Scripture and Sacred Tradition and Pop Music Wait Not That One.

 

In salvation history, one thing is obvious: God wants to marry the Church. He constantly expresses himself as a bridegroom coming for his bride, as a lover leaping the hills to be with us — moronic sinners — forever and ever: “As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5)

God’s people, the Jewish people, are his bride: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “This is what the LORD says: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.” (Jeremiah 2:2)

Now it is the teaching of the Gospel, and thus the teaching of the Catholic Church, that the bridegroom the Jewish people awaited, and thus the bridegroom we all await, is Jesus Christ. We ache to be taken up into eternity, to experience the fullness of truth, beauty, and life, and it is Christ who, becoming man, takes us by the hand and says, “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”

This is obvious in Scripture. Jesus Christ refers to himself as the bridegroom:

Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often,but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. (Matthew 9:14)

This is the prophecy of John the Baptist, who responds to those indignant that Jesus Christ was baptizing:

A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:27)

And just to make the whole thing painstakingly obvious, the very last book of the Bible — the glorious trip-fest that is Revelation — ends the whole story of the universe by describing Heaven. And what is Heaven? Heaven is a wedding feast between the Lamb of God — Jesus Christ — and the New Jerusalem — The Church. “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Revelation 21:1-3)

Now besides immersing us with the hope that our longing hearts will find fulfillment when time and space disintegrate and we face eternity, the fact that the story of the Cosmos is a wedding proposal effectively renders contradictory the idea of a female Catholic priesthood.

For according to the Catholic Church (and if those wanting female priests want female Catholic priests, this certainly matters), the priest exists in persona Christi, that is, in the role of Christ to his Church. As the encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii points out:

The priest, as is said with good reason, is indeed “another Christ”; for, in some way, he is himself a continuation of Christ. “As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you,” is spoken to the priest, and hence the priest, like Christ, continues to give “glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will.”

“As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21) Christ speaks this to his apostles, who are to become the first priests. If we doubt that Christ was speaking specifically about the priesthood, and not just about the general call for all people to go out and preach the good news, we must read the next part:

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:22)

Your average Christian does not have the power to go to his brother, his girlfriend, or the man he met on the street and forgive his sins. It follows that this power given — for it was given — was given to a very special group of people. The Church calls them priests.

How did the Father “send” Christ? We’ve already established that he was sent as the divine bridegroom. Thus the priests, sent as Christ, are also sent as the bridegroom. The priest is a man, as Christ was a man, as a bridegroom is always a man. These realities are neither accidents nor bigotries, but the consistent expression of God’s will for His Holy Church. To have a female priest is less akin to the entirely true statement that “women are as good as men” and far more akin to the statement that “women have penises”. The role of bridegroom is not something that can be separated from maleness, just as the role of bride cannot be separated from femaleness, and thus the priest — insofar as he participates in the very role of the Divine Bridegroom, Jesus Christ — must be male.

This is why Blessed Pope John Paul II ended the argument in 1994 with his encyclical Ordinato Sacerdotalis, which declared with all the authority of the Church:

“I 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.”

So there you have it, and I hope it made sense. The further we stray from the idea that man and woman have meaning, the more consistently Catholics will have to defend this doctrine, which is based on the beautiful reality of God’s love for all of us. But the argument is over, and no number of well-intentioned YouTube appeals will change the fact, so in bitterness or joy, let us all have a drink to the Catholic priesthood.

  • Ryan M.

    Marc, if you’ve never read the defense of an all-male priesthood by the late, great Hans Urs von Balthasar–good buddy of Jospeh Ratzinger, and Catholic theology’s answer to Jimi Hendrix– it will knock your socks off: http://www.communio-icr.com/articles/PDF/balthasar22-1.pdf

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730520187 Aaron Lopez

      I like Jimi Hendrix and I like being Catholic. Will give Balthasar a try =)

    • Jeremy

      And Marc,

      that article was run by the Catholic Journal “Communio,” started by such people as Joseph Ratzinger, Henri de Lubac, and Balthasar. The Journal’s offices are located in DC, at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for studies on Marriage and Family…which is where you should think about going to school for your masters degree – just saying. We’re waiting for you! You’d kill it.

  • http://www.brandonvogt.com/ Brandon Vogt

    Excellent (and funny) as always, Marc! If you haven’t heard Peter Kreeft’s talk on “Women and the Priesthood,” it’s the clearest, most succinct refutation of the idea of women priests:

    http://bvogt.us/Wf7Q3j

    (Kreeft also co-wrote an small, sharply-argued book with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand titled, “Women and the Priesthood” (http://bvogt.us/Wf7Xfk). Actually, it was your school that published the book a couple decades ago but it’s currently out of print and hard to find. Thankfully, a friend send me a pristine copy two weeks ago.)

    • John Wright

      I wonder when we all (including those who staunchly support the idea of the priesthood) started using the unworkable phrase ‘female priest’ instead of the good old fashioned and unambiguous word ‘priestess’?
      I can understand why the anti-Catholics would want to coin a neologism. The word ‘priestess’ conjures up a pagan image. Of ancient peoples, the Jews and they alone confined sacred priesthood to males. That, and monotheism, were their distinctive features. But why do we Catholics not use the word? It is not clear that we do not admire nor seek to imitate the follies and sorrows of the pagan world?

      • http://www.brandonvogt.com/ Brandon Vogt

        I’ve often wondered the same thing. C.S. Lewis, in his famous piece “Priestesses in the Church?”, exclusively uses the word:

        http://bvogt.us/Vy9GQC

        • jdens

          While I admire Lewis, his point regarding the priest’s role in representing God to us makes me want to remind him that humanity is made in the image of God, male and female. That God has been portrayed as male, almost exclusively so, for so long in our tradition reflects an imbalance that should invite some examination.

          • http://www.brandonvogt.com/ Brandon Vogt

            You’ll have to take your issue up with the inspired Biblical authors who, almost unanimously, present God as unequivocally masculine.

          • jdens

            Well, I already alluded to one reference in the Bible–not sure why you feel you can gloss over it, since it’s a pretty foundational text for how we understand God and humankind.

            But here’s a few more that came up with help of Google. http://www.womensordination.org/content/view/234/

            As to all the of masculine imagery in the Bible, is it not surprising that in a culture that did not see women as powerful, they would tend to prefer to use masculine imagery to describe a powerful God?

          • savvy

            So you are saying Jesus got it wrong by not ordaining women? its a chronological fallacy, to claim that those who came before you were either wrong or stupid.

            As I said, this would only make sense if the priesthood is a sacrificial office and not just a pastoral one.

          • Graham-Michoel Wills

            I don’t think ‘almost unanimously’ is a good enough argument. What is almost?

          • http://www.brandonvogt.com/ Brandon Vogt

            Graham and jdens: It’s true God is sometimes depicted as having traditionally-feminine traits like “mothering,” but these are all analogies. They all say God is *like* a feminine example in some way. They never say God *is* fundamentally feminine.

            Moreso, there’s one unavoidable fact: God directly revealed himself as masculine. He took the form of a man and taught us to call him Father. While God can have feminine traits (just as the Church or any bride can have masculine traits) he is fundamentally masculine.

          • jdens

            So you need Jesus to have had a female counterpart in order to contemplate a God that is not exclusively male?Would she have had to die and be resurrected as well? By the way, I’m not arguing for a God that is fundamentally feminine anymore than I am for one that is fundamentally masculine. But if we are created in the image of God, male and female, I say the female has been woefully neglected in that imagery.

          • http://www.brandonvogt.com/ Brandon Vogt

            jdens: I think your main confusion is between “male” and “masculine.” Though you seem to use the two words interchangeably, the two are not identical. The Church maintains that while God transcends gender and is therefore not male or female, he has definitively revealed himself as masculine.

            Also, being “created in the image” of something does not imply equality. Just because God created a man and woman does not mean he himself is both man and woman. The more common view is that the “imago dei” refers to man’s ability to think, reason, love, and ultimately participate in the divine life.

          • jdens

            Eager to see the rest of your comment. Funny, because I agree that confusion between those two exists, but I don’t think that’s necessarily my confusion, or at least not exclusively so. If it’s masculinity that matters, then why is maleness important in the priesthood? Why not a female with masculine qualities. And how do you define masculine anyway? If it’s the maleness of God that matters, then what makes God male–an x and y chromosome? Male genitalia?

          • jdens

            Of course it doesn’t mean equality. The image of an orange isn’t an orange. But we are talking about images of God, and if both males and females are images of God, then assigning only that pertaining to maleness to God ignores the ‘bigger picture’ so to speak.

            There are lots of ways imago dei can be interpreted, none of the necessarily excluding another. Personally I like the idea that it refers to our desire and ability to create.

          • savvy

            I told you the church is the feminine principle. In the sense that masculine and feminine are first cosmic principles. So Christ and this church are both human and divine.

            The church is often called Marian, Mary, the mother of God, is higher than the angels and the saints.

            I think those in the reformed tradition, have replaced her and are hence have a psychological need for a mother.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730520187 Aaron Lopez

    Great stuff bro

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryliziz Mary Liz Bartell

    I am a women and I approve your message Bad Catholic… LOL! Thanks for the laughs too. It’s absurdly DISOBEDIENT for women to try and make themselves priests. You may say all the words, make all the gestures but in the end you lack the crucial authority that JESUS CHRIST gave to 12 men on that Last Supper and no amount of political psychobabble is going to change that! Our bodies are not equal, our vocations are not equal, and it’s not the function of our design to be Priests ladies! You are called to a life of celibacy – great wonderful! JOIN A Religious Order! But don’t pretend to be something greater than the authority of the POPE and Jesus Christ has given to our Church. You make yourself gods over Jesus and that’s just not right. Eve made the same mistake by being disobedient to GOD. Pride ladies, look it up!

    • pagansister

      Whoa! You’ve certainly drunk the entire pitcher of Kool Aid!

      • savvy

        The comedy is that the proponents of women’s ordination are confusing an ordained priest in Catholic/Orthodox churches with that of a Protestant minister. In other words what they do not even know what the priesthood is for.

      • Sophias_Favorite

        You’re right, she should prefer to be considered a legal minor her entire life, subject to execution on the whim of her father, eldest brother, and husband, and death at the hands of any of her male relatives if she brings dishonor to the clan.

        You know, like all European pagan women.

        Tell me, you don’t actually know anything about women’s rights in pagan Rome, Greece, or Scandinavia, do you?

        • pagansister

          Do you? If I actually lived in that time, I’d not appreciate the European Pagan ways, but I don’t. However this is now the 21st century and neither Mary L. Bartell nor the Church seems to have progressed any since it’s beginning. As far as I know, we Pagans are no longer living 2000 years in the past. At least this one isn’t.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Christians have always acknowledged the full equality of women. All of your precious feminism has merely returned women rights that they took for granted in 12th century France and England (and to a lesser extent Germany, but the Germans, being the Holy Roman Empire, still had Roman law—which was only brought back to France in the 14th century, by the same king who murdered the Templars and kidnapped the Pope).

            “You” pagans? Don’t make me laugh; I know people who really believe the things that go to make up paganism—one-eighth of my town is polytheists—and what you are is a Liberal Protestant, not a pagan. Pagans as the term applies to Europeans aren’t living at all; cosplay all you like.

            Sorry. Since there are relevant facts, your ignorance of them means you don’t have a right to an opinion.

          • pagansister

            I’m not a Christian, as I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Left that at 17. He was just one of many prophets who lived a long time ago. So, yes, I’m liberal, but not a liberal Protestant. As to not having a right to an opinion? Actually, I do have as much right as anyone else—so will continue to express them. Blessed Be.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            You do know the vast majority of Liberal Protestants do not believe in the divinity of Christ, right? But they have precisely your attitude toward religion, one not found among any pagans. You don’t even keep any taboos, you might as well be ELCA.

            But no, I’m sorry, people have no right to opinions that contradict known, verifiable facts. You are plainly bestially ignorant of the history of women’s rights, but you offer remarks anyway. A major part of pagan morals was and is shame, so why do you feel no compunctions about displaying your ignorance?

          • pagansister

            Known facts?” What, about JC and his divinity or his rising from the dead etc. NO PROOF. I feel honored to have had this conversation with such an intelligent and knowledgeable woman—-(sarcasm). As to your opinion of Paganism? Whatever. Such intelligence is of course right, right? (more sarcasm). I have no respect for a woman who thinks that being rude is acceptable. Your opinion of me is not important at all—as I have no reason to put any value to it—due to the source. Hate to disappoint—but will continue to post anytime I want and say what I feel. I will avoid commenting, however, to you since you know everything and that is your opinion of yourself. Bye.

          • jdens

            Your comments to pagan sister are venomous and contemptuous.

          • pagansister

            jdens, Sophia has a habit of putting people down when she responds to them. She has been rude and just as you described above, to me and others before. For some reason she feels superior—have yet to figure out why. I find it rather pathetic.

          • Adele Henderson

            I classify myself as a Liberal Protestant (I am an ordained Minister) and except both the Divinity and Humanity of Christ. So I have to respectfully say that I don’t fit into your defination of Liberal Protestant. But I am curious as to how you would define it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10235831 Kristin Stark Curtis

            “…people have no right to opinions that contradict known, verifiable facts.”

            I guess that makes you not entitled to an opinion. It is a known, verifiable fact that an oocyte must be fertilized in order to produce a zygote. Catholicism is based on a fallacy that is in direct opposition to this fact. You, your priests and your pope, therefore, have no right to an opinion.

          • Casey

            “I was still a teenager when I left that silly religion hawhaw!” We’re so impressed.

          • pagansister

            Excuse me,Casey, but where did you read what you just quoted? The words your wrote are totally inaccurate. If you’re going to quote someone, be polite enough to so accurately. Thank you.

          • jdens

            Why are you being so nasty? There’s no reason to behave like that.

          • savvy

            The issue is they keep confusing equal with same. it’s more like a Marxist theory, where nothing is equal, unless it’s exactly the same.

          • Woodstock Churchlady

            That’s what they said to Galileo.

          • savvy

            No. Heliocentrism is not a an article of faith, like the Creeds.

  • Barfly_Kokhba

    Did she just say “don’t listen to St. Paul?” And she’s referring to the guy who wrote significant parts of the Bible–that St. Paul? Wow. Just…wow.

    • Nicholas Escalona

      For this and other reasons I actually made it 2/3 through the video before it occurred to me that it might not be a parody. Literally unbelievable.

      • Joe Cool

        Yeah, having the “don’t listen to St. Paul” so close to the beginning convinced me it was a parody. My thought was “pfft, no Catholic is stupid enough to say we should discard whole swaths of scripture because it doesn’t suit my will. This is obviously a parody.”

        But if we ignore Paul here, we can ignore him anywhere. If we’re claiming we can ignore him, then we’re also claiming he’s not divinely inspired. If we’re claiming he’s not divinely inspired, then we’re claiming much of scripture is take it or leave it, and Church tradition is a big “meh”. If we’re claiming scripture and tradition have no binding on me because they interfere with what I want, then we’ve really completely left the Church and everything she exists for. At this point, we’re beyond even the protestants.

        It seems that some people think the Church exists only to please themselves and affirm their desires.

        • Beccolina

          There is actually a man who occasionally comes on as a guest on our local talk radio station. He thinks Christianity went wrong with St. Paul. The first time I heard him say that, I was sure it was a joke! Nope. He truly thinks St. Paul is wrong.

          • Proteios29

            Well, 2000 years later and we are more modern and advanced. So. Should know better than someone who intèracted with the Apostles.

        • TomD

          St. Paul presents a BIG problem for those with a liberal social and cultural ethic, particularly with respect to sexual ethics. Rather than deal with that FACT, they just disregard wide swatches of the Bible because they disagree with it. If that isn’t an example of man-centered religion, I don’t know what is.

          • TomD

            Opppps . . . my bad. Person-centered religion.

        • Proteios29

          Of course they want to rewrite the bible. If you haven’t heard of the gay version of the bible that came out, you’re lucky. Yikes. At that point you might as well just abolish the concept of sin, praying and church. Oh, they have that. It’s called new age. Quick, rub an amethyst on my chakra.

        • savvy

          The comedy is that St. Paul has nothing to do with Catholic reasons for a male priesthood. The joke is on them, because they do not know why we have priests in the first place.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10235831 Kristin Stark Curtis

          ” ‘…no Catholic is stupid enough to say we should discard whole swaths of scripture because it doesn’t suit my will.’ ”

          Christians have been doing this for centuries.

  • Susan

    I love the song!!! And I have a bunch of very traditional and faithful friends who look just like these ladies! I don’t think this will cane their minds, but I have JUST one question – why can’t they ave an oblisk!

  • Slow Learner

    So the moral of the story is that if your church were able to accept equal marriage, they could have an equal priesthood too, as the whole “marriage” metaphor you’re relying on would then accept women having brides?

    • Andrew O’Brien

      Not quite. I think it would be that if by nature two people of the same sex could actually unite their bodies such that they could conceive new life then you could make a case for women priesthood.

      The paradigm here is that the Catholic Church thinks that maleness and femaleness actually mean something. The “worldly” approach is that maleness and femaleness don’t mean anything and are able to be defined and redefined as a majority sees fit.

      • Slow Learner

        There’s a big difference between “actually means something” and “means exactly what I say it does”.

        Especially when you start to rule classes of behaviour and professions in and out for ~50% of the population, with a theology that doesn’t seem to account whatsoever for people who are intersex, as well as de-valuing those who cannot or do not wish to have children (unless they join the church) by making the key determinant of whether two people are accepted as loving each other whether or not they can have a baby together (as if the world didn’t have quite enough people on it already…)

        If prescribed gender roles actually fitted everyone, then suffragism, women’s liberation and more recently feminism would never have been required. The idea that you can freeze historical gender norms as some timeless standard would be laughable if so many people didn’t seem to want to take it deadly seriously – it would certainly be more convincing if the gender norms the Church seems to want to hold onto didn’t match quite so closely with those of the late 19th and early 20th century in Western Europe.

        We can say a fair amount about what it means to have XY chromosomes as against XX, ignoring for a moment all the other combinations which exist. We can also say a fair amount about what it means physically to have internal or external genitalia.

        That doesn’t tell us very much about what it means to be a man or a woman in a given society and era, however. Again, if every culture had had the same ideas of what maleness and femaleness meant, the world would look like a very different place.

        • Andrew O’Brien

          Whoa there. In the future, please don’t put so many words in my mouth. Just stick to what I say please. I’m not saying that masculinity and femininity as they are lived in a given time and place (“gender roles”) should be static and unchangeable. Certainly they are. Sometimes our conceptions of gender change for the worse, but sometimes they change for the better.

          Now onto your 50% comment please… oh I don’t know where to begin. How about 50% of the population are incapable of motherhood, yet this in no way places men in a different “class” from women. Motherhood and fatherhood look different from culture to culture. This in no way denies that motherhood and fatherhood are both real, distinct things. Why is pointing out that two things are different mean that one is being “de-valued.” You might prefer to think in dualstic, black and white terms and be miserable, but I refuse to. I do not believe that two things being different means that they are unequal in dignity.

          And “intersex.” What does that even mean? Yes, some people were born with ambiguous genitalia, but that doesn’t mean that they are not male or female. In fact, if you took a cell in their body and analyzed the DNA you could determine whether or not the person is male or female. Yes, some people have genetic irregularities like Turners syndrome, but this does not change the fact that either Y chromosomes are present or they aren’t.

          But since you seem to agree that maleness and femaleness has meaning, I’m curious to know – in your approach to these things – HOW we can know what they mean. In other words, if maleness and femaleness are in fact distinct things then how can I know what these distinctions are without assigning value to the material and observable elements of the person (sexual organs, brain functions, etc.)?

          • Slow Learner

            Intersex is a recognised term for people whose bodies do not neatly fit in to one of the two standard genders.
            “if you took a cell in their body and analyzed the DNA you could determine whether or not the person is male or female.”
            Have you ever met a transgender person? Genes do not determine gender. It’s a little bit more complicated than that.

            Maleness and femaleness have meaning, but it is largely a socially constructed meaning. I am not an anthropologist, but as far as I can tell there is very little if anything that is universal in human experience about what it is to be a man, or to be a woman.
            If there is anything (for instance it seems plausible that men are on average more aggressive than women in every human society) it can probably be traced back to the actions of androgens, oestrogens and any other sexual hormones I’ve forgotten. Where there are differences between the average man and the average woman, the difference is usually well within one standard deviation. In the vein of the Ideological Turing Test, I know many people who can (and indeed a good few who frequently do) pass for a member of the opposite sex online, showing that if there is a difference in modes or patterns of thought between men and women it is hardly an insurmountable one.
            Then again, I think part of it is how you view the categories. The Catholic view appears to me to be something almost Platonic – that the ideal Form of Woman is perfectly compatible with the ideal Form of Man, and that therefore everyone must be an imperfect reflection of the Form of Man or the Form of Woman.
            For me, I don’t see Platonic Forms as a valid concept – rather than there being one Form of man which all men imperfectly shadow, I think there are billions of fully instantiated men, and we grok the concept of “man” by generalising to what all the men we know have in common. So the idea that you must be male or female…well, possibly. In a narrow sense, we could define that all humans are male or female, and that therefore every individual human can be pigeon-holed as one or the other. That’s not even necessarily a terrible short-hand for the concept of gender, as long as we remember that it is a shorthand not the real thing.

          • Andrew O’Brien

            “Maleness and femaleness have meaning, but it is largely a socially constructed meaning.” THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I SAID WHAT I SAID ABOVE! WE BELIEVE THAT THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT BEING MALE AND FEMALE THAT GOES BEYOND CULTURAL NORMS AND HAS TO DO WITH THE NATURE OF BEING MALE AND FEMALE!!!!!! THAT IS THE EXACT POINT OF DISAGREEMENT OF THE DEBATE ON WOMEN’S ORDINATION AS WELL AS THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE!!!!!!! PLEASE KEEP YOUR TRENDY GENDER FANTASIES OUT OF OUR CHURCH SO WE CAN RESTORE SANITY TO THE WORLD AFTER THIS FAD RUINS ENOUGH LIVES THAT RUNS ITS COURSE AND WEARS ITSELF OUT!!!!

          • Slow Learner

            YOU ARE WELCOME TO BELIEVE WHATEVER YOU PLEASE, BUT…*ahem* excuse me, but you did ask what I thought about gender.

            If you really think that men and women being similar, the average for each sex not being that far from the average for the other, and the binary of male/female not being the whole story on gender amounts to “TRENDY GENDER FANTASIES”, I suggest you acquaint yourself a little better with the people around you. I am relatively young and hardly exceptionally widely travelled or well read, and I know several people who don’t fit the gender binary.

            Also, sorry, dragging back to a point which I missed in your previous comment:

            “if maleness and femaleness are in fact distinct things how can I know what these distinctions are without assigning value to the material and observable elements of the person”

            You can’t. That’s like asking “How can I decide court cases with neither witnesses nor physical evidence?” – you won’t do any better than random guessing if you rule all the actual evidence out of bounds.

          • Andrew O’Brien

            Ok, I’ll stop shouting. First, I did not ask what you thought about gender. I asked how you know what you know about gender. I’m more interested in your thought process than your actual thoughts. You sort of did this in your final paragraph but I’m not sure what you meant. Are you saying I’ve ruled actual evidence out of bounds? Or are you saying that you agree with me that we should find meaning in the observable differences of the male and female form? This is the important thing to discuss, here. Not some pissing contest of anecdotal evidence.

            But while we’re on the topic of anecdotal evidence… ;) I too, though young, know some people who in their mind do not “fit the gender binary,” and I might be able to one up you. One of these people bought into this post-modern gender-means-nothing-and-is-culturally-conditioned-ism and had sex reassignment surgery which did nothing to fix his problem. Now he is a man with mutilated sexual organs. South Park of all things nailed this in a hilarious episode entitled, “Mr. Garrison’s Fancy New Vagina.” Please watch it. They make the point better than I could. Gender bending and sex reassignment surgery has done very little to help people experiencing gender dysphoria, and in some cases it has made their problems worse. I see absolutely no reason why we should think that the solutions to gender dysphoria are problems with the body.

          • Slow Learner

            Sorry, this…expanded a bit.

            I know what I know about gender from biology, anthropology, psychology and philosophy. It’s complicated and provisional knowledge, undoubtedly coloured by my own background.

            However, a reasonable first approximation is that while male and female bodies are different in their primary and secondary sexual characteristics, their minds are the same.

            (The only complexity is that sexual hormones can affect mental functioning, as is demonstrated by, oh, most teenage boys; however this is less significant amongst those of us who have finished puberty).

            This would lead us to expect that any job not affected by sexual characteristics should be equally well performed by men and women.

            In a narrow sense, this means that the job of sperm donor is for penis-owners only. Likewise surrogate motherhood is restricted to people with a uterus, and wet nursing is for those with functioning mammary glands. More broadly, there are some jobs (e.g. infantry soldier) whose physical demands are better suited to larger more muscular people (so, on average, men). This does not apply to, for instance, teaching which is indoors with no heavy lifting and where if you get your naughty bits out on the job you’re doing it wrong.

            So, essentially I see three categories into which any given profession might fall if it has more men than women in it.

            1) Having a penis is directly important to the job. These are pretty rare, primarily things like sperm donor, porn star, etc.

            2) You need to be really physically strong. I expect a minority of women in these jobs, rather than none, because there are women much stronger than most men.

            3) It has historically been entirely or mostly male and has not yet reached equality.

            Considering the role of priest, well it doesn’t require huge physical strength. A priest isn’t supposed to use his penis as part of his job (and of course in the celibate Catholic church, he isn’t supposed to use it when not working, either). Women can clearly preach; they can clearly provide pastoral care; they can clearly do theology. What requirement of priesthood can they not meet, besides the approval of the old men running the Church?

            Well according to comments elsewhere in this thread, the answer is that because a priest must stand “In Persona Christi”, he must have a penis, because only if he has a penis can the magic work. And that is a fundamentally arational claim, and so unanswerable.

          • Karen

            Somehow, no one ever notices that according to Catholic doctrine, the most important thing about Jesus was his penis.

          • savvy

            We are body-persons, not ghosts in machines.

          • Karen

            So why is the penis the single most important body part? You make no sense.

          • savvy

            No, Karen, you make no sense. Sexuality is the whole person, not just body parts.

          • Karen

            So, please explain what mental difference there are between men and women?

          • savvy

            Look up the study of neuroscience. It comes down to this. God=Father, Church=Mother, Humanity=Spiritual children.

          • pagansister

            How do we know that Jesus has a penis? It is carefully covered up on all the crucifixes I have seen. Modesty is all important.

          • savvy

            Pastoral roles are secondary, to the sacramental role of the priest. Yes, anybody can do the rest.

            We are body-persons, not ghosts in machines. It’s through our bodies that we experience the world around us. Even our minds are in our bodies. The soul is the form of the body, the body is the physical manifestation of the soul. It’s ant-matter dualism that takes the infinite diversity in creation and reduces it to bland sameness.

            Inter-sex is not relevant to this discussion, since the entire church is feminine in relation to Christ, regardless of biological sex.

          • jdens

            OK, so if the entire church, male and female, can be considered feminine in that context, then why can’t both males and females assume the ‘masculinity’ of priesthood?

          • savvy

            I have explained this. This analogy protects the distinction between Christ and the church while highlighting the unity.

          • jdens

            Which analogy again? (It’s hard to follow the thread once a certain number of replies confuse things). Frankly, I’m not so certain the “distinction between Christ and the church” and its simultaneous unity is in need of so much protection, nor do I think the analogies put forward so far have done much to protect it. There seems to me to be a good deal of obfuscation going on.

          • savvy

            The analogy of Christ as bridegroom, the church as bride.

          • Karen

            You said earlier that the church is part of Christ. Now you say they are distinct, and that the distinction must be preserved. If the church is part of Christ but distinct, the the church is clearly inferior to Christ and therefor women, who represtn the church in your theology, must be inferior to men.

          • savvy

            Yes, let’s try this again. The church and Christ together make the whole Christ, so their complimentarity is also essential.

            Who said, the church is inferior to Christ?

          • savvy

            There is only one priest, Jesus Christ. All other priests are icons for the one priest. If the priesthood does not point to his atoning sacrifice, it becomes a broken sign. The cross becomes a broken sign.

          • jdens

            Doesn’t answer the question though, really, does it? Why can’t a female point to the cross? As I understand it, we don’t look for realism in our icons. If a pudgy white man can point to the sacrifice of Jesus, why can’t a woman?

          • savvy

            Women bring life. The cross is a sacrifice, for sin, not a monetary transaction.

            “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.”
            (Ephesians 1:7-10)

            The cross is the centre that unites men and women. Take the focus of the centre and we miss Jesus.

          • jdens

            Still doesn’t answer the question. What about women bringing life makes them ineligible to point to the cross (and who brought money into this?)? Men bring life, too. Remember? “From without”. And women die, just like men die. Sometimes they even kill, alas. I fail to see the confusion that you claim would happen if women were allowed to point to the cross.

          • savvy

            Blood can stand for both life and death. In Temple Judaism, sacrificial priests were male, because the blood that stood for killing, hunting, etc was seen as male. The blood shed in child-birth, was life and was seen as female. The two bloods were not to mix, to avoid confusing life with death.

            The same distinction of life-taking and life-giving is behind the law that forbids boiling a young goat in its mother’s milk (Deut. 14:21).

            Not surprisingly, the Episcopal Church also has a Seminary President, Katharine Ragsdale, who recently stated in a sermon:

            Let me hear you say it:

            Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

            Why does the priesthood attract women who are radical feminists and are confused and worship death?

          • jdens

            We do not belong to Temple Judaism. But that’s beside the point. Both men and women are associated with procreation and with death. Besides that, Christ’s death is intimately connected with our Life. It seems entirely appropriate in the Christian context to juxtapose the two.

            As for your concluding remarks, I might just as well ask why the priesthood attracts men who are pedophiles and molest children. And there’s probably more precedent for that.

          • savvy

            “Besides that, Christ’s death is intimately connected with our Life. It seems entirely appropriate in the Christian context to juxtapose the two.”

            Yes, but only with the cross at the centre, where judgement and mercy life and death were mixed. It’s the cross that unites men women. It’s the cross that gives birth to the church.

            Different iconography leads to a different religion and a different God.

          • jdens

            Fine. Cross at the centre. Male or female pointing to it.

          • savvy

            Yes, but a female pointing to it would not make Jesus the ONLY atonement and saviour.

          • jdens

            How’s that?

          • savvy

            I can’t put up a icon of St. Paul and call it Mary.

          • jdens

            That analogy doesn’t work. You may as well say you can’t put up an icon of St Paul and call it St John. They have different symbols attached to them for identification. Otherwise you wouldn’t know. You don’t know what Paul looked like. It isn’t the physical features, ultimately, that matter in an icon. It is what the icon points to. A priest is unrecognizable as a priest unless he or she is wearing a collar, or some other symbol of the priesthood. When they are acting in that capacity, they are easily identified as priests. So I don’t buy that a female priest would point to anything different from what a male priest would.

          • savvy

            If you reject the concept that our bodies are a theology, that reveal God’s own mystery, then your statement makes sense.

            The Apostles Creed holds to the resurrection of the Body.

          • savvy

            It would point to a different religion and God. In the early church only gnostic sects had women priests.

          • pagansister

            Every woman who wishes to be a priest most certainly isn’t a radical feminist, or “worships” death as you stated. Perhaps recognizing that a woman should have control of their own bodies doesn’t make them “radical”. That is another subject. IMO, most women who wish to serve as priests are doing so to serve their Deity and the followers of said Deity.

          • savvy

            Sadly, in this case, the theology is such that it would end up that way. If the priesthood does not point to the cross, it points to a different religion.

  • john

    It seems to me the Jesus set up an all male priesthood for a very good reason. As I look at women stepping up to take positions of lectors and eucharistic ministers and catechists etc, I see them represented in disproportionate numbers. Am I just witnessing a misrepresentative microcosm or is this a universal phenomena? What it tells me is that women taking roles doesn’t particularly challenge men to step up. It probabaly disincentives them. Maybe its peculiar to the male psyche that men challenge both men and women, whereas women tend to only challenge other women. If this is the true, then what Jesus did in establishing an all male priesthood is actually for the benefit of all. To me it’s similar to men abandoning their roles as fathers. Women are great trying to take up the burden, but they just aren’t fathers especially when it comes to being role models for boys. Without men as good role models, boys get lost far more than do girls and absolutely everyone suffers.

    • Steve

      I think it is just a microcosm. The University of Illinois has an incredibly active Newman Center(including a dorm for 600 students which is incredible for a public university). I would say that participation is pretty equal and vibrant among the laity (I was a lector there for 4 years and highly involved in many retreats and other activities). When I go home it is fairly equal participation also as many of our Eucharistic Ministers at my home parish are actually couples who both are EMHCs. It could just be your area but it could be that I am the one in the microcosm as well. The one thing I did notice though, is that the men there did not know how to pursue and win the hearts of all the beautiful daughters of God at the university causing A LOT of awkward friendships.

      Maybe it is time for you step up and fill in some of that gap for the younger men and boys in your Parish.

      Any chance you have read Wild at Heart?

      • john

        I’m no longer young and have been one of the minority of men filling multiple slots for many years. I’m only reporting what I’ve observed. I’m not indicting women, but acknowledging their generosity and willingness to put their faith in action. I’m not seeing it so much in men. To be sure it’s not an absolute, but from what I see the numbers look overwhelmingly out of balance. I’d be interested in hearing from others to get a picture of the broader Church participation. I may well be wrong, but I also think there’s much truth to the differences in male and female behavior and men needing to be role models for men.

        • Jennifer

          The last statistics I read on this (I think from CARA) support what you’re saying, John. Once women step in, men step out, and that is dishearteningly true in the Church. I’m a firm believer that women simply don’t belong in the sanctuary, but I also know that’s a minority view. I can have dignity as a woman without pretending that I’m just like my husband and sons.

          • john

            I don’t view it as saying women are less worthy, but that men have been given that particularly responsibility for the benefit of all. Similarly, only women are able to nurture children in their womb, go through childbirth and suckle their newborns at their breasts, but that does not relieve men of their responsibilities or make them a less important or worthy parent. God designed the differences between men and women presumably for good reason; otherwise, He would have made only one gender.

          • Korou

            “Once women step in, men step out.”
            Does this not seem a rather sexist view to you, Jennifer?
            If women step up and men step out, then why not have a female-dominated priesthood, if it turns out the women want it and the men don’t? Why should women have to suppress their own calling for leadership and instruction in order to coddle men’s position?

          • john

            Isn’t it obvious that God made us sexist? You only have to open your eyes to see the physical differences. Just because women step up (and I applaud them for their effort), it doesn’t follow that a female dominated priesthood is better or what God intends. If a female dominated priesthood means you lose a large proportion of the men, wouldn’t that be a negative overall? I can’t read God’s mind, but I think He meant the priesthood to be the way it is for a reason, i.e. it’s a message to men that it’s important enough to devote themselves to,His service as a priest and for the lay men to pay attention to what is taught in word and deed. Women don’t deliver that message to men nearly as well. It’s just too easy to turn it off and go fishing or a football game instead. To be honest, I think it’s a challenge to women to respect and honor their men and be humble before God. I think in turn it’s a challenge to men to respect and honor their women and humbly take up their responsibilities to God.

          • Korou

            Well, since you admit to being sexist about a sexist Church, I think there’s nothing more to be said. Thank you for your candour.

          • john

            Sexist was a term you introduced, apparently as a pejorative. I believe I’ve explained what I meant by it and mine was not pejorative. The concern I’ve expressed is grounded in what I see with regard to the disparity in participation. If I saw generally equal representation I wouldn’t be posing the question and seeing a possible reason for institution of an all male clergy.

          • jdens

            ‘Women don’t deliver that message to men nearly as well. It’s just too easy to turn it off and go fishing or a football game instead.’ That sounds so disrespectful. If that is the case then our society needs to do more to counteract that macho culture. And arguing that it’s natural and therefore God’s plan doesn’t hold. Fear of the other is natural, too, but racism is surely not part of God’s plan.

          • john

            It wasn’t disrespect, but my observation. When I see men missing in action, I ask what they were doing otherwise. Those were not atypical responses…i.e. lame excuses for dodging their responsibility. You may think it’s more culture or fear, but think it’s more than that. Men and women are not indistinguishable. God made us sexual creatures that by nature dictate distinction in roles and responsibilities both in procreation and in modeling Trinitarian love in sexual love and family. It seems to me that Jesus extended that distinction to the clergy, as the best way to maximize its overall effectiveness, and isn’t that of primary concern in the long run.., i.e. getting as many people into heaven as possible? As an aside, it also seems to me that God intended that we respect the male/female distinctions and not take it upon ourselves to surgically reassign what God already assigned or redefine family to suit our own desires.

          • jdens

            Respecting male and female distinctions is not the same as assigning and enforcing them. If men have a problem listening to a woman in authority, that is their problem, and unfortunately, it’s ultimately society’s problem. Plenty of men in this world have got beyond that. It can be done. It should be done.

          • john

            Is the “should” God’s idea or yours? Does it produce the maximum benefit for all? The current disproportionate representation in the ministries that are open to both men and women that I see does not look healthy to me. Is that representative of participation in general? I expect extending that to the ordained ministries would be still more unhealthy, possibly fatal. Perhaps Jesus set a line we must not cross as part of His promise that the Church not fail.

          • jdens

            I don’t usually presume to speak for God, unlike quite a few commenters I’ve observed. Men not having a problem listening to women in authority? Yeah, I I would say that’s a maximum benefit for all.

            I understand your concern. I just don’t think the answer is to keep women down.

          • john

            I don’t view it as keeping women down any more than men not having the ability to bear a child keeps them down. It seems to me that women’s standard of listening is different than men’s. In my experience, men have selective hearing when it comes to women…perhaps built in. A woman may be most articulate, but if it’s often not being heard it’s not effective. Similarly, men tend to take example from other men vs from women, often to the point of bad example over good example. I think men were charged by Jesus with particular responsibilities to make sure they didn’t get neglected by men.

          • john

            I don’t view it as keeping women down any more than men not having the ability
            to bear a child that keeps them down. It seems to me that women’s
            standard of listening is different than men’s. In my experience, men
            have selective hearing…perhaps built in. A woman may be most
            articulate, but if it’s often not being heard it’s not effective. Similarly men tend to take example from other men over women, often to bad over good. I think men were charged by Jesus with particular responsibilities to make sure they didn’t get neglected by men.

  • KD

    Aren’t there some dancing orders of nuns they could join or something?

    • joaco

      I’m sure the (lower) Anglicans would be able to cater for their needs.

  • enness

    It’s a shame that brilliant, hilarious satire isn’t what they were going for.

    • ktgab

      Yes, it really looks like satire. I mean, if you are going to make a video in favor of a cause, make a compelling case with lyrics that make sense and someone who can sing well. Wow!

      • Chris Steiner

        These women or girls look like clowns. With their secular clown dancing moves. How could anybody take them seriously? The Virgin Mary is a model for all Christians (and she is above all priests and Bishops) but these clown girls imitate after LADY GAGA, what a joke. Liberal clown people should just give it up. And the ‘don’t listen to St. Paul’ comment is over the top. Yeah, I should reject St. Paul whom Jesus spoke to, and 2000 years of truth and listen to this wanna be priestess. What an arrogant little nobody she is. I’m sick of these people who are FULL of themselves. And the singing suck!

        • http://www.facebook.com/kwdayboise Kim Day

          Could you use the words “clown” more? And maybe more thoughts that would reflect more Protestant thoughts that people who dance are jumping around like clowns. Clowns. Clowns clowns.

        • Toby

          Scholarship shows that Paul did not write the letters which expressed rejection of female leadership in the church. Sorry. This scholarship is well founded and also accepted by well respected Catholic scholars. I think you are the clown Chris Steiner.

          • Jack Isaacks

            Whether St. Paul wrote these words or not is beside the point. The CHURCH has accepted them as definitive for going on 2000 years, and still does.

    • joaco

      True! I honestly actually spent the first couple of minutes thinking that those girls were Catholic and the video was a satire!

    • mlissa

      I was really disappointed when I realized they were serious because as satire it works so well. It would be very hard to come up with a video that ridiculed the idea of women priests in a better way than this one does. It has everything — bad music, bad dancing, illogical comparisons, goofy costumes… The “don’t listen to St. Paul” and the telephone call from God were perfect irony.

  • Jpeg

    Excellent! Basically the JP’s reason behind is, “because Jesus said so”. And the difficulty some people have is that they see the Church as democracy you can change, and not as an institution that follows what Jesus has laid down for us

  • http://twitter.com/gailfinke Gail Finke

    AAAAAAAA that made my ears hurt. Eyes too. How STUPID.
    One of the big arguments against female priesthood that made me say “ah-HA” was that the Catholic priesthood is not new, it’s a continuation of the Jewish priesthood, which began with the covenant between God and the Jews. Jews had a temporary high priest from a priestly class; Jesus is our eternal high priest and the earthly priests who represent him are priests forever, while the whole world has been made the people of God so there is no longer a priestly class. BUT they are still male only, just they way they have always been since that first covenant. Works for me.

    • http://twitter.com/gailfinke Gail Finke

      Oh, and I also recommend Sr. Sarah Butler’s book on the subject. Short, concise, very persuasive — she began it thinking there was no justification for an all-male priesthood, and ended up finding that there was irrefutable evidence for its being meant to be an all-male priesthood. That’s where I first heard the argument above.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stringbeanjeanoo Kimberly Lenggiere

    I thought that video had to be a joke, especially after the line, “I don’t care what Saint Paul says,” or something like that.
    Eeshk.

  • Melia

    You know, I was struggling with this earlier, but you hav given me a wonderful, precise reason why the Church teaches this. The problem I have with proponents for women’s ordination is the same problem I have with the schismatics on the other side of the debate – both assume that an all-male priesthood = men are superior and women are meant to obey. It’s clericalism, and that’s why I love things like the Imagine Sisters movement – it sends the message that just because you aren’t ordained doesn’t mean you’re any less needed or important.

    • jdens

      It just means you have no authority. It makes women in relation to men like children in relation to parents. Yes, you’re so important and so valuable, but do I what I tell you because I said so.

  • Andy

    Oh.. looks like they also deleted my comment on their video which cited JPII’s Ordinato Sacerdotalis, and a letter from Joseph Card. Ratzinger, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It had a lot more “thumbs up” than any comment that agreed with their video lol

  • Ken H.

    um, yeah… “I’m a catholic” (or are they saying “Catholic”?) And “Mommy for Pope” (if I remember correctly.) Really an interesting project they cooked up there…

  • Tom

    I honestly expect that abomination to make people leave the female ordination cause.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.clarke.96 Tom Clarke

    I’m sad that they feel they’ve been called, but they don’t seem to even consider life as a religious sister. Nuns are awesome! I love following the Imagine Sisters on FB, these women look like they would fit right in if only they could learn humility and obedience (just as the rest of us are called to do in our everyday lives).

    • Helpful

      They even say they read about Therese of Lisiuex, but I guess they don’t really want to follow in her footsteps.

    • pagansister

      Nuns are still under the rules set by the men in the Church. That, to me, is entirely different than being a priest with more say in things.

      • savvy

        The church does not set rules, but teaches the organic truth, that has been handed down to them.

  • Guest

    I might be missing the point but that singing is awful and Lisieux does not rhyme with either whirl or way…?

  • Guest

    Also why does she have a baby if she’s a priest? Are they against a celibate priesthood as well?

    • Joe Cool

      Well, duh, that goes without saying. Asking people not to have sex is like asking them not to breathe.

  • Joe Cool

    That music video was a parody, right?…. Right?

    ‘Cause I was laughing so hard through the whole thing. God bless ‘em; I wish them well for giving me such a tremendous smile.

  • ECB

    A solution is very simple for these women. Join the episcopal church.

    • Scott W.

      Well, now we come to one of the major delusions of those banging the drum for women’s ordination. You see it in their lyric: “Other churches try to schmooze me [she points to an Episcopal church], but I’m a Catholic, so ordain a lady.” What they don’t realize is that they have already been schmoozed and co-opted by another church. One of the more thoughtful atheists out that remarked that theism and idealism are often interchangeable and issued this challenge: find any substantial difference between Political Correctness and Unitarianism. These ladies are utterly pwned by the Church of PC.

  • kmk

    I wonder where that was filmed, and which Catholic school the girls attend. It disturbs me how glibly these older ladies are influencing these young women. I can’t really laugh about that.
    It reminds me of something. How about a song about “make me a Ranger, Can’t drag my wounded buddy, through a firefight, but I’m a lady!” Similar theme, different tune!
    –ex Army lady

    • Helpful

      Truth. I’m Air Force Security Forces, which is still technically noncombat, so it’s both men and women. I just hope I don’t get hit, cuz my partner would never be able to pull me out of a burning humvee, especially with all my combat gear on.

    • EB

      Seriously though, what school was that?

    • http://twitter.com/DianaMcCarter Diana McCarter

      I agree. My first reaction was disgust that those women were using babies and young children to promote this.

  • Rowena

    lol I’ve never seen an anti-catholic video on utube so singularly obliterated in the comments section. Evidently not many of the members of WOC are on the internet…

  • B&H USA Jon

    What was it St. Aquinas said about heretics… But, I digress. At any rate, why is it that these freaks of nature seem a lot more interested in some kind of feminist bulls**t (with mullets or short cropped hair in tow…) than the Catholic faith??? How much does anyone care to wager the little feminists in training doing the Vat II shuffle to the music are about as Catholic as that dingbat who I’m guessing opted for the “priesthood” after her music career failed to get off the ground. The saddest part being that media and others will actually use the term “Catholic” when referring to rejects like this. ‘Womanpriest’ my a**.

  • Arkanabar

    I decided, on reading this, that my best course of action would be to pour myself a drink, and drink to the health of my priest, and to the health of all the faithful clergy (and the grace of fidelity for all the rest).

    So I did.

  • Anna

    It’s awfully hard to believe that’s not parody, especially with all that business about “other churches try to schmooze me” and then they thank an Episcopal parish in the credits… But I must applaud them for taking what was already a gosh-awful song and managing to make it worse.

  • Phillip Flores

    The other thing to remember is during the Holy Mass when the priest enunciates the words of the consecration he is doing it in ‘persona Christi’ i.e. in the person of Jesus Christ. How can a woman priest do that?

    • Sophias_Favorite

      In Persona Christi more literally means “in the mask of Christ”. Which is interesting, if one is familiar with the significance of masks in the Navajo and Hopi religions.

      • Sam

        Yes, originally, persona meant mask. But since in theater putting on a mask meant becoming a new character, persona came to mean character or personality as well, and this is closer to what we mean by “in persona Christi”.

        • Sophias_Favorite

          Yes, but “in the mask” is far more accurate from an anthropological standpoint. I think it’s a very interesting coincidence, possibly an inspired one.

          • Nic

            Hey there!

            By the time ‘persona’ was used for that phrase,it had already been hooked up with the Greek word ‘hypostasis’ or ‘prosopon’ which does not have the implication of wearing a mask.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            But the Catholic priest behaves precisely like a Navajo or Hopi “personifier” (masked dancer), or those of many other cultures—the god whose mask he wears acts through him. While he wears the mask, he may be said to be the god in question.

            So “in the mask of Christ” is actually much more accurate.

  • Lisa

    This came up in an apologetics class with a priest at my parish recently and he mentioned this quote from Blessed John Paul II. He said that after the quote came out that it was said that he did not say it as being the end all of the argument, but that it was the point where we are now. Right now the church doesn’t have the authority to change it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in 100 percent agreement that there is nothing wrong with an all male priesthood. However, the priest at my parish said that ‘we simply don’t know the future. It might happen way down the road or something.’ Who knows? Jesus could appear to the pope and order that it be changed. Then the church would have the authority. So, while I see it unlikely, you just never know…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=678162576 Ce Gzz

    Embrace Theology of the BODY!!! Thank you Marc!!

  • Boomshackalacka

    If the church is Jesus’ bride, does that make all lay men ACTUALLY women? So they can literally be blushing brides? Are ordained priests the only real men?

    • Sophias_Favorite

      Who’s reading you this blog? Do you comment by dictation, or do you use some kind of voice-activated typing program?

      • Woodstock Churchlady

        You are so rude! Even those who hold your views must be embarrassed for you.

        • pagansister

          As a person who has encountered Sophia before —it is customary for her to be extremely rude and arrogant. She’s done it to me—and I just tell her I consider the source and ignore the comments—and don’t bother to respond to her anymore. I have noticed she never responds to the people who call her on her rudeness. Guess she hasn’t figured out how to confront that—easier to be rude and run.:o)

  • Sarah

    Yeah, I don’t know if saying “Don’t listen to St. Paul” and calling out “some Pope in a hat” is really going to help your argument. As a vestment nerd, I was most offended by the inaccurate wearing of stoles and ill-fitting albs.

    Just to play devil’s advocate here, aren’t men part of the Church/ Bride of Christ too? If we’re going to get all literal about symbolism does that mean dudes technically marry Jesus?

    Also, are there any good defenses of the male priesthood written by women? A skeptic could easily dismiss male theologians as a “old boys’ club” reinforcing their exclusivity.

    • Joe Cool

      See others’ remarks about “Women and the Priesthood” by Alice von Hildebrand and Peter Kreeft.

      And while a skeptic could dismiss male theologians, that would be argumentum ad hominem, and sexism.

      • Sophias_Favorite

        No, it would be Marxism—”your objections arise from class-interest”. Which is admittedly the ad hominem, but there’s a reason they’re so fond of it.

    • http://thesheepfold.typepad.com/ The Sheepcat

      Others have recommended Sister Sara Butler’s book. Here’s an essay of hers that captures the essentials.
      http://www.wf-f.org/04-3-Ordination.html

    • Elizabeth

      There’s a great book of essays by women called “Women, Sex, and the Church” (ed. Erika Bachiochi) which really captures the totality of the Church’s deep respect for femininity. Many of the writers had a conversion of heart from the secular feminist perspective and so they speak a language that any Women’s Studies class would respond to, I think. (Sr. Sara Butler wrote the chapter on the all-male priesthood.)

    • savvy

      The analogy of bridegroom, bride, protects the distinction between Christ and the church, while highlighting the unity.

      It prevents things from slipping into dualism where opposites are the same. Christ and the church are equal, yet distinct, the persons in the trinity are equal, yet distinct.

      You might want to try Sister Sarah Butler. She was one of the leading proponents of women’s ordinations. She now supports a male-priesthood.

      http://tinyurl.com/bzd676m

  • Dan Li

    Pffftt. Kihihihi. I’m sorry that I can’t contribute anything of substance, but that video literally left me ROFL-ing.

  • Eliberaus

    I am a woman and after giving a lecture on a religious subject some people came to me and said “we need women like you to show the Church it is time to ordain women!” to which I responded with the biggest, interior facepalm ever. After I had tried my best to explain that was utterly contrary to..well, faith and reason, I could only pray they got the point. Thank you Mark for helping make sense of this awesome truth.

  • Casey

    My inner being intuitively revolts against the idea of “women priests.” Dear patriarchy, I do love you.

    • jdens

      I’m sure racists’ inner beings intuitively revolt against the idea of a black president, but that doesn’t make them right.

      • savvy

        Dude, being a President is not a sacrament. Comparison with secular roles, misses the point.

        • jdens

          No, because the point is that one’s intuition is not always a reliable arbiter of judgement.

          • savvy

            Is Holy Orders a sacrament or not?

          • jdens

            That has absolutely zero to do with my comment. You must see that. You can’t force me to adopt an entirely different argument because you think it’s easier to knock down.

          • savvy

            You cannot force others to accept your political arguments either. You can choose not to believe in something, I just do not see the logic of getting a priest to NOT function as a priest.

          • jdens

            Do you understand the point of the comparison? The point is not to liken her views about patriarchy to racism. It’s to illustrate how unreliable one’s “inner being’s intuition” can be. I’m not even arguing about the priesthood in this comment. I’m arguing about this particular appeal to authority.

          • Casey

            Good thing I evaluated the position of my infallible Church beforehand and then internalized the differences between the sexes! :) When understanding comes, one does not need to run every premise through one’s mind every time the topic comes up. The truth becomes an immediate response — “that is wrong.”

      • Casey

        Actually, being “racist” has a lot to do with how we evolved to perceive those who look different from us (and our tribe/community), so it makes perfect sense that some people react that way, seemingly irrationally. And all that just testifies to the fact that a ethno-cultural homogeneity is the healthiest and most natural constitution of a society. Obviously, the unnatural and perverse states of feminism and multiculturalism have been imposed on us by you PC folk.

        • jdens

          Is this a joke?

          • Casey

            Human nature is not a joke, no.

        • Claude

          Actually, your views are hideous.

          • Casey

            Liberal tears. . . . And?

          • jdens

            No tears here, but thanks for the contempt. Best of luck finding that homogenous society.

          • Claude

            Tears? No. Disgust? Yes.

          • jdens

            Really sad that anyone voted ^ on such a snide remark. It contributes nothing to the conversation but a bad attitude.

          • Claude

            Again, though I agree with the “Really sad” post, I didn’t write it. Disqus will probably correct itself, though.

          • jdens

            Yeah, it’s not showing your name when I look at it. Infuriating, though, isn’t it? Try refreshing your page and see if that helps.

          • Claude

            Fixed now, thanks!

          • Casey

            Okay, let’s clear this up. 1) My first comment was NOT an argument. It merely served as a statement about my internal understanding of why women cannot be priests: they cannot be fathers (to put it simplistically, though I doubt you understand the depth of that). As I was commenting on a CATHOLIC website, any Catholic with an understanding of our Church’s theology and natural law would know what I meant. 2) My second comment served to show why your analogy failed and actually only pointed out more truths about human nature that the Left ignores and works to pervert. 3) My “snide remark” was to point out what you have conveniently failed to notice about your own comments (aside from your useless analogy) — they have contributed nothing to the conversation. You have only displayed immaturity and the inability to have a meaningful discussion with anyone whose views differ from the status quo. For none of this will I apologize.

          • Claude

            jrens can obviously take care of his or herself, but I must protest this mindless attack on a thoughtful, respectful and intelligent poster.

            It’s always a drag to run into a wannabe Ann Coulter on the internet, but this instance is particularly unfortunate.

          • Casey

            Um . . . is that your “protest”? Calling a reasoned response “mindless,” jrens “thoughtful, respectful and intelligent,” and then lazily aligning anyone opposed to liberalism’s tyranny with conventional so-called ‘conservatism’? Trust me, I’ve no time for mainstream right liberalism. I can tell you really understand what you’re poorly attempting to discuss.

          • Claude

            “Liberalism’s tyranny”! Hoo boy. Here we go.

          • jdens

            Thanks, Claude. I don’t think there’s any point arguing with this person. I’m just flabbergasted by the vitriol.

          • pagansister

            Ditto.

          • Guest

            Any views differing from yours must be hideous by definition, am I right?

          • Claude

            Racist apologists are objectively hideous.

            Casey’s view put another way could be: Humans should wallow in original sin like pigs.

          • Casey

            Actually, humans should live according to natural law. Racist apologist? Ha, you sound just like your liberal buddies. This may be a shock to you, but multiculturalism is not a natural state. It almost always comes about my force and continues now due to bad politics. I have shown that there is a reason for the phenomenon we label “racism.”

          • jdens

            Casey, no one suggests racism is unnatural. But natural-ness does not mean goodness. I don’t think you educated anyone here about the natural reasons for fear of the Other. This is something we’ve all experienced. And it’s been important for survival, not just of our species but other others as well. That said, our Christian faith–and I think most faiths plus common decency–calls us to overcome that fear and welcome the stranger, to see the divine in the Other. And in the multicultural reality we live in, it’s not just good, but really practical to look beyond differences and respect each other. How narrow is a person’s life that is not open to the diversity of God’s creation.

            I can hardly fathom the venom that comes across in your posts. They’re practically spitting. Where is the animosity coming from? How have ‘liberals’ so wronged you to earn this spiteful, sneering posture?

          • Casey

            (Wait, what? Who said racism is unnatural? Sorry, you lost me there.)

            This topic is a bit off from what was originally presented; and I’m not interested in getting into a long debate about it, especially over comments on a thread. Not my kind of communication.

            So I will make a few statements and be done with this. I do not buy into the “diversity” mantra, which has become an end in itself. God allowed for the formation of distinct races, and the ugly blurring of them that we have now was not, I believe, His intention. Look at the story of the Tower of Babel, for example. For the record, I am not hostile to people of other races, or “fear[ful]” of them. That’s silly. Only, as a principle, I oppose the mixing of vastly different peoples, for this diminishes culture and gives rise to the natural occurrence of ‘racism.’ The “multicultural reality” is not a necessity, and, like I’ve said, has been imposed upon us.

            In explanation of my “vitriol”:
            Liberalism has been the demise of the West. It is the antithesis of everything true, good, and beautiful — of Christianity itself. Aside from my loathing for the ugliness that pervades our culture now due to the effects of modernity, I was rather irritable the main day I left those comments, and human stupidity only heightens my peaks of misanthropy. Like I indicated, this is not exactly my ‘hangout’ place. (If you’re really so flabbergasted: INTJ says enough.)

            And no, there’s no “point,” as you might see it, in arguing with me, especially since I perceive you as one who promotes heresy. Yes, I’m very reasonable; but I’ve already come to my convictions.

          • Claude

            One can only hope you, an unrepentant racist and cartoonish reactionary, are sincere when you say you’ll be “done with this” and slither back into your hole.

          • Casey

            Okay, you can stop being weird and irrational now.

            Yes, proud member of the Catholic Right! :)

          • jdens

            Casey, just a small point. I think you misunderstood my comment there. The point is that no one is saying it’s unnatural. We agree that racism is natural. That’s my whole point; that it doesn’t make it right. An illustration more pertinent to you might be homosexuality. It’s natural, not just in man, but in other species as well. Yet you would hold that it’s wrong.

            I’m sorry that you feel that way about liberalism. When I think of the worst things in the world, the antithesis of everything true, good, and beautiful–of Christianity itself–I think of genocide, rape, tyranny, oppression, slavery, violence, child abuse (off the top of my head), and I wonder, how is liberalism the cause of any of this? Or do you have an entirely different list?

            I’m alarmed at the ferocity of your stance. The way you describe liberalism sounds similar to the way the Taliban describes America.

            Anyway, I’m not angry or even disgusted now at your comments. I’m just very, very sad.

          • Casey

            Alas, as much as I would love to leave this all this behind, perfectionism takes its hold. . . . ;)

            Yes, I did misunderstand your comment. Thank you for clarifying. Racism itself is not innate in us; well, I say this because “racism” is just some ambiguous term, the meaning of which has largely been lost in its general usage. (As Claude has attempted to show, cry out “Racist!” and you’ve won the debate.) What I meant to convey was that the behavior we observe as racist in societies that lack homogeneity manifests an underlying principle about humans. We have our own people, and there is NO fault in loving them and desiring to transmit that distinct culture on to our children. So, going back to your first comment to me, it makes total sense that deep down people want leaders that represent them (we see this in liberal democracy all the time). The extension of families forms a people; the community needs a leader; they want a face from their own. Such is the way things are meant to be. It is a good, not a negative that needs to be fixed by enforcing “diversity.”

            Homosexuality does not serve as a proper analogy. Yes, one could argue that they both illustrate truths about humanity. But they are entirely different truths: one, a negative (a perversion of human sexuality’s telos, or purpose, showing that we need fixing) and the other, a positive (the love and defense of one’s own, the beauty of distinct peoples). Aside from that, there is no consensus that it is inborn. It appearing in the animal kingdom bears nothing on the behavior of humans, as we have rational souls (and a genetic predisposition does not equal genetic determinism, of course). Moreover, homosexuality is entirely outside of the norm, even in a genetic sense, assuming it’s actually genetic. Thus why throughout history most people have looked upon it with revulsion. But my first point sufficed to dismiss your analogy; the latter are lesser points.

            Evil comes from within man. Tradition (not “traditions,” or the strictly Catholic Tradition to which we are bound), as the Sophia Perennis, uplifts the soul toward the good, toward the eternal, toward God. Liberalism, since its beginning, has worked to destroy the basic truths that virtually all societies acknowledged through that eternal reality — natural law, that men and women differ in essential ways, the goodness and necessity of authority, et al. The Left claims that individual autonomy is the highest good, that men and women are “equal” (a pernicious warping of the truth that they are equal in dignity but complementary elsewhere), that the mind is a “blank slate,” et al.

            Francis Parker Yockey gets it perfectly:

            “Two ideas are opposed — not concepts or abstractions, but Ideas which were in the blood of men before they were formulated by the minds of men. The Resurgence of Authority stands opposed to the Rule of Money; Order to Social Chaos, Hierarchy to Equality, socio-economico-political Stability to constant Flux; glad assumption of Duties to whining for Rights; Socialism to Capitalism, ethically, economically, politically; the Rebirth of Religion to Materialism; Fertility to Sterility; the spirit of Heroism to the spirit of Trade; the principle of Responsibility to Parliamentarism; the idea of Polarity of Man and Woman to Feminism; the idea of the individual task to the ideal of ‘happiness’; Discipline to Propaganda-compulsion; the higher unities of family, society, State to social atomism; Marriage to the Communistic ideal of free love; economic self-sufficiency to senseless trade as an end in itself; the inner imperative to Rationalism.”

            (Note his use of “socialism” essentially means distributism, not Marxist thought.)

            In summation, a proper order is due. Liberalism works to destroy it, and it continues to succeed. So, yes, many of us traditionalists are pretty enraged.

            Your comment about the Taliban seems to imply the idea that such is pure evil. But this is a logical impossibility. It is totally plausible that men may commit horrendous acts and yet still have an understanding of certain principles. (Or, for instance, two separate schools of thought may be opposed to the same thing: as Marxists and distributists both oppose capitalism, yet have nothing in common). Again, you are employing a weak tactic against me — associating me with their thought would stigmatize my views and, of course, make me appear evil, too, right?

            These views come with time. I was not raised to think in this manner whatsoever. In the West, one is born into a liberal society, after all. Feminism was the force behind the breaking of my family, as it has broken The Family. When one grows up intuitively understanding that “things just aren’t supposed to be this way,” one looks to understand why. And here I am.

            Lastly, I’m just very, very not caring that you are sad about my stance. What’s the point of making such a petty comment? Do you think I’m going to feel bad and change my mind? Sorry, I am not so easily swayed. I value truth over feelings.

          • Claude

            First, let us review your very own words that started this conflict:

            Actually, being “racist” has a lot to do with how we evolved to perceive those who look different from us (and our tribe/community), so it makes perfect sense that some people react that way, seemingly irrationally. And all that just testifies to the fact that ethno-cultural homogeneity is the healthiest and most natural constitution of a society. Obviously, the unnatural and perverse states of feminism and multiculturalism have been imposed on us by you PC folk.

            That is an argument for ethnic purity. Reasonable people do not disagree about this: it is racist, neo-fascist, dangerous, and evil, period. If you wish to backtrack, excellent.

            Homosexuality does serve as a proper analogy, because both race/ethnicity and sexual orientation are born attributes. No, science hasn’t conclusively proven that homosexuality is 100% genetic, but the testimony from gay people is overwhelming. You said homosexuality is entirely outside of the norm. No, it isn’t. It is within the norm and always has been. Good to know that your view of humans is that they are mere reproductive organisms, oh but with “rational souls.” That’s some exalted Christianity you’re dishing out.

            You go on to write: The Left claims that individual autonomy is the highest good, that men and women are “equal” (a pernicious warping of the truth that they are equal in dignity but complementary elsewhere), that the mind is a “blank slate,” et al.

            Aside from the emphasis on equal rights, your description of the Left is at least good for a laugh. But you go on to quote this Francis Parker Yockey guy, an anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi propagandist and all-around asshole. That comes as no surprise, I guess, but sweet Jesus! Get thee behind me.

          • Casey

            Claude, why are you still commenting me? Clearly, there is hardly a discussion between us. You continue your lame ad hominems, using all the Left’s favorites — “racist,” fascist,” etc. And that is not an argument for ethnic purity, as this is an impossibility; it is, however, an argument against globalization, mass immigration, the death of culture, and racial mixing between people of vastly different cultures. No, I do not “wish to backtrack.” Your idea of excellence is a useless judgment to me.

            Average liberal thought analysis. Because “gay” people have feelings and have stated them, their beliefs must be true. I will repeat: truth > feelings. Also, the idea that homosexuality is not outside of the norm is absurd. Why else would the Left be pushing for so-called “gay rights”?

            And you failed to notice that homosexuality, in theory, being inborn still does not make this a proper analogy, which I stated clearly. REREAD:

            “Yes, one could argue that they both illustrate truths about humanity. But they are entirely different truths: one, a negative (a perversion of human sexuality’s telos, or purpose, showing that we need fixing) and the other, a positive (the love and defense of one’s own, the beauty of distinct peoples).”

            Another ad hominem. You need to work on your skills in logic. For one, I’ve never done research about Yockey. (Sure, I plan to get around to it.) The quote served to make A POINT. The person who wrote the quote and characteristics about him, good or bad, are IRRELEVANT.

            “at least good for a laugh.” No argument here. Just more useless yacking. Why do you bother…?

            Evidence of liberalism’s autonomy theory: http://ozconservative.blogspot.com/2010/08/chapter-2-autonomy-theory.html

            Evidence for blank slate perception:
            http://ozconservative.blogspot.com/2010/09/chapter-3-sex-distinctions.html

          • Claude

            Claude, why are you still commenting me?

            Because I’m not going to sit here and read this bullshit and not respond.

            that is not an argument for ethnic purity

            You’re right. I should have said an ideology of ethnic purity. My bad.

            Because “gay” people have feelings and have stated them, their beliefs must be true.

            Homosexuality is not a belief system! And because homosexuals are a minority doesn’t mean they’re a human “negative.” Black people are a minority in the US. That makes black people statistically “outside the norm.” Yet in this country, minority rights are protected. In theory, anyway.

            entirely different truths

            Like I said, both cases are premised on inherited attributes. That was obviously the analogy jrens was making.

            For one, I’ve never done research about Yockey…

            So this is your pathetic excuse for approvingly quoting a Nazi to back up your arguments. Yeah, I get it about making a point; I also get where you are coming from. Go away.

          • jdens

            Why assume it was a petty comment? I went out of my way to try to de-escalate the tone here, emphasizing the lack of outrage or disgust. Honesty about how I felt was petty? It certainly wan’t intended to be manipulative. Why would I have any reason to think it would influence what has been demonstrated to be a fixed and unmovable mindset?

            Also, you mistake my analogy to the Taliban. It wasn’t in your ideas (although there’s some alignment there, too, for sure), but in your ferocity that I likened you to them. And it’s alarming because of the violence they have wrought in their war against a liberalism they find threatening.

          • pagansister

            Heresy works! :o)

        • Woodstock Churchlady

          If Jesus and the Church Fathers had felt that way, where would we be?

  • Nick Corrado

    “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”

    Is this one of those weird, uniquely Catholic pickup lines, along with “Can I take you out for fish on Friday?” ‘Cause I kind of want to try it.

  • Jason

    I thought it was a parody until the end – nothing that bad, I thought, could be serious. Can’t believe it.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you Marc. I find the Bridegroom analysis very moving, but I know it falls flat for those who don’t really understand the sacrifice of the Mass. I guess I would have to include these ladies in that category. They see being a priest as a political appointment.

    I was unwilling to accept the all-male priesthood as recently as a couple of years ago (Episcopal convert here)–even though women in chasubles have always looked funny to me. (Which is weird, because usually women look great in drag.) I was always irritated, and still am to some extent, by arguments about why women “can’t” be priests. I feel like it goes way beyond that. (I liked your line, Marc, about how saying “women can be priests” is like saying “women have penises.”) I have a traddy friend who literally said “Women can’t be priests because they’re too emotional.” Gag. Most feminists assume that everyone who supports the male priesthood is like that. I think they need to hear more about what the Church believes women CAN do. (And have done! I hate the implication that women haven’t accomplished anything throughout the history of the Church and won’t be able to until they can break into the priesthood. The accomplishments of the female saints, and their influence on the Church, have been astronomical!)

    A devout progressive startled me by describing the all-male priesthood as a “wound on the body of Christ,” and it got me to thinking, if a coed priesthood was that important to the equality and dignity of the sexes, how could Jesus have left without making sure we got the message? Well, maybe, just maybe, the female sex already have a sacramental role to play in humanity (hmm, what could that be?), and the priesthood is a consolation prize to men who need it more. The fact that feminists are so dismissive of the domestic church and motherhood is so terribly sad. But they need to know that the Church does not teach that women need to get back in the kitchen, but that they are called to bring the values of the home and motherhood out into the workplace and the world. (And yes, not all women are mothers. Like not all men are priests. That doesn’t mean the Church thinks they’re worthless!)

    Sorry so long. I would get my own blog but I am a very tired mother!

    • http://twitter.com/DianaMcCarter Diana McCarter

      ” if a coed priesthood was that important to the equality and dignity of the sexes, how could Jesus have left without making sure we got the message? Well, maybe, just maybe, the female sex already have a sacramental role to play in humanity (hmm, what could that be?), and the priesthood is a consolation prize to men who need it more.”
      Love this!

      • Erm…

        erm… having a child is not a Sacrament, so how can these be equal? A man can participate in all 7 Sacraments, but a woman cannot. How can you say that women have a Sacramental role men do not? And what are you saying about fathers? Is being a father not holy? What if a woman is infertile and can’t have a child? What is her sacramental role in humanity?

        • savvy

          Motherhood and Fatherhood are not just biological. But, only men can be fathers, and only women can be mothers.

          A better question would be, what is the sacramental role of a priest?

        • St. Henry the Moose

          So, the call to being a nun is not participating in the sacrament of Holy Orders? What sacraments exactly are women not able to participate in?

    • Christine Dorothy

      Quote “I hate the implication that women haven’t accomplished anything throughout the history of the Church and won’t be able to until they can break into the priesthood. The accomplishments of the female saints, and their influence on the Church, have been astronomical!”

      My favorite line of your comment.

      • savvy

        Yes, the whole concept of how souls are feminine was explained by St. Teresa of Avila, in her books.

        As, my spiritual director told me, “If God wants you somewhere, nothing on earth, can keep you out, if God does not, nothing on earth, will get you in.”

      • Claude

        But there is no such implication.

  • WSquared

    Oh, man. That video had me laughing so hard– that it was (alas) meant to be serious made me seriously wish that it was a satire. …because it ranks right up there with Father Z (a.k.a “Zuhlio”) and “Hey, Lady Tambourine Priest.”

  • Matthew_Roth

    Comments on Youtube are disabled. Possibly because they know, deep down, Bl John Paul II spoke infallibly.

  • MyNDIrish

    I respectively disagree with your analysis. Using reductio ad absurdum, we could also then say that there should be only 12 bishops (cardinals?) and our priest should be married. After all, there were only 12 apostles to start with, so what gives us the right to increase that amount? And since Peter was married, why aren’t all popes married?

    Because Jesus gave us the ability to expand and redefine our Church as we saw fit. Using this argument we could easily expand the priesthood to allow women to become priests. We will eventually, its just a matter of time. Unfortunately I wonder how many good people we will lose from our ranks fighting a losing, and somewhat ignorant, battle.

    Sorry this isn’t more thought out…I just wanted to put an (hopefully respectful) opposing view here while this was still on my mind.

    • Andrew O’Brien

      Accidents vs. Substance, brah. Jesus most certainly did NOT give us the ability to expand and redefine his Church as we see fit.

      But Go Irish, beat ‘Bama.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pedro.g.menezes Pedro Gontijo Menezes

      Allow me to respectfully reply that =)
      That’s the reason why reduction ad absurdum is a fallacy. You suggested changes in number (of bishops) rather than nature. Increasing the number of presbyters or allowing married priests as done on early Church don’t change the fact that Jesus was born a man, that He chose only men to continue with His ministry, and all the Scriptures references to Church as the bride and the Son of Man as the bridesgroom described in the post. Ordaining women opposes all that — which, by our faith, is the will of God.

      Nevertheless, the Church could restrict priesthood to man with no argumentation at all, saying that she acts in accordance to Revelation, period. Catholicism is an organized religion that anounces a religious message, not a community center voting for its coordinators. It’s the same with buddism and judaism, yet there are no groups claiming for women rabbis or “female tibetan monks”, not that I know. It is a matter of faith that the Church has such authority, as it was a matter of faith that celtic woman clerics had more authority than the occasional male ones. If this troubles “good people” as they renegate their faith, maybe they are a bit more errant than it meets the eye.

      • MyNDIrish

        But what you’re saying is that the church can change the things it wants, but doesn’t have to change things it doesn’t want. That not reductio ad absurdum…that just absurd.

        • Dennis

          “Because Jesus gave us the ability to expand and redefine our Church as we saw fit.”

          The issue is that we belong to the Church, we do not own it. The hierarchy is Christ’s chosen method for communicating His will to the flock here on earth. Once we assume that we can change things as we see fit, we are trying to wring the Church from Christ’s hands.

        • http://www.facebook.com/pedro.g.menezes Pedro Gontijo Menezes

          I didn’t say that. The Church changes nothing of its doctrine and not a dot from Revealed Truth. So-called changes in Catholicism are always accidental (in number, customs, frequency, rites, disciplines), never substantial. To ordain women would be to change the substance of the sacrament of Order.

      • Karen

        There are many women rabbis in Conservative and Reform Judaism

        • avalpert

          There have also been some in Orthodox Judaism who received ordination privately, and I believe the Hartman Institute is doing it now as well. Of course Rabbis in Judaism are not the same as Priests in Catholicism so maybe it is easier for Jews to move beyond old prejudices than Catholics in this regard.

        • savvy

          Judaism, no longer has a priesthood. A Rabbi does not play a sacramental role. The proponents of women’s ordination are confusing the distinction between an ordained priest in Catholic/Orthodox churches with that of a Protestant minister. In other words what they want is not a priest, or are highly confused.

          • jdens

            I’ve seen this accusation from you several times, and while the role of priest may indeed be different in Protestant traditions than in your own, I don’t think it’s fair to assume ignorance on the part of those who disagree with you. I would imagine that the women in this video are quite familiar with the role of the priest in the Roman Catholic tradition. Neither the sacrificial nor the ‘in persona Christi’ aspect pose much of a theoretical difficulty for proponents of female ordination.

          • savvy

            Informed Protestants know the differences. I am referring to confused Catholics. Based, on my own experiences, they are indeed very confused.

      • Slow Learner

        Women rabbis already exist, and have done since the 1970s.

        • Dan

          Not in Orthodox Judaism, which is the branch comparable to the Catholic Church. Reform and Conservative Jews are Protestants, and Protestants don’t really have any reason that I can see to forbid women from ordained ministry: (a) the priesthood of all believers is a central tenet, and (b) to Catholics and Orthodox, they’re all laypeople anyhow.

          • avalpert

            First, this is incorrect there are women rabbis in Orthodox Judaism (even if it is not normative yet). Second, Reform and Conservative movements in Judaism are not the equivalent of Protestants anymore than Hasidic sects are.

            And Orthodox Judaism is definitely not the equivalent of the Catholic Church – the lack of a hierarchy should be the first give away.

          • savvy

            Judaism in general, no longer has a priesthood, neither do Protestants, so it makes sense to say that a Rabbi or a Protestant minister does not function as a priest, the same way in Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches.

          • avalpert

            That’s not true. The priesthood rest with Kohanim and they have their role in Jewish services and life (like the ceremony redeeming first born boys). A Rabbi is, and has always been, distinct from the priests; Rabbinical ordination traces itself back to Moses and the Priesthood traces itself back to Aaron.

          • savvy

            Yes, but only male Kohens can be priests, right?

          • avalpert

            No, daughters of Kohanim retain some aspects of priesthood – even after they marry non-Kohanim. There are different opinions as to what degree that is and what it means from a practical perspective (for example there is disagreement between Medieval Rabbinical authorities on whether a daughter of a Kohen can perform the act of redemption of the first born or not).

          • savvy

            The Christian priesthood is not genetic, but it is linked to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our only priest.

          • avalpert

            Good for it?

          • savvy

            It brings us the Eucharist, which is good for us.

            I have spoken to many Eastern Orthodox thinkers and continuing Anglicans, and they all agree, this an attack on the Eucharist. It won’t succeed, but it’s gaining momentum.

          • avalpert

            Um, yeah. While I am happy to correct any misunderstandings you have regarding Judaism I hope you realize I am not a Christian and don’t care about the Eucharist.

          • savvy

            Yes, I understand, one of the reason why I do not get why everybody else cares about this issue.

          • jdens

            Because however you defend the exclusion of women from the priesthood in religious terms, what many of us see is the hoarding and protecting of male power. When the Roman Catholic Church is run by the ordained, and all the governing decisions made by the ordained, and women are excluded from being ordained, you have a massive, influential institution actively withholding power from women. This would be one thing if the entire institution were male–a real boy’s club–but this institution is supposed to have something to say to women, too.

          • savvy

            This is your issue and your perceptions. Catholics and Orthodox hold that his is a theological impossibility, because it is.

            This is ultimately about Jesus Christ. I understand that any amount of explanations will not satisfy those who do not have a love for his Eucharist presence. We have had saints, including female ones, that chose death over rejecting the Eucharist.

            BTW, women already do everything a Protestant minister does. They do not function as priests. Pastoral roles are secondary to the sacramental role of a priest. Governance is already bottom-up. Doctrine is a different issue.

          • jdens

            I don’t reject the Eucharist. I reject the exclusion of women, and I reject your defense of it.

          • savvy

            What do you want a priest for? It’s not just enough to attack others, when you cannot support your arguments with theology, and not politics.

          • jdens

            First, this is not about me, and what I want in a priest. I’m Anglican, and happily so. This is about Roman Catholics and what a priest represents in that tradition. You expressed wonder that anyone outside Catholicism cares, and I ventured an explanation from the outside. Then I corrected your assumption about my supposed lack of ‘love of Christ’s Eucharistic presence’. None of that is an attack. Second, I’m not making an argument. If anything, I’m countering some of the ones on this thread. I think if your views actively discriminate against a group of people, the onus is on you to defend it. So far I don’t find the defense in the least bit convincing.

          • savvy

            Fair enough. I am sorry, I misjudged, you. There are just a lot of non-Christians here making political arguments, because they do not care about the theological ones.

          • jdens

            Explain to me how governance is bottom up.

          • savvy
          • jdens

            Thanks. It confirms that all doctrine is top-down, and states that management and finances are bottom up, but it doesn’t explain how. Can you offer any illumination about the role of laity in the governance of the Church?

          • savvy

            When I was part of running a youth ministry in my parish. It was mostly the lay people that interviewed candidates, kept financial records, did the running around, and everything needed to run a ministry. The priest simply provided input, when asked, and approval when in doubt.

          • jdens

            And when it came to decisions. Who to be hired, what to do with the money, whether a position should be created…? Did the priest have to answer to any of you in his running of the parish? I am trying to get a clearer picture, not trying to challenge your assertion, by the way. One of my first thoughts is, yeah, if I were a priest, I’d want to delegate all those responsibilities, too. Who wants to do the record-keeping, the interviewing, the running around, the admin, in addition to pastoral duties? But to me, that doesn’t mean power or governance is shared; it means responsibilities are shared. Because ultimately, isn’t he the one to give ‘approval’, as you mentioned?

          • savvy

            So what? It seems like power is all you care about.

          • jdens

            No, power is not all I care about, but it’s particularly relevant to this discussion. You claimed it’s governed from the bottom up, implying that the power is not all concentrated in priestly hands. But that does not appear to be the case. Authority is not shared; rather, responsibilities are delegated.

          • savvy

            The priest does not delegate the responsibilities. Not in the ministry, that I was part of. It was simple courtesy to consult the priest and vice verse. It’s called working together as a team.

            I do agree that pastoral roles should be secondary to sacramental roles. Taking the focus of sacramental roles, creates confusion about why a priest is needed for.

          • jdens

            Teamwork is great. But you know, I’ve experienced teamwork with my boss a few times, but no one is ever in any doubt who’s in charge. (Of course I can also appeal to an authority beyond my boss if there’s a problem.) I don’t question that women have value in the Roman Catholic Church. Have as much value as men, even. But that does not make them equal. Children are as valuable as their parents, but they are not equals because they do not share in their power or authority. There is a hierarchy. And to me, it looks much the same in the RC church when it comes to men and women.

          • savvy

            Christianity equality is not based on what we do, but on what God has done. We do not have to prove equality before God, It’s a Marxist theory, that human worth is based on what titles one holds.

            It’s a utalitarian view of humanity.

            It’s like saying that because the father is not the son or vice-versa or the spirit, they are not equal.

            The highest calling is to be a saint, which everybody is called too.

          • jdens

            Why would anyone want to attack the Eucharist?

          • savvy

            They can go to other churches that do not have a priesthood. Instead of getting a priest to not function as a priest. This is pretty obvious what they are attacking.

          • jdens

            No, it isn’t obvious, and your explanation doesn’t make it any clearer.

          • savvy

            Whatever some people want, it’s not a priest.

          • jdens

            You can keep saying that all you want, but you have yet to back it up.

          • savvy

            As a woman, I have given talks on this subject. The average Catholic does not know the difference between a priest and a Protestant minister. There’s a lot of confusion.

          • savvy

            Thanks. In Christianity we all share in the priestly attribute, even women, but only an ordained priest functions in the person of Christ.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rozdieterich Roz Mackraz Dieterich

          Wow. And the percentage of Jewish history that this encompasses is what? Not compelling if your purpose is to establish tradition or precedent.

          • Slow Learner

            Well…it’s certainly a precedent. If we wish to approach things that way, the percentage of its existence in which the Catholic Church has accepted democracy is hardly huge. Errors can and should be corrected, not accepted because they are traditional errors.

          • savvy

            You still do not get this. The issue is not tradition, but the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. A priest offers sacrifice, a Christian priest offers the sacrifice of Christ.

          • Slow Learner

            And women can’t do that because magic. Yes, it’s great how you can rationally support your bigotry.

          • savvy

            Because it’s the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If you think the cross is bigotry, because it’s excludes a woman, then you have issues.

          • Slow Learner

            So we’re crucifying priests now? I hadn’t realised…

          • savvy

            The priesthood is based on the person of Jesus Christ, the high priest, whose timeless sacrifice is re-ancted in the Mass. It’s fruits applied to every believer past, present, and future.

            The difference is that it’s an unbloody sacrifice.

          • Slow Learner

            And yet Catholic priests are not Jewish; they are not (mostly) from Palestine, they aren’t generally circumcised, and they don’t train for the Mass by traipsing around for three years preaching in villages.

            And yet you pick out one feature of Jesus, his penis, call it essential, and decide that anyone possessing one has the potential to stand in for him every week, while anyone without one does not.

            It does appear that you are going to be unable to justify this quixotic choice. If you feel like making a start, go ahead, otherwise I will take my leave.

          • savvy

            There is no generic human, without body and blood. The priesthood is not genetic, like in Judaism, but it’s linked to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

          • savvy

            Masculine and feminine have spiritual significance in this case. Christ’s death brings us new life, since a man does not bring forth new life. There would be no confusion with a male priest on who the new life comes from. With a woman, and given her natural powers to bring new life. There would be a confusion about whether it’s the woman or Christ who is the atoning sacrifice, who brings us new life.

          • Slow Learner

            So infertile women and trans-women should be cool then. If not, this looks like a post hoc rationalisation.

          • savvy

            You are being too literal. Women in general can naturally give birth, whether they have children or not is not the issue. Men simply cannot.

          • jdens

            Gotta laugh here. Slow Learner is being too literal? It kinda looks like you force literalism up until the point it serves the foregone conclusion, and then as soon as it suddenly starts working against that conclusion, it’s, Whoa, that’s too literal.

          • Claude

            Disqus is acting up again. I didn’t write the above response.

          • savvy

            Your fight is not with me or the even the church. It’s with the order of creation itself, because you refuse to accept natural distinctions in the created order. We cannot create a new sun in the sky.

          • jdens

            Thanks for the diagnosis. ;) I’m not fighting you or your church. You’re not an enemy. But I think there is no justification for the disempowerment of women in our Christian tradition, not when our understanding of it has deepened over time. That doesn’t mean I think our forebears were stupid or less than we are, as you seem to think. But they were in a different place in time and space. It is a lazy excuse to say that just because we think our forebears didn’t see an injustice, that we should close our eyes to it as well. It is as much a fallacy to assume that those who came before were right as it is to assume they were wrong.

          • savvy

            You are arguing from the wrong premise. This is not a political issue. Are you seriously saying, that because the moon or sun are not alike, it’s injustice. Creation has it’s own nature and characteristic.

            I also think it’s based on ignorance of Catholic/Orthodox worship and sacraments, which are already organic, rather than manufactured.

          • jdens

            For what I would love to be the last time, No one is arguing for sameness.

            And the moon and sun are a total misrepresentation of anything I’ve said. Not to mention irrelevant.

            And it is not just political to want to claim the fullness of one’s identity and vocation. If that requires wresting it away from the men who have defined and limited it for you, that is not a mere political fight but one of great significance to the spiritual life.

            Never mind, we can always blame the disagreement on my ignorance. I think you are ignoring, to your detriment, the fallible, human role in the development of Church history.

          • savvy

            I am referring to organic distinctions in creation, rather than culture or politics. Your fight as I said, is now with creation itself. The church cannot create a new sun in the sky.

          • jdens

            Not asking for a new sun in the sky, not asking for women to be the same as men. Call it distinction, call it organic, call it whatever you want, but it is humans that have made women subordinate to men and called it God’s will.

          • savvy

            I am fed up of this, so humans have made women subordinate by not letting men give birth?

            Please tell me how one can accept your ideas, and not the reject the cross itself. As, I said, you are stepping into a different religion.

          • jdens

            Ridiculous. Ejaculations and giving birth are biological functions, and no one has suggested anything remotely akin to wishing there was just one neuter gender instead of the 2+ that we have. Humans have made women subordinate by withholding authority and power from them and placing them under the authority and power of men.

            And again, you don’t even know what my ideas are, except that they aren’t in accordance with yours. As to the centrality of the cross, that is so unrelated to the gender of a priest, that the burden is on you to prove it would suffer. You have not done so. I’m not worshipping a pagan goddess as a result of taking communion at the hands of a female priest. You can keep saying the opposite, but it turns into a “Yes you do” “No I don’t” kind of argument, which is hardly fulfilling for either one of us.

            You have ignored the complexity of our sexuality and gender norms and reduced us and God to a simple binary. I do not doubt that the image of bride and bridegroom is a beautiful metaphor for Christ and the church, but it’s not the only metaphor we’re given for God and God’s desire for us. I think you carry it too far and too literally to the exclusion of others.

            We’ve had a mostly pretty respectful and polite dialogue I think, and I thank you for that.

          • savvy

            The question, I have for you is how does your church view the priesthood and the Eucharist. For example, what are priests ordained for?

          • savvy

            “I’m not worshipping a pagan goddess as a result of taking communion at the hands of a female priest.”

            The early Christians saw the altar as the place of sacrifice. Reception of the immortal body and blood of Christ, made us new creatures and brought us new life.

            What you call diversity on communion, is basically confusion that crept in after Edward V1 protestantized the C of E. Why do you think the 39 articles, reject this concept?

          • jdens

            None of what you just said addresses your accusation that I must be following a different religion and worshipping a different God by condoning female priests.

            What you call confusion is what I call a comfort with mystery. We’re not working ourselves up about what people believe is happening when they partake of the Eucharist. And did you know that the Anglican tradition and the Roman Catholic tradition are in “substantial agreement” when it comes to the doctrine of the Eucharist? See the Windsor Statement on Eucharistic Doctrine, developed by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.

          • savvy

            Sister Sarah butler, came to the conclusion that we do not share the same views on the sacrament of Holy Orders.

            Just as nothing else can be substituted for bread and wine in the Eucharist, so the Church has no authority to change what our Lord designated as the “outward sign” of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, a sacrament instituted by the call of the twelve.

          • jdens

            The outward sign is the bread and wine, no?

            I guess the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission didn’t have the benefit of Sister Sarah’s input.

          • savvy

            Yes, but the priest consecrates it acting in the person of Christ, so the priest is also a sign.

            Sister Sarah Butler was the leading proponent of women’s ordination on the Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission. She changed her mind.

          • Dan

            they can’t be in agreement on the concept of the Eucharist, one attempts to ordain Women to do it.

          • Dan

            You think there is somthing more special than Marriage and Birth!!! pray do tell??

            If you are indeed a man of Good God, then wouldn’t the biological act be as religiously important as any other aspect. Your being to flippent about sexuality, you are one would recognises complexity as “its too hard to understand” and so ignore it. If Sexuality and Sex is so complecated, why does God make it very simple? one man, one woman, each has a specific role that the other cannot do, perfectly matching each other.

          • Dan

            sorry my man to butt in. That is wrong, It women were made subordinate to men by men. It was God’s will that changed that. Only a short flick though your history books, both the holy and un-holy, will confirm that. No true catholic ever considered his mother benieth him, and i feel rather repulsed by such a thought.

            BUT WAIT I FORGOT you still think that a priest has power. Or its like a job. God is the employer, and he calls his priests. If he called a woman there would be no stopping his will. But he hasen’t. He has called many many…countless…MILLIONS of women to perform special roles in the church. Such as the apparitions of Fatima and Loudes coming from the mouths of girls. The first person to see Chirst risen was a woman, And in the male dominated world of ancient history, whoever cared what a woman thought, St. Peter didn’t, at least not untill he saw Christ himself.

          • pagansister

            Well said!

          • jdens

            Thanks, Claude. I appreciate your comments as well. Very informative.

          • jdens

            Whoops! I swear it said Claude when I first replied to this, but I appreciate your comments, too, pagansister.

          • savvy

            There’s a difference between tradition and Holy tradition, which is about a person, and is also based on organic distinctions in the created world, rather than just culture or politics. North-south, east-west, hot-cold, male-female are natural distinctions, rather than just culture or politics.

          • Dan

            the power to do what, priest/bishops/Pope’s Have no power. They are the servants of the Mary and the holy spirit, (the body and blood), Jesus christ. if a priest is suppose to represent christ, then the priest must represent one of the most important parts jesus’ human it, i.e. he was a man. Only a son came from the Mary and the Holy spirit, and thats really it. The priest thus reminds us not of the power of men, but of the power of the Mother and the Father.

            I see that you are not trying to think seriously about what you are saying. I say this because you neglect any sort of attempt to take yourself out of the context of History (A difficult thing to pin as truth (take that from a man who is a historian)) and Politics (which needs no explaintion on its merit of truth) and into the context of Philosophy and religion. This is fair because your questioning why this particular religion believes what it does and appeling to history is not a good idea as the recording of history is VERY DIFFICULT AND MUCH MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO INTERPERT WITHOUT RUNNING INTO A DEBATE. Thus your better off leaving history and trying to find fault in the belief….WAIT what you belief is not the truth, nor is the opininon of the government, or me. the Belief of another person is defined by specfic parameters, that being the answer to why they believe what they believe. an example, i believe my hair doesn’t need cutting because i can still see without my hair blocking my vision. But if you saw me you might disagree on the basis that my hair was aweful. In this instance we both have vaild points. On this argument however, nor you or the side of the argument you represent have given a vaild point to counter the core argument. If you don’t know what the core-argument is that might be a starting point for you and your peers.

            Hope to see you at mass soon,

            Bessed love from Dan

          • savvy

            No. Nueroscience disagrees that sex distinctions are just subjective. it belongs to a certain school of gender theory. The sacraments work objectively. They need valid, form and matter.

          • Dan

            Do you accept that a woman is different to a man? If sex is unimportant then why wasn’t Jesus a hermaphrodite?
            then this would be a non-issue. The priest is a representation of Man, and the masculinity of God. The Church is a representation of Woman, and the femininity of God. Who created christ? His father and his mother. When jesus dies what does he say to his mother and john,”this is you mother-this is your son”. The woman is where all male aspect come from, and guess where female aspects come from…man. Were are perfectly different, which is why when we come into union with one another…It is truly that which defines beauty. That’s why there are Brothers and Sisters, that’s why there are Fathers, and that’s why we call the church “our mother”. If you want there to only be Masculine Men and Masculine Women then you’re living in the world of silly. Both Man and Woman have varying degrees of Masculine and Feminine qualities which are so wonderfully and beautifully expressed through the Catholic Church. How so? Well the church, the body, is feminine, (what which is beauty, life giving, caring) and the Leadership, head, is masculine (that which inherently wishes to sacrifice itself to maintain the body(the amount of times i’ve lost my head because of my love of Femeninity)).

            I will pray that you understand this great beauty. I know that it will save your life and make you immensely happy.

            Love from Dan.

          • Dan

            I think that is what we do, yes

          • jdens

            I still don’t think you have adequately explained why the atoning sacrifice of Christ has so much to do with Jesus’ sex. I’m starting to wonder if Jesus needed to be a hermaphrodite in order to make both male and female priesthood acceptable.

          • savvy

            The incarnation was male, you and I cannot change this. The two natures of Christ are not separate. Christ is fully God and fully man.

            This is what the Arian controversy was about. The priest who stands in for the God-man Jesus Christ must be male.

            Different iconography would lead to a different religion and to a different God.

            Priestess is sign language for godess.

          • jdens

            Arianism is not my strong point, but I thought it had to do with Jesus’ status in a perceived hierarchy among the Trinity. I’d be grateful if you’d point me in the direction of more information about it that pertains to the sexuality of the priesthood.

            Yes, Jesus was male, but I still fail to see why that is so important to his sacrificial role. Surely, it was Christ’s humanity, his of-the-earthness, not his sex, that is important in the incarnation. You say fully God and fully man and seem to be using ‘man’ in a gendered way rather than than the neutral term referring to humankind. ‘Fully god and fully human’ is how I understand it.

          • savvy

            There is no generic human, without flesh and blood. The priest also represents the father, to whom his spiritual children are offered up to. God=Father, Church=Mother, humanity=Spiritual children.

          • jdens

            Of there’s no such thing as non-gendered humanity. But that’s not the point. No one is trying to say Jesus wasn’t male, but that his male-ness is not what’s important in his incarnation; it’s his humanity. He was also of a particular ethnicity, had a particular DNA, a specific blood type, etc, and those are all bound up with humanity as well, but no one is suggesting they’re significant enough to bar anyone from the priesthood.

          • savvy

            Where do you get that his maleness is not important to the incarnation?

            In the theist worldview, God creates the world from without, as father, rather than from within like a mother.

            This explains why the incarnation was male.

            Cardinal Ratzinger made a similar point in The Ratzinger Report: “Christianity is not a philosophical speculation; it is not a construction of our mind. Christianity is not ‘our’ work; it is a Revelation; it is a message that has been consigned to us, and we have no right to reconstruct it as we like or choose. Consequently, we are not authorized to change the Our Father into an Our Mother: the symbolism employed by Jesus is irreversible; it is based on the same Man-God relationship he came to reveal to us.”

          • jdens

            Fathers cannot create from without. They contribute to creation, but it requires the female counterpart,s contribution for creation to take place. I find this line of thinking bizarre, but if you’re going to use human procreation as a model for God’s creative powers, then the female role is important to consider. And I must disagree with Ratzinger. Revelations are reconstructed and reinterpreted all the time. That doesn’t make them weak or unimportant. It makes them living. For what it’s worth, I don’t want to change the Our Father to Our Mother.

          • savvy

            Christianity is still the cross, This cannot be done away with. You can start your own religion.

          • jdens

            What are you talking about? Haven’t said a word against the cross. Stick to a point and elucidate for heaven’s sake.

          • savvy

            Whose denying the female role? If you hold a Protestant concept of church, then this will not make sense to you.

          • jdens

            I’m getting tired of the assumption, not just from you, that I won’t understand a concept because I’m not RC. Is it that opaque, really? So explain it to me then. God creates the earth from nothing. You compare that to human procreation and claim God is exclusively masculine because God creates from without, presumably like man contributes sperm in the act of conception. But you know that a woman is not a mere passive receptacle, that she has to contribute that crucial x in order for any creation to take place, and that it’s therefore a joint creation. So explain to me where the ‘x’ comes from in the creation of the world. Who was God’s co-creator if God was exclusively masculine?

          • jdens

            And how is it that when talking about God’s transcendence as proof of God’s defining masculinity, I haven’t heard anything about God’s immanence as proof of God’s femininity?

          • savvy

            The church and Christ together make up the whole Christ.

            766 The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross. “The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus.” “For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the ‘wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.’” As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.

            Jesus is the new Adam, the Marian church is the new Eve.

          • jdens

            I don’t see how this answers the question put to you. Setting: creation of the universe. You’ve said God contributed to its creation as a male. Who played the female?

          • savvy

            Creation itself is female. St, Anastasius said, “The son of God became, man, so the sons of men, might become God’s”.

            God bows down to his creation, to raise it up and transform it.

            Christianity is a paradox.

          • jdens

            ‘Creation itself is female.’
            That does not work with the analogy of human procreation that you’re using. That’s like saying a man penetrates the thin air, and a baby girl appears. Human procreation is both a male and female act. You can’t say the product of the act is the only female participant. Your other statements seem like random pronouncements not directly related to the argument at hand.

          • savvy

            Okay, I should have explained it more clearly. Creation is born from the outside, as through a father, not from within the womb of a mother. The latter is a pantheist worldview.

            In the theist worldview, there is a distinction between creator and created.

          • jdens

            Thank you for trying to explain. I’m sure it must be trying your patience, and excuse me if I’m being a bit thick. I feel like we’re going around in circles a bit here. There is no creation from either a father or a mother. There is creation from both a father and mother. How does your analogy take this into account?

          • savvy

            Christ and the church are equal, but distinct. So the male christ and the feminine church come together to form one whole Christ.

            There is a reason why nuns are called brides of Christ, they represent the whole church as bride.

          • jdens

            I’m not asking about Christ or the church right now. I’m asking about God the creator whom you’ve described as masculine based on the act of creation.

          • savvy

            The son reveals to us the father. I am looking at this from a trinitarian perspective.

          • jdens

            Again, this feels like evasion of the question. I’m aware the Son reveals the Father. How, in your trinitarian perspective, does that explain how God the overwhelmingly masculine Father create the world without feminine contribution. You can’t say the world itself; that’s the creation, not the creator; the baby, not the parent. You can say the Church, but then you’re saying the Church created the world with the Father and the Son at the dawn of time. Is that what Roman Catholicism teaches? I’m genuinely curious, and stranger things have entered canon.

          • savvy

            The question is what do you mean by church?

            The son was present at creation, but only made manifest in the flesh at a certain point in history. So if the church is the body of Christ, then the same would apply, to the pilgrim church both visible and invisible.

            775 “The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament – a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men.” The Church’s first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God. Because men’s communion with one another is rooted in that union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. In her, this unity is already begun, since she gathers men “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues”; at the same time, the Church is the “sign and instrument” of the full realization of the unity yet to come.

          • jdens

            So the body of Christ is the Church, which is feminine. But a woman can’t represent Christ because he’s male. But Christ, in unity with the Church, is the female contributor to the creation of the world. But representing Christ in a feminine form is wrong because it’s only Christ’s body that’s feminine (although it’s male), which is distinct from Christ the head, which is definitely masculine. And although bodies are really super important, and so is the difference between masculine and feminine, women are not fit to point to Christ’s body and blood because they’re…wait, I must have gone wrong somewhere.

          • savvy

            Because they are complimentary. And are both essential, but play different roles, in salvation history.

            Changing this would be re-writing salvation history itself.

            This Orthodox site explains gender as prophecy and revelation.

            http://www.pravmir.com/article_511.html

          • pagansister

            Wonder what it is like to be married to an institution? The wedding night must be ——very different, to say the least!

          • savvy

            haha. This does not work if you do not have communion with Christ in the Eucharist. There is a reason why the Eucharist is also a nuptial feast.

          • pagansister

            Nuptial feast? Not to be too disrespectful here, but as I have said before—the food wouldn’t be appealing to me.

          • savvy

            It still tastes like bread and wine. It’s the effect on the soul, that is different.

          • pagansister

            I would like the bread and wine—-as to the effect on my soul? Afraid that would be very different—

          • savvy

            Yes, this is why I am calling this a theological issue. There is no point in bringing out the whole bag of rights, equality, etc, It does not apply.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Corcoran/819167453 Mary Corcoran

            Please don’t be rude, Pagansister. It’s a spiritual union, of course.

          • jdens

            It’s hardly fair to call it rude, when the insistence on literalism and the importance of our physical sexual bodies has been so emphasized.

          • pagansister

            No rudeness at all. Simply a question.

          • jdens

            But the whole Christ is…male?

          • savvy

            No. It’s Christ and the church together that form the whole christ. The masculine and feminine, have different roles to play in salvation history.

          • jdens

            Yes, so the whole Christ is both masculine and feminine?

          • savvy

            Not as a singular entity by themselves, Only in the sense that it reflects and helps understand the relationship between Christ and the church. As I said, we are made in the image of God, God is not made in our image. We can choose to reject the order of creation, which is in fact binary. But, we cannot create a new one.

            This displays a deep fear of reality itself.

          • Karen

            See, you assign the feminine an inferior role but refuse to name it for what it is.

          • savvy

            Nope. If God is a communion of persons, then masculine and feminine, reflects a call to unity, where one is not complete without the other, it takes two halves to make a whole, where the two halves are not the same.

          • savvy

            I would also like to refer you to Professor Alice Lindsay. She was ordained in the Episcopal church and is now eastern Orthodox. She is also an anthropologist, who has spent a lot of time studying this issue. You can read her articles here.

            http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.ca/2012/12/luther-was-wrong-about-priesthood.html

          • savvy

            I will also add that those who reject church as mother, and bride, will also reject God as father and husband.

          • jdens

            Are you saying that God has no female aspect?

          • savvy

            The female aspect is the church. The church and Christ together form the whole Christ.

          • jdens

            Do you believe that the Church was present at the creation of the universe?

          • savvy

            I do not know. What I do know is that 766 The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross. “The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus.”

          • jdens

            Well, the way you’ve constructed your argument, the Church would have to have been present and co-creator with God at the beginning of time in order to satisfy the creation of the world as analogous to human procreation while God is exclusively masculine and the Church (mostly, except for Christ) feminine.

          • savvy

            What makes you think the church was not present? If the son was present?

            You seem to think of church as just a human construct, rather than the mystical bride of Christ, that transcends time and space. This theology is Protestant.

          • jdens

            There you go assuming again! [forced grin] I’m just re-stating your argument for you since you replied, ‘I don’t know’. Are you prepared to say that the mystical bride of Christ created the world with God? If so, fine, but I think maybe the first two chapters of Genesis need to be tweaked a bit.

          • savvy

            Yes, I do not know, and neither do you. I just know that we are made in the image of God. God is not made in our image.

          • pagansister

            If we are truly made in the image of God—how does on explain all the male and female, unless God is both a male and a female—

          • savvy

            It’s like God is a communion of persons. Trinity. Our creation as male and female, and call to communion, tells us something about how God is a communion of persons. Perhaps this analysis might help you.

            http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tb9.htm

          • jdens

            Of course I don’t know. But I’m not the one trying to define God in terms of human procreation. I’m just spelling out the conclusions of your arguments so I know if we’re all on the same page.

          • savvy

            Okay, I should have explained how creation is seen through the lens of the theology of the body. God is trinity, a communion of persons. Our creation as male and female reflects this call to communion, in ways that others cannot. This explanation might help.

            http://www.ewtn.com/library/pa

          • jdens

            Tried to follow this link, but the page was not available. Can you sum it up?

          • savvy

            God is a communion of persons – Trinity. This is the exchange of love within the godhead. God created us male and female, so we can come to union and reflect this communion of persons, or exchange of love with the godhead. The love sometimes gives rise to a third person. So only in communion and not in isolation that do we reflect this communion.

          • jdens

            “God is a communion of persons-Trinity.” And yet none of those persons is feminine, but we’re created male and female to represent that communion.

          • savvy

            This is a good question. The son is masculine but still brings us new life. This shows that it’s in the son, and in his ‘sacrifice’ that men and women are united and communion is restored.

            The purpose is not just to be in union with each other, but also to share in spiritual union with God, which is the ultimate goal of human existence.

            Without the distinctions, we miss the centre piece, which is Jesus Christ.

            I do not have the answers to why the son was not a daughter, since they are natural life givers. Maybe God wants men to do something, that already comes naturally to women.

          • jdens

            I don’t think having female priests removes distinction between males and females, nor do I think it obscures the cross. But I appreciate your thoughtful and respectful response, and I appreciate your patience in coming back again and again to dialogue.

          • savvy

            “I don’t think having female priests removes distinction between males and females, nor do I think it obscures the cross.”

            Sadly, it already has, with theologians calling for an end to theist Christianity. This is going to be another one of I told you so.

          • savvy

            Father, son and holy spirit, becomes creator, redeemer and sanctifier. Theologians calling for an end to theist Christianity, nuns wanting to move beyond Jesus. Growing hostility to the cross.

            Yes, I will take your leave, and do thank you for this discussion.

          • Claude

            Which nuns want to move “beyond Jesus”?

          • savvy
          • Claude

            So. This one former LCWR president is cited (unattributed) proposing a somewhat gnostic interpretation of Jesus becomes “nuns wanting to move beyond Jesus.” Careful now.

            Sister Simone Campbell and NETWORK prioritize Jesus’s teaching on caring for the poor and marginalized over the Vatican’s crusade against abortion, contraception, and homosexuality. It’s useful in this debate to compare Jesus’s teachings in the gospel on the former (many) with the latter (precisely none). It’s certainly not women religious who scandalize the church but the very hierarchy whose pronouncements are viewed by all but the doctrinaire as rank hypocrisy. There are no more wretched sinners on earth than those who violate young people and protect those who do!

          • savvy

            the LCWR’s has also been involved in abuse. Their treatment of their victims, makes the Bishops look like saints in comparison. They just have not received as much media attention.

            Yes, tell me again, women are so much better than the evil patriarchy.

            And all nuns care for the poor and marginalized, but not all espouse these views.

            http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/06/lcwrs-long-standing-coverup-of-sexual-abuse-of-children-by-nuns/

          • savvy

            “It’s certainly not women religious who scandalize the church but the very hierarchy whose pronouncements are viewed by all but the doctrinaire as rank hypocrisy.”

            I have responded to this dodge. There are countless women saints who have defended the cross. But, you spit on them as just doctrinaire. Great.

          • Claude

            Oh, women saints are members of the curia? That is news to me. Read again.

            The evidence against child abuse by nuns just isn’t out there on anything like the scale of the priest scandals. Needless to say, the same standard would apply, but don’t let that get in the way of a cheap shot.

            As for accusing me of “spitting” on the saints, it is sheer demagoguery. Shame on you.

          • savvy

            “Oh, women saints are members of the curia?”

            They are higher than them, as are all saints.

            It was not a cheap shot, but simply an analysis, that we cannot accept their views and not end up rejecting the cross of Christ itself. That is the point here.

            It’s Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. i.e. as we worship so shall we live. Faith and deeds are not separate, but related.

            And as I have previously pointed out, I spare nobody. I will stand up to every priest, prophet and king on this issue.

          • savvy

            “The evidence against child abuse by nuns just isn’t out there on anything like the scale of the priest scandals.”

            Perhaps, because a lot of it has been covered-up and not published as much. They have not been publicly shamed, or called out on this either as much.

          • savvy

            “This one former LCWR president is cited (unattributed) proposing a somewhat gnostic interpretation of Jesus becomes “nuns wanting to move beyond Jesus.” Careful now.”

            Do you want attributions and links?

          • savvy

            Jesus Christ was born a male from the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this sense the Man Jesus and the Woman, his mother, cooperate in bringing salvation to humanity.

            Jesus was born from the woman. And the woman church was born from Jesus at the cross.

            But, they are not the same, or play the same roles.

          • pagansister

            IMO, the Church Is a human construct. Guess that is my former Protestant theology coming thru. If there weren’t humans long ago who needed something to explain things they didn’t understand (rain, snow, death, etc.) there would be no one worshiping anyone or thing.

          • savvy

            We are in partial agreement here. The reason why humans discovered rain, snow, death and other natural phenomena, is because they already existed. I am simply trying to say that there are things in nature that we cannot manufacture or change, because they make us uncomfortable.

            This a case of forcing nature to conform to us, rather than the other way around.

          • pagansister

            Yes, Mother Nature was here before humans, as were her moves—snow, rain, sun, heat, cold, moon, earth quakes, large ferocious animals were, so various gods/goddesses were created by humans to attempt to ask for help or thank for various events. Out of some of those mythical inventions over time the RCC was one of many “faiths” to be created. Apparently that helped comfort the unexplainable. As to forcing Mother Nature to conform to us? That won’t happen—we can just hope to predict her moves as accurately as possible.

          • Dan

            You really are terribly mistaken, you need to ask more questions. That is not why the church exists in any way. and acutally that is not how any religion works, you one of those really annoying people who think people from the past are stupid. Well everything to know comes from the past and you are insulting to their accomplishments. I take huge offence to this and demard an apology. I will not let you slander every human being who ever lived before the day you were born. I’m not having it. You ought to feel ashamed of yourself. I will pray for your darken soul that God might brighten it.

          • Dan

            that if why you do not understand. God or the gods were praised for bringing the rain, snow and death. God himself does not explain these things, we can only even guess on the nature of God at best. If you are not asking the right questions you will not find God, you’ll stay in your ignorance. and its not as if the questions are hard to think of.

          • Dan

            Is a child not a mixture of his mother and father. God is all masculine, and Mary is all femenine, thus you have the perfect Godman child in Jesus Christ. Of course anything that includes God does not need a logical timeframe as God is above time. Yet even then he still gave the Isrealites a priesthood consisting only of men, which was radically different in comparisan to the surrounding pagan cultures which did have female priests.

          • pagansister

            How could the Church be present at the creation of the universe, when Jesus wasn’t born for how many billions of years later?

          • jdens

            I believe it’s a ‘beyond time’ thing. Which in itself I have no problem with. But there sure are a lot of back flips being done to make sure that the feminine is kept in its place. And the rich tradition of reinterpreting and reappropriating revelation that exists in both Judaism and Christianity looks like its being forsaken for one single-minded interpretation (that’s not even the oldest) based on one metaphor that’s being pushed to its limits.

          • pagansister

            I agree that there are lots of things being done to make sure that “the feminine is kept in its place”. Sad state of affairs.

          • Dan

            you nearly got there and then you shifted back into the hole. Is God sigle-minded… if you mean he is consistant then yes. If the church is the Body of God on earth…i guess it would need to be consistant as well. if you think there is such a tradition of “changing tradition” you don’t understand catholicism and you don’t under stand tradition

          • pagansister

            Seriously, Priestess is sign language for goddess? That would be “NO.”

          • savvy

            This is something a pagan friend told me, since it implies a female deity.

          • pagansister

            Quoting from “We The Women” site: “A priestess is a woman who officiates in sacred Rites.” She serves the spiritual needs of the community. There was nothing in that article implying that priestess is sign language for goddess. I’ve not heard that statement before–but your Pagan friend apparently thinks that.

          • savvy

            Thanks for this update. I think what my friend meant is that if the sacrificial priesthood points to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, then the priestess would point to the female deity of the same.

          • pagansister

            OK. She apparently wasn’t relating to the “job” if you will, of a Priestess leading a coven etc.

      • MarcusD
        • http://www.facebook.com/pedro.g.menezes Pedro Gontijo Menezes

          Wow, livin’ and learnin’ =)

      • MarcusD
    • SL

      I agree. I am so surprised at how few dissenting opinions are being offered here in the comments… I am a convert and I do not see the arguments for an all-male priesthood as making sense. We are all called to act “in the person of Christ” during our lives…whether it be feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick etc. All Christians are called to be “Christ like” and that has ZERO to do with physical anatomy. It has to do with our heart condition. There is a very simple reason why Christ only ordained men… and it is because of cultural norms. Christ worked within and respected cultural norms of His time. Cultural norms have shifted and the understanding of women has also shifted.

      • Dennis

        When God freed the Israelites from Egypt, He formed a ministerial priesthood from only men, despite saying the entire people would be a ‘nation of priests’ and the fact the surrounding religions had priestesses. So God specifically went against the cultural norms of those times.

        In addition, we see Christ showed the Pharisees and others how they had a wrong outlook on some teachings. If women were to have the ability to be ordained, Christ could easily have indicated it with choosing some of them to be His Apostles and showing how that was a fulfillment of the law, but He did not do that. The ‘cultural norm’ argument is very weak.

        • jdens

          One could argue that a good reason for that would be to clearly separate them from cultures practising idolatry, temple prostitution, child sacrifice, etc. We hardly need worry about those associations today.

      • Andrew O’Brien

        FALSE!!!! 1) Women priests weren’t uncommon in Jesus’ day. Pagan religions have tended to have women priests. 2) Jesus did not let “Cultural Norms” control what he did in his ministry. He kissed lepers and dined with sinners.

        Furthermore, operating in persona christi has to do with sacraments, not acting Christ like.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rozdieterich Roz Mackraz Dieterich

          Andrew said: “Women priests weren’t uncommon in Jesus’ day. Pagan religions have tended to have women priests.” This weakens rather than strengthens your argument. The entire Old Testament is the story of God choosing a people to form for his own; he specifically forbade them to follow the practices of the pagans. God established an all-male priesthood for the Hebrews. There is no contrary evidence in Scripture or in Sacred Tradition.

          Jesus followed the Father’s will. He didn’t counter prevailing norms because he decided to be a revolutionary. He did it because he manifested the love of the Father everywhere. Jesus imitated the Father, and the priesthood derives directly from him..

      • http://www.facebook.com/pedro.g.menezes Pedro Gontijo Menezes

        Imitating Christ in everyday’s life and the acting “in persona Christi” while presiding sacraments are completely different things. You are confusing the priesthood grace we recieve on baptism with the sacred orders, pointed out by Marc with biblical references. That’s a misinterpretation similar to that of Luther’s universal priesthood.

    • savvy

      Married priests are a discipline not a doctrine. The proponents of women’s ordination are confusing an ordained priest in Catholic/Orthodox churches with that of a Protestant minister. In other words what they want is not a priest, or are highly confused.

  • Two Catholic Men & a Blog

    “The further we stray from the idea that man and woman have
    meaning….” This is the key for understanding a lot of the confusion in society; the
    reality that the difference between male & female is not only physical, but
    also spiritual.

    • Karen

      Please define the spiritual differences between men and women, and provide evidence in support of your position.

  • Vision_From_Afar

    So all it takes to get female priests is for the Church to recognize gay marriage? Interesting…

    • Andrew O’Brien

      This discussion is being had below between myself and “Slow Learner.”

  • luis rodrigues coelho

    Do you know the meaning of “in perosnna christi”? if you are a catholic, how ignorant are you to promote women pristhood…male pristhood comes from the time of aaron and his family, which God Hilself entrusted pristly duties, and to them only…more, Jesus was male and it is His Father..is it so hard to understand this…adam was created first and men were asked to be the head of families…not to be superior, but men and women have different roles…stop this discrimination political non-sense, cos this only shows ignorance and lack of discernment and wisdom…….read scrupture properly insted of picking and chosing what is more convenient for someone or for a specif time…the church will never accomodate herself to ny time…dogmas re dogmas and they will never be changed, ok?

  • stlrfan

    They repeat in the song ‘God has called me! So ordain a lady.’ Me doesn’t think that’s God that’s calling them, perhaps the evil one?

    • Andrew O’Brien

      stlrfan – I agree. I was in seminary a few years ago and there were many men who thought they had a call to the priesthood, even though it was obvious to the rest of us that they did not. On the occasions that these men were dismissed there was often a lot of anger and confusion, and its all very similar to the reaction I see from the women who think they have a call.

  • http://twitter.com/warand Wendell

    What concerns me most is that misguided adults are recruiting the younger set. No quarter should be permitted to women, or men for that matter, who promote dissent and exploit the vulnerability of youth to further a cause which is opposed to the unity and tradition of the Church.

    • Andrew O’Brien

      I wouldn’t be too concerned as far as the movement goes. The young people “recruited” into this movement don’t identify enough as Catholics to really stick it out. They will just up and leave the Church before they invest too much time and energy into this cause.

      That is terribly sad, mind you. Its not that Catholic Schools have become hotbeds of heresy (many of them haven’t). Its that older generations have passed a lot of their “baggage” onto younger generations. A member of my parish youth group wants me to do a series on “How to be a Happy Catholic.” I found this request so humble and innocent – these young people are just inundated with examples of unhappy, angry Catholics. It shouldn’t be a surprise that so many young people leave. It isn’t always because they are seduced into heresy – I think its often just a human impulse to avoid misery and anger.

      So what do you say we oppose these poor misguided women with joy and charity!?!?

  • Mike

    Q:What’s the difference between women and their orgasms?
    A:Women Exist

    • Andrew O’Brien

      What does this have to do with anything?

  • Michael

    very well written article. just two small corrections. Ordinatio Sacerdotes, I believe, was not an encyclical, but rather an apostolic letter. and when you say “with all the authority of the Church” you make it sound like he made an “ex cathedra” statement, which he did not. Those who argue that this teaching is infallible (such as the former prefect of the CDF, Joseph Ratzinger) do so on the bases that JPII was identifying something that was taught by the Universal Ordinary Magisterium. These people believe that he claimed that it had been taught throughout the world by the entire Ordinary Magisterium, and thus was infallible in that respect. No one believes that JPII made an ex cathedra statement in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Plenty still believe an all male priesthood is an infallible teaching of the Church.

  • Lisa Pearce

    http://bible.cc/galatians/3-28.htm

    I think the writer should read this… Although I am in agreement to what you say, I do think we need to consider our equality and one with God’s suggestion.

    • AttentionDeficitCatholic

      I can take Bible verses out of context too!

      “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18)

      Context is incredibly important when reading scripture. Looking at the verses that come before and after the one you quoted, let us see what the passage says:

      “Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed, so that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be judged by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring according to promise.” (Galatians 3:23-29)

      In his letter to the Galatians, Paul was rebuking the Jewish Christians for treating the Gentile Christians as “second rate” because even though they followed the teachings of Christ, they did not follow the Law of Moses. Paul was reminding them that, through the gift of faith and Christ Crucified, all people were adopted as children of God. Galatians 3:26, the verse you quoted, is emphasizing the fact that all people have equal dignity before the Lord, not making a statement that gender is meaningless.

  • Silvia Aldredge

    I’m dismayed by the way that the WomenPriest movement has ignored, denigrated and otherwise minimized the genuinely awe-inspiring role for women religious that the Church (in her infinite wisdom) has already established. We have among the largest educational, health & hospital and charitable systems functioning on the planet today, largely due to the work of women religious. How does anyone figure they are somehow less important because they don’t consecrate the host? Ordination is such a small thing, why waste any energy (or video footage) on it when the real foundations of Catholic religious life need our assistance desperately?

    • Karen

      If being a priest is so insignificant, why does it matter if women do it? Either it is a big deal and is therefore unfair to exclude half the population or its nothing so why spend all this effort keeping women out.

      • savvy

        A priest exists to offer the sacraments, not to further their own career goals.

  • Pater Kristopher

    One last thing worth mentioning is that Jesus didn’t ordained Mary, his mother, the only human person who went their whole life without sin. If he didn’t ordain his mother, whom we pay the highest honor of all the saints, than I think it goes without saying that Jesus did not desire to ordain other women.

    • jdens

      I don’t think that follows at all. If a male is holy enough, does it necessarily follow that he is called to the priesthood? Are priests inherently more righteous or holy than their lay brothers?

  • Rosa Lopes

    Crazy women.The priesthood belongs to man it always has and it always will be .

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jambe-dArgent/100003865893919 Jambe d’Argent

    Tellingly, the ratings and comments for this video have been disabled on YouTube… Another piece of shallow propaganda by people who do not understand the first thing about the Catholic Church. Even though arguing with them is a sheer waste of time, here’s a well-reasoned article on the subject: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/the-catholic-lefts-latest-call-for-the-ordination-of-women

  • Karen

    Men = Jesus = God.

    Women = church = human

    God > human

    Ergo, men > women.

    Please, just admit this.

    • Dan Li

      … Men and women are equal in dignity. It simply happens to be that men were given the particular responsibility of the priesthood, while women can bring life into the world. They have equal dignity, but that does not mean they are essentially equivalent.

      • Karen

        Pregnancy and lactation are biological functions, essential identical processes in humans and rats. Rats are, actually, better at it that we are. The priesthood is a profession requiring years of learning and skill. The exercise of a man’s mind is in no way the equivalent of biology.

        • savvy

          Karen,

          Anybody can learn. The essence of the priesthood is not learning, but offering sacrifice.

          • Karen

            It requires using the mind and learning first. Pregnancy and lactation don’t even require that the woman be conscious.

          • savvy

            I think you are confused. You might want to start with learning some theology first.

          • savvy

            Women bring life, a priest atones for sin and life-taken. It would create confusion about life and death.

          • Karen

            I thought priests sanctified the elements of Communion. How is that even remotely “atoning for life taken?” Please explain in detail how having women do this would cause confusion.

          • savvy

            It’s because the Eucharist, itself is a sacrifice or re-enactment of Calvary. So, the priest like Christ offers atonement for all sin, which would include life taken.

            The cross is the centre, that unites both men and women. Take the focus of the centre, and we miss Jesus.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Corcoran/819167453 Mary Corcoran

            True, but actually raising a child, that is, a human being with a mind and an immortal soul, takes a lot of intelligence and skill, wouldn’t you say?

          • jdens

            I would say so, but then that job belongs to both parents, doesn’t it?

  • Michael

    I go to school at the Angelicum in Rome. One of our Teachers was a theologian for Pope John Paul II, and asked JPII in private if he was speaking infallibly in his encyclical. According to Father G, JPII said yes.

  • demsie

    Great read, for starters. But I do have an honest question, as someone in the process of converting from the Episcopal Church. If it’s true that only men can be priests, because priests act in the role of the bridegroom, how can men in the laity be expected to act in the role of bride, the Church? Using your logic, wouldn’t this only be something women could do? Help me out here…

    • anton

      Priest=Father, Church=Mother, laity=Children!

      • jdens

        So men can be both father and mother, while women can only be mother and children?

        • anton

          Church as Mother is the Institution, that nourishes and feeds our internal spiritual lives, it is not to be confused with Church as it’s members. I am a Catholic, but I am not the Church. I do not make the Church, the Church makes me. That goes for all Church members, men, women……they don’t make the Church, the Church makes them, therefore the Church as Mother.

          • jdens

            Uh-huh, but the Church as Institution is run by men. So women getting to symbolise the Church is a mere abstraction, unlike men who get to symbolise Christ and have all power and authority.

          • anton

            Uh-huh….run by men……, that’s funny. I always thought Christ ran the Church. He is the Foundation after all. My faith is in Christ who established the Church with St. Peter as his Voice followed by Apostolic Succession to continue to hold on to revealed Truth. I am pretty confident Christ knew what He was doing in Its Establishment!! That’s where my faith lies, not in some modern secularist, male or female, who tries to apply current status quo feminist/secular trends to Christ’s Institution. Even the Church, in your words, “run by men” doesn’t have that authority!

          • jdens

            So if the Vatican changed their minds, would you be happy to accept a female priesthood?

          • pagansister

            Good question. Reading his post, I feel anton is totally happy with the status quo.

          • anton

            Did you not read the last line in my previous post? the “Vatican”, by which you must mean the Magesterium, does not have the authority to accept a female priesthood, period. End of discussion. Christ will protect His Church from such error. He promised. If by chance some small c catholic, male or female, decides to break off and decide in the name of the “Vatican”…lol….to accept female priesthood and form a small c church, that branch is anathema to the True Catholic Church…..automatic excommunication……..so no, I don’t have to worry about accepting a female priesthood, not that I would accept it anyways.

          • Claude

            Remind me where Jesus made this promise to protect the church from women priests?

          • anton

            Protection from error (Matthew 16 : 18)…..if Jesus wanted women priests, he would have chosen 6 men and 6 women as apostles, but he didn’t. Remember pagansister, that in His time, there were many pagan priestesses around so, it is not that that would have been a new concept in Jesus’ time. He would not have had the need to feel constrained by the Jewish traditions of his day seeing that He had come to fulfill prophecy. Why not 6 male apostles (priests) and 6 female apostles (priestesses)? That alone tells me much.

          • Claude

            Somehow I don’t think the pagan priestess thing would have resonated in Jerusalem.

          • anton

            Are you kidding me? Jesus who associated with sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes with no fear, also did not resonate in Jerusalem……yet he associated with them just the same. Just because a priestess would not have resonated in Jerusalem at the time does not hold water. Jesus was in the process of forming his Church that would move beyond Jerusalem to a world wide (even pagan) audience. That should have been more of a reason to choose priestesses so it would resonate with pagans! Didn’t happen, sorry! Your argument does not make sense. Jesus did not choose female apostles and so we must follow His lead. Peace.

          • Claude

            Although I was being sardonic, you have a point. Jesus seems to have been unusually sympathetic to women for his time. And Paul did accept women as leaders in the church.

            Still, it’s not at all clear Jesus was interested in starting a new church. He was an apocalyptic Jewish prophet who believed that the Kingdom of God was imminent: This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Had Paul not converted I wonder if we would have ever heard of Jesus of Nazareth.

            Peace be with you, too!

          • anton

            I don’t know about that Claude. Matthew 16:18 has Jesus saying He will build His Church on Peter so I kind of take that for granted……and yes you are right that Jesus was sympathetic towards women for his time. All the more reason for him to have chosen women for his inner circle of Apostles, but he did not…..so I think the Church must follow and do the same. If Jesus Himself didn’t, how can the Magesterium. It has no authority in that respect. Peace, Claude.

          • Claude

            Yes, but to claim that by making Peter the head of his movement Jesus meant to initiate an apostolic succession is not at all clear.

            As expansive toward women as Jesus apparently was it’s hard to imagine a 1st century Jewish woman from Palestine surviving long as an apostle. But then, some gnostics believed Mary Magdalene was preferred by Jesus over the other disciples.

            Thank you for your response and good evening.

          • savvy

            “Yes, but to claim that by making Peter the head of his movement Jesus meant to initiate an apostolic succession is not at all clear.”

            It is if you read the book of Acts and others.

            This is an argument from silence and speculation. jesus was not the kind to be afraid of anything.

          • Claude

            The Book of Acts is theological fiction. We know this because of discrepancies between what Luke says about Paul and what Paul says about Paul.

            It’s not a matter of fear. Imagine a young Jewish woman from an obscure Jewish sect that worshiped a crucified criminal schlepping all over the the Roman Empire preaching the end times. I don’t think so.

          • savvy

            It’s called a difference in perspective, or emphasis, because they are two different people. it does not make something fiction.

            Jesus had many female followers. When the man ran away, it was the woman who stayed at the foot of the Cross and yet they were not ordained as priests.

          • pagansister

            Was that response for me or Claude? Says Claude above. Just wondered.

          • anton

            Yes, sorry pagansister, that response was for Claude, my bad!

          • pagansister

            No problem—just wanted to clarify.

          • jdens

            Right. Magisterium. But it was Pope John Paul II who said that about it not having authority to ordain female priests, right? And that was based on the ordinary and universal magisterium, which, while ‘infallible’ includes ‘potentially fallible’ teachings. Correct me if I’m wrong here, as I’m getting this from Wikipedia. And Pope JP II did not make that statement ex cathedra, right?

            So, theoretically, another pope (definitely not Benedict) could come along and say, actually that teaching turned out to be fallible. And my question to you, then, is if that happened, and therefore the RC institution allowed female ordination, would you accept that, as Christ keeping the Church from error? Or would you decide the institution had abandoned the true Church and go to the Orthodox, or maybe with a group of like-minded conservatives who would maintain they were the true Catholics?

          • anton

            Ordinatio Sacerdotalis explicitly prohibits the ordination of
            females into the priesthood. And, despite what others will say, it has
            been infallibly defined. In 1995, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in conjunction
            with the pope, ruled that 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 (cf.
            Lumen Gentium 25:2)

            So jdens, to answer you, no I would not accept women as priests, or should I say priestesses (female) ;) Peace to you.

          • pagansister

            How does Christ “run” the Church? (we are assuming he was a celibate Jewish male). The current pope was elected by MEN, the previous popes were elected by MEN. St. Peter had/ has nothing to do with electing/selecting popes (who made Peter a saint? MEN). . Unless there are magical signs given to the college of Cardinals, (men) then MEN are running the Church. Note that women religious have no vote and they are considered Brides of the Church. Strange. But it works for you, as I’m assuming you are male.

          • anton

            I don’t expect you to understand the Church and all its nuances, pagansister. Judging by your name, the argument has ended even before it has begun. Nothing I will say to you will have any meaning because I am assuming you are a pagan and a female.

          • pagansister

            You can’t answer the question about how Christ runs the Church, I guess. You disagree with what I said above as to the election of popes? Unless they are hiding in the catacombs under the Vatican, I see no female influence in the elections of popes. Yes, most certainly female and partly Pagan—mostly agnostic.

          • anton

            The answer is “faith”. A humble, trusting, surrender to The Lord and His Church. You either have it or you don’t. Last time I checked, agnostics have very little, if any faith. So I guess you can discard my answer because your sarcasm indicates that you are weak in faith. Peace to you.

          • pagansister

            Lots of faith—spirituality—not organized with a “leader” who tells me what to do and tells me I will be punished if I don’t obey. I draw from all faiths—-each has some good lessons and not so good lessons or advise. IMO, there is no “perfect” religion/faith—all are equal in my eyes. That process has served me well for 50 years. I respect those that can follow their religion/beliefs—both my sisters are devout Christians and we get along just fine—I respect them, and they respect me. Having taught in a Catholic school for 10 year (as I mentioned somewhere on this thread to another poster), i taught the children (5 year olds) some of their prayers etc. So I do not have hard feelings towards the Catholic church or others for that matter. I just don’t agree with some of their teachings. Peace to you also, anton.

          • anton

            I am happy that you have faith. At the end of the day, if we can respect each other and not ridicule one another, that is always a plus. I just want to correct you in one thing, the “leader” does not tell me what to do or else punishment…..just as in everyday life there are laws, rules and regulations to follow if we do not wish to do jail time. If we break these laws, then we are punishing ourselves…don’t do the crime, don’t do the time, it’s up to us. Sins are crimes against God and we punish ourselves by separating ourselves from God. It is not He who punishes us, we choose that path on our own with our free will. God only respects that decision…if you are not for him, then you are against him. There is no forcing or telling you what to do involved. It is totally on the individual to decide, always knowing that God is all forgiving….as long as we ask. Peace to you pagansister.

          • pagansister

            Thank you for the respectful response. I do appreciate where you are coming from. All the best, anton. May peace be yours.

          • savvy

            Women are still advisors to Cardinals and Popes. Women were on the lay office of cardinals too. They were not priests. So there are those who are still looking into bringing this back.

      • jdens

        Also, this cracks me up because the Church as an authority is the priests. So much for the Mother.

        How can people not see that no matter how much you ‘value’ women, if your entire system is designed to disempower them, you cannot claim there is equality. And don’t even start with the “equal doesn’t mean same” schtick. If the RC Church were ruled by more than just the ordained, that might work. But no. Men have claimed all the spiritual authority in the RC Church. They make the doctrines; they forgive sins (or don’t); they guard the Eucharist; they make the rules; they punish dissenters. Women? Women can have influence, enormous influence even. But they do not have authority. And when their influence gets too big for the Vatican’s comfort, there must be swift action to ensure conformity.

  • Denise

    The video puts the illogic of this movement on embarrassing display.

    The question is – “WHY” do you want to be a Catholic priest if:

    1) St. Paul is wrong
    2) Pope in white hat is wrong
    3) If it claims to be the Church of Jesus but is (according to you) so desperately wrong about this?

    If it is wrong, from top to bottom, then its claims to truth must be, er, false.So why bother with it? Go to a body that teaches what you believe is true.

    But if you want to be ordained because you believe it is the true Church of Jesus Christ, then what it teaches must be correct.

    Which would include the dudes-only priesthood.

    It’s a logic pretzel.

  • Alphonsus_Jr

    After looking at their sites and watching another of their videos, it’s clear to me that their whole operation is definitely satirical. This will be revealed in due time. It should be perfectly obvious to everyone, but today’s insanity means it isn’t.

  • fdr

    Wow. They unwittingly spoofed their own cause.

    JPII closed the case with an ex-cathedra statment on the unordanibility . If our “Catholic Women Have Talent” contestant has an M.Div., so the lyrics go, she would understand how “flexible” an ex-cathedra statement is.

  • andHarry

    The Catholic Church has only been in existence for around 1600 years, not the 2,000
    which is often quoted. The early church did not have ‘sacrificing’
    priests of any kind, but woman often featured in roles similar those of
    the menfolk in advancing the spread of Christ’s teachings. The well-known Catholic scholar, Raymond E Brown, in his book ‘Priest and
    Bishop: Biblical Reflections (New York: Paulist Press, 1970), p. 13.
    writes that ‘When we move from the Old Testament to the New Testament,
    it is striking that while there are pagan
    priests and Jewish priests on the scene, no individual Christian is ever
    specifically identified as a priest. The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks
    of the high priesthood of Jesus by comparing his death and entry into
    heaven with the actions of the Jewish high
    priest who went into the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle once a year
    with a blood offering for himself and for the sins of his people
    (Hebrews 9: 6, 7). But it is noteworthy that the author of Hebrews does
    not associate the priesthood of Jesus with the Eucharist
    or the Last Supper; neither does he suggest that other Christians are
    priests in the likeness of Christ. In fact the once-for-all atmosphere
    that surrounds the priesthood of Jesus in Hebrews 10:12 -14 has been
    offered as an explanation of why there are no Christian
    priests in the New Testament period.’ Priests were a post-Constantine
    development.

    • Dave P.

      The early church did not have ‘sacrificing’
      priests of any kind, but woman often featured in roles similar those of
      the menfolk in advancing the spread of Christ’s teachings.

      Strange, considering that 1) one of the oldest words for the Eucharist in the Oriental Orthodox Churches is “the Offering” (Qorbana in Aramaic and Badarak in Armenian), 2) the use of doors and curtains were and are still used in these liturgies during the anaphora, in imitation of the Temple, and 3) all of these ancient rites outside of Rome and Constantinople have maintained an all-male priesthood as well..

      • andHarry

        Not at all strange. The word ‘Offering’ is just a wobbly step in the journey away from a communal table of sharing; a series of steps which begun as soon as Christ ascended. A spirit of deception was soon recognized in the N.T. church, and it went on from there. Your pts.2 and 3 only continue the deception. If brothers were getting drunk at the table, the solution was to persuade them, and deepen their understanding; not to take the table away and replace it with something which culminated with my crossing myself at a considered distance as I go past the building in which it is housed.

        • Dave P.

          So you’re one of those who thinks the Great Apostasy happened as soon as the last apostle died, and that somehow, all of Christendom from Spain to India and from Britannia to Ethiopia got it wrong all at once. Either that, or perhaps the common threads of sacrifice, a sacerdotal priesthood, and devotion to the Blessed Virgin point to what has been always and everywhere believed in the Christian faith. I’m inclined to believe the latter.

        • savvy

          I would rather trust the Apostolic fathers than you.

    • Cal-J

      “The well-known Catholic scholar, Raymond E Brown, in his book ‘Priest and
      Bishop: Biblical Reflections (New York: Paulist Press, 1970), p. 13. writes that ‘When we move from the Old Testament to the New Testament, it is striking that while there are pagan priests and Jewish priests on the scene, no individual Christian is ever specifically identified as a priest.”

      By the word “priest”? Certainly not. But St. Paul refers to the “Elders” of the Church (Gk. presbyteroi). The english word “priest” is a corruption of that same Greek word.

      In Paul’s day and in ours the Church had “elders”. We just use the word “priest”, now.

      • andHarry

        ‘By the word “priest”? Certainly not. But St. Paul refers to the “Elders” of the Church (Gk. presbyteroi). The english word “priest” is a corruption of that same Greek word.’

        It’s the functional corruption which is important, not the linguistic ‘corruption’.

        • Cal-J

          ‘It’s the functional corruption which is important, not the linguistic ‘corruption’.’

          Sure. But I’m afraid you have yet to demonstrate that. Your source does not.

          “But it is noteworthy that the author of Hebrews does not associate the priesthood of Jesus with the Eucharist or the Last Supper; neither does he suggest that other Christians are priests in the likeness of Christ. In fact the once-for-all atmosphere that surrounds the priesthood of Jesus in Hebrews 10:12 -14 has been offered as an explanation of why there are no Christian priests in the New Testament period.’”

          Except that explanation only works if the Argument-from-Silence ceases to be a fallacy.

  • Whitney

    …that is the most absurd video ever. I agree with the other posters…if I didn’t know better, I would assume it was a parody on account of the abysmal awfulness of it all. Also, thanks for the great article! Short and simple :) I’m a recent college grad (theology major) seriously discerning religious life, and a few of my relatives (mostly the Protestant ones) have effectively apologized to me that the Catholic Church doesn’t ordain women. Like they think I want to be a nun because I can’t be a priest. And I just kind of sit there like, “But I don’t WANT to be a priest!” Why? What I hear from the women-priest movement is basically this: “Women, you have to be exactly like men in every way or you won’t be really equal and free.” It’s like it’s not enough to embrace all the unique special feminine things about being female…”feminist” culture is pressuring women to assume all sorts of masculine characteristics at the cost of their true inclinations. Of course it’s great for women to study and work in careers that interest them…but not at the cost of condemning stay-at-home-motherhood as a wasted life and cloistered women religious as a throwback to the dark ages.

    • jdens

      I don’t think that’s what they’re saying. What I hear is, don’t deny me a calling based on my sex. And what I would add to the message from outside is, if all the power and authority are on one side of the equation, there is no equality. Nothing to do with being exactly alike.

      • Cal-J

        Except a calling to the priesthood involves a hell of a lot more than simply figuring you’d like to be a priest. Secondly, a major part of becoming a priest is formalizing your obedience to the papacy and to the bishop in particular, which you and the people you argue for clearly have no intention of doing.

        This is a first principles thing, jdens. Either the Church and its ministers are to be submitted to or not, and if you deny that, you can make and waste all the noise you want, but you won’t get anywhere with any of the faithful.

        As it stands, you’re entire argument is: Women should be priests, because who cares about the hierarchy of the Catholic Church? The faithful? The faithful are all losers who don’t know any better.

        • jdens

          No, my argument has been that the theological argument alone is lacking. That there are perfectly good theological arguments that support feminine ordination. Women’s exclusion from the priesthood is down to the hierarchy, as you say, which is male.

          I have never even implied that the faithful are ‘losers’ or ignorant, though I do seem to see the ‘faithful’ characterising these women as such. However, if you continue to maintain that the way the ‘faithful’ see the issue is the only way to see it, then you appear to me to be aligning with that regrettable history of the Church that in its intolerance of dissent (by no means restricted to the RC’s) was responsible for the Inquisition.

          There is a great breadth of theology available in your tradition; I think you’re narrowing it to your own loss.

          • savvy

            The fundamental nature of the sacraments cannot change because they are based on the order of creation itself. One can reject it, but it won’t disappear. This is what RC’s/Orthodox mean by tradition, it’s not culture, politics or even theology.

            This is something Protestants fail to understand, that no Pope or authority can change the order of creation. Only reject it or deny it. This is why I said, your argument is not with me, but with creation itself.

            In fact, the book, “Against the Protestant gnostics” written by an Episcopalian, who explains how both conservative and liberal Protestants have issues understanding this concept.

            Phenomenology is the truth as derived from my own experience. This is useful in shaping group identity, but not in extracting independent data. If zero or 6.7 billion people believe the moon is made up of green cheese. It remains a belief until proven otherwise.

            In this case, observation, data, and future predictions, based on that data, indicate that women cannot priests without diminishing the cross of Christ itself.

  • Clare

    Even if they were male, I wouldn’t want any priest who made a point with a bad rendition of “Call Me Maybe.” Sheesh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashleyjgy Ashley Green-Young
    • Clumsy_Sheep

      none of these things has to do with being a priest. It is the sacrifice of the mass that restricts it to male priesthood. Not ministering or preaching. In fact women were ordained as deaconesses before in times of ministerial shortage but never a priest. This is precisely because only a priest can consecrate. Arguments about intellectual capacity, natural way of care, etc. that this article is trying to satire never were valid arguments in the first place. This satires bad arguments and not the argument Marc has presented.

      • jdens

        But no one has given a good reason as to why only men can ‘sacrifice’.

  • Charles Curmudgeon

    Why, for the love of the Church, would you have spent one nanosecond’s synapse on this worthless diatribe?

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissahector1977 Melissa Hector

    a brilliant piece of writing….clear, concise, and oh so true!!!!! Happy New Year to you my friend!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeaconJasonMiller Jason Miller

    This video made such a profoundly compelling argument, that I think I am going to have to change my position on the priesthood. Forget logic, tradition, and scripture – they have nothing on the persuasiveness of a music video. How could I have been so wrong? This is Mystery Science Theater 3000 material. Somebody needs to riff this sucker with an overlayed commentary and then repost.

  • Tina

    HA HA HA, I thought the video was satire! Too funny!! Especially when the lyrics said “don’t listen to St. Paul” uhhh…hello?

  • Marissa Nichols

    This is soooo bad….I think I wore that skirt in Catholic school…

  • Lone Star

    My eyes! My Eyes!

  • http://twitter.com/PaigeKellerman Paige Kellerman

    Oh my gosh. Can’t. Breathe. Laughing so hard. It’s so bad it’s good, like, like …Troll 2 fame.

  • emundem

    the video even had 1 token schmuck-dude in there. what a bunch of clowns.

  • ill-informed

    So can anyone point me to a good historical record refuting the following? http://www.womensordination.org/content/view/68 They appear to be claiming Brigit of Ireland was made a priest among other Church women. Historian help?

  • TeaPot562

    Some women saints have ordered Popes around. Consider St. Catherine of Siena, getting the then pope to leave Avignon (France) to return to Rome.
    Also, consider the Resurrection, first witnessed by St. Mary Magdalen. If Jesus wanted to ordain women as priests, He could have included Mary Magdalen among them.
    But He didn’t.
    TeaPot562

  • Bill W

    Marc, rather than going to the overtried & overused “women are as good as men” or “women were repressed to domestic roles in the Jewish but not Roman societies” arguments, I will go to a more pragmatic argument. My pastor cares for 2 parishes solo, he was the associate, became pastor (in his 30s) and had an associate for about 12 months, until he was made pastor of 2 parishes (in his late 20s). My former parish was also clustered with another parish we had a pastor & associate the pastor was transferred the associate became pastor. The churches were later merged and he is pastor of a large parish, with no associate. He will retire later this year. No pastor has been named as yet. Calls to the priesthood are either going unheeded or are dropping. Perhaps this is the Holy Trinity’s way of saying “My beloved Bride, look in another direction for your Bridegroom.” Perhaps as the Bride we need to look to our married deacons, married former priests, or our unmarried women as the priesthood our Bridegroom wants, in addition to our unmarried men.

    • Dave P.

      Strange…traditional communities and dioceses with faithful bishops have experienced an uptick in vocations. I think a return to authentic Catholicism will be the best solution.

      • Bill W

        Yes, there has been an uptick, of (judging from the newsletter I get from a nearby seminary I help support) mostly foreign seminarians coming to the US from Africa & Latin America to train, then return to their home countries to serve. It has been suggested that the drive for vocations is so strong in Africa that many of those future priests may stay in the US to ease the crisis. I do not believe I can agree with a return to “authentic Catholicism” as that sounds like returning to the Church prior to Vatican II. I prefer my Mass in a language I understand, I want to watch the Mystery unfold before my eyes, and I want to do more at Mass than pray a rosary, waiting for Communion, then treating my parish priest (who I attended high school with) as a minor god.

        • Dave P.

          I am certainly no advocate to abolish everything which happened after 1962 – I’ve tussled with radical traditionalist Catholics regarding these things. But I don’t define the Church as pre-V2 or post-V2 – it is the Church of 2000 years, I define “authentic Catholicism” as having a stable liturgy in which the priest and others “say the black and do the red”, and giving pride of place to Gregorian Chant, as mentioned in V2′s Document on Liturgy (and more use of Latin – it is, after all, the primary language of our Rite) . I define it as people knowing and understanding the basic doctrines of the Church – something which has been undermined by nearly 50 years of poor catechesis. All that, and much more, but nothing attempting a time warp to 1955. Much of the “good old days” is best left behind (read Thomas Day’s books Why Catholics Can’t Sing and Where Have You Gone, Michelangelo? to find out more about that).

  • Jay E.

    As one person put it… so you want women to be ordained. What do you think happens at Mass, when the priest says the words of consecration? do
    you think the bread and wine actually changes into the Body and Blood
    of Jesus? Oh you don’t? So… if you don’t think men can do it, why do
    you think women can?

  • John

    Apparently the genius and passion of our orthodox lay unofficial theologians was so great that comments for this video had to be suppressed.

  • Kalaparthy Prasad

    So does the inner being of every true believer, thank you.

  • Karen

    priest = Male = Jesus = God

    Women = church = human

    human < God

    So, necessarily women < men.

    Please just be honest and admit women are, in Carholic doctrine, inferior and quit making analogies that prove our inferiority but don't actually use the word.

    • savvy

      The persons in the trinity are one, but distinct. This does make any of them inferior to the other. Christ and the church are united, but distinct.

      The entire church is feminine in relation to God, not just women.

      This prevents things from slipping into dualism, where everything is the same. It takes the infinite diversity in creation and reduces it to bland sameness.

      • Karen

        Your comment makes no sense. How does dualism, which means believing something is divided in two, reduce everything to a sameness?

        Even more, why, if women are equal in dignity to men, do women always get stuck with the scut work of life? Married women have no place in the Catholic Church that doesn’t involve a mop.

        • savvy

          “How does dualism, which means believing something is divided in two, reduce everything to a sameness?”

          Dualism holds that opposites are the same, rather than distinct,

          “Married women have no place in the Catholic Church that doesn’t involve a mop.”

          You are hopelessly ignorant. You should actually trying going to a church.

          • Karen

            I believe dualism, as in classical Mithraism, means that two forces are equal, not the same. Mithraism held that Ahriman and Ahura Mazda were equally powerful but that one was good and one was evil.

          • savvy

            Kenosis is the self-emptying of oneself for another. Christianity is a paradox, where God bows down to humanity, to raise humanity up.

          • Karen

            And this explains nothing. Please, what makes having a Y chromosome and androgen receptors necessary for representing God?

          • savvy

            It’s the Priesthood of the God-Man Jesus Christ.

          • Claude

            In Matthew Jesus must have forgotten to mention that one of the two or three gathered in his name should be a priest.

          • savvy

            All the baptized in Christ, share in his attributes, but only an ordained priest functions in “persona Christi”.

          • Claude

            In persona Christi is an invention of the Church. Jesus, scathing toward the priestly caste, made no such condition for communion with him.

          • savvy

            Read John Chapter 6.

          • Claude

            Perhaps I was unclear. I meant the condition for communion of mediation through an ordained priest.

          • savvy

            The author of Hebrews speaks of the old sacrifical system as a prefigurement of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not so much the fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrifical system as He is the reason for the system and the reason the priesthood exists.

            The whole sacrifical system was about atonement for sin, and that was the special work of the High Priest only. He was the mediator between God and the people. The early Christians recognized Jesus Christ as their High Priest, that is, the only mediator between God and the community of the redeemed.

            Christian priests stand in the tradition of the ancient priesthood but are not a caste, and the sacrifice they offer is not a bloody one, as least not in the sense of crucifying Christ over and over.

          • Claude

            Right, I’m familiar with te background. My point stands that Jesus, in his various guises in the gospels, doesn’t command the intercession of priests (certainly a caste within the future orthodox hierarchy) to “abide in me, and I in him.”

          • savvy

            The Christian priest stands at altar as the person of Christ at the Last Supper. He also represents the Father, by whose faith his spiritual children are offered up through the Spirit.

      • Korou

        I think you just confirmed Karen’s point.
        “The entire church is feminine in relation to God, not just women.” Therefore, feminine = inferior.

        • savvy

          Nope, when did I say it was inferior.

          • Karen

            The church is inferior to God. If feminine = church, then feminine = inferior. Whenever something is feminine in your world, it is worse than something masculine.

          • savvy

            Karen,

            Who told you the church is inferior to God?

            795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the “whole Christ” (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

            Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does “head and members” mean? Christ and the Church.

            Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.

            Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.

            A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”

          • Karen

            So, if the feminine church is actually part of Christ, then women actually are the Imago Christi, so there is no reason to restrict the priesthood to men?

            You can’t have it both ways: either the church, which is feminine, is inferior to God, or the feminine is part of God so there is no reason to insist on male priests as the image of God.

          • savvy

            Karen,

            Equal does not mean same. Christ and the church are equal, but distinct. The persons in the trinity are equal, but distinct. This is diversity.

          • Karen

            If Christ and the church are equal, why is necessary for a priest to be male to be the Imago Christi?

          • savvy

            Equal does not mean same.

          • Karen

            You said this before. What trait do males have that makes them more Christlike than women?

          • savvy

            We are all called to be Christ-like, but a priest who stands in for the God-man Jesus Christ must be male.

            I cannot have a icon of Karen and call you Keith or vice-versa.

          • savvy

            Karen,

            The concept of how souls are feminine was explained by St. Theresa of Avila, her views made it into theology. You might want to read her books.

          • Claude

            What is this concept, exactly? You might want to summarize it for us.

          • savvy

            I am still in the process of reading her. I will have to get back later.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Corcoran/819167453 Mary Corcoran

            No. The Church, in relation to God, is feminine in the fact that it is the “receiver”, while God is the “initiator” as in the sexual act. Think of it as yin and yang. Side note: though each person of the trinity is masculine, the entire trinity as a whole, or God, is neither male nor female. This is why a man and women together form the best image of God :)

          • savvy

            I like this response.

          • Korou

            You didn’t, savvy. You said “The entire church is feminine in relation to God, not just women.”

            Is the Church superior to God? Is it positioned equally to him? No? Then it’s in an inferior position. Not as good. Below. Less powerful, less worthy.

            This is surely obvious, that humans and human organisations are inferior to God, and I don’t see how it could be disputed. And you have just identified this inferior position with femininity.

            Therefore, women are inferior.
            (hmm – just saw Karen’s comment. She put it more succinctly than me).

          • savvy

            I have explained this. Who says the church is just human? Catholicism says, Christ and his church together form one whole person. They are both equally human and equally divine.

            795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the “whole Christ” (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

            Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does “head and members” mean? Christ and the Church.
            Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.

            Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.

            A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”

        • savvy

          We are already equal before God. We do not have to do something to prove this. It’s a Marxist theory that reduces human worth to the titles people carry.

  • Alf

    I’m sorry but isn’t the church which is ‘the bride of Christ’ composed of both men and women? So if men can play the part of the bride, why can’t women play the part of the bridegroom? Is the penis really significant? It’s not like Christ is going to deflower the church after the wedding feast. It’s all metaphorical, so why can’t women priests have a metaphorical penis? There are many other ways in which priests will not be physically like Jesus. They aren’t presumably sorted by age or ethnicity.

    • savvy

      The analogy protects the distinction between Christ and the church while highlighting the unity. It prevents things from slipping into dualism where opposites are the same.

  • James McLaughlin

    Two immediate observations despite the obstinate lyrical claim of being Catholic:
    1. The video was shot on the grounds of a falling Anglican/Episcopalian edifice.
    2. The words, “Don’t listen to Saint Paul!” is sung by their lips.
    Such fiendish devilry.

  • TTan

    Another interesting point, which wasn’t brought up in the article, is that the
    sacrifice of the Mass re-presents the sacrifice of Calvary, where the
    bridegroom (Jesus) consummates his wedding with the bride (the Church)
    through the total self-giving of his body, blood, soul, and divinity. In
    the Latin Vulgate, just before Christ expires on the cross, he is
    recorded as having said, “consumatum est”, and in the Douay-Rheims, it
    is translated as: “It is consummated” – a much closer translation to the
    original Greek than “It is finished” in some modern translations. This
    is important since a true marriage can only be consummated between a man
    and a woman. There can be no consummation between partners of the same
    sex since they lack the complementary reproductive and physiological
    nature to procreate and give new life. And in the Mass, the priest
    acts in the person of Christ – which is why in the prayer of
    consecration, he says, “This is MY Body, MY Blood” and not “This is
    Christ’s Body/Christ’s Blood”. That’s why the priest acting in persona
    Christi has to be a man. Otherwise, the marriage of the Lamb
    with the Mystical Bride of Christ cannot be consummated. The Mass is then invalid, and cannot give new life.

    • pagansister

      Seriously, I thought eating flesh and drinking blood is considered cannibalism. Having wine/grape juice represent the blood and the wafer/bread, the body is a tiny bit easier to take, but thinking that they have magically turned into those things and being ingested is gruesome. Consummation of a marriage while hanging on a cross, dying? Really?

      • Cal-J

        “Having wine/grape juice represent the blood and the wafer/bread, the
        body is a tiny bit easier to take, but thinking that they have magically
        turned into those things and being ingested is gruesome.”

        These teachings are difficult. Who can accept them?

        “Consummation of a marriage while hanging on a cross, dying? Really?”

        Yeah. I’m sorry, too much for your constitution?

        • pagansister

          No, just don’t like the idea of eating another human being–but it obviously doesn’t bother those who believe that the actual transformation take place because the priest says his magic words. The whole sexual thing? Hey! Whatever gets it for some.

      • savvy

        Cannibals do not eat soul and divinity of the resurrected Christ. The analogy is martial, because we become one with whom we consume.

    • jdens

      Unless you mean this quite literally (Jesus was having bodily sex using his physical anatomy while dying on the cross), it should have no bearing on the physical sex of a priest.

      • TTan

        Try and understand this in theological terms. Perhaps its good to start by saying that the Church is understood in scripture as the Body of Christ (the children of God born into the faith through baptism) but it is also often referred to in scripture as the Bride of Christ (since God is often portrayed as a lover or spouse to his people). Scripture (especially in the letters of St. Paul) refer to the Church as the mystical body of Christ. At the same time, the Church is also alluded to as the mystical bride of Christ in the gospels. In the discourse on marriage, St. Paul encouraged husbands to give themselves in love and sacrifice for their wives the same way that Christ loved and sacrificed himself for the Church. The consummation that Christ accomplished on the cross is the total self-giving of his own life for her. He has ransomed her from death with the blood of his own life. ‘It is consummated’ refers to His complete work and life that was accomplished
        up to His Death. In other words, nothing new needed to be added. Everything that Jesus set out to do for the redemption of mankind was consummated (accomplished) in the utterance of
        those words, by his total self-giving on the cross. So if the consummation is not sexual in deed but mystical, then why can’t women do the same? Because the consummation was nonetheless achieved by Jesus in his physical reality as a man upon the traditional understanding of a bridegroom giving his life for his bride in a mystical marriage – very much in keeping with the understanding of the apostles and early Christians who kept the faith. Hence the early Church has always tried to peg earthly marriage to the same ideals of sacrifice and love that Christ gave the Church, a union made complete and indissoluble between the bridegroom and the bride, whereby the husband is called to sanctify his wife through the sacrificial love of his life, so that from that union may come new life and children. What happens in the Mass, especially in the Eucharistic prayers, is not merely something symbolic in the Catholic/Orthodox faith, but rather something real and true in the supernatural order that transforms the bread and wine into the True Presence of Christ in memory of his sacrifice for the Church and all mankind. Hence each time the mass is celebrated, the priest acts in the person of Christ (the bridegroom) who offers his life to God the Father for the sanctification and salvation of the people of God (the Church, the Bride of Christ) in memory and in a re-presentation of what happened at Calvary. But to understand this, one needs to understand that the ministerial priesthood is not a man-made office, but a supernatural one. It is not a function alone, but a sacramental office that exists to make Christ present as both God and Man among His people. There’s no room to expound on this here, safe to say that for 2000 years, the Church has good theological reasons for calling only men to be priests – because of the many great implications and realities of what the Mass and sacraments are. Of course, none of this will make sense for atheists or anyone who sees the Church only as a man-made institution and her Rites as nothing more than superstition. But to be fair, a discussion on the Catholic priesthood should be grounded on the Catholic Church’s understanding of what she thinks the priesthood is; according to her traditions, doctrine and faith, and not what her opponents think the Catholic priesthood is, so that even if one disagrees, at least one knows with what one is disagreeing with, and not some strange idea based on politics and power. Otherwise, no discussion is honest if it hinges on biased perceptions or worse, animosity. These days, it’s so easy to google a rightful document on this subject. Read why and what the Church says about this – Peter Kreeft has a good article on this – and even if one still disagrees, then one might at least be able to understand and respect where the Church is coming from. After all, there are already so many other churches that ordain women as priests. No one is forced to be a Catholic, but if they choose to remain so, they should do so because they heartily hold to her doctrines with joy and faith. Why be anything other than authentic?

        • jdens

          I appreciate your taking the time to give such a detailed response. I have read the ‘fundamental reasons’ as well as the theological arguments. The theological arguments are clearly secondary to the Church’s justification of an exclusively male priesthood. It’s fundamental reasons boil down to tradition. It has ever been thus, and therefore it must be right. The theological arguments seem to be made having already decided the verdict.
          I think your leap from mystical union to physical gender is too big.
          I bear no, or at least very little, animosity towards the Roman Catholic Church, but I think its members have every right to speak up about perceived injustice, not just leave. It’s their tradition too.

  • Proteios29

    As an obedient member of the Church, I admit I have questions I don’t fully understand. I think the “female priest” thing is not handling this in terms of faith but based on politics. It would make more sense to me for married people and women, single or married, to look towards the deacon role before anything else. There’s precedent, need and it is a calling. But when the Magesterium decides, case closed. It’s like my kids, they can ask for candy. I don’t get mad unless they whine, argue or keep asking after I said no. So time to get to the final stage of acceptance.

  • Proteios29

    Oh and one more comment….I could only stomach about 30 seconds of the video. The message was silly, but the whole song and dance was …..lame. Also, it’s probably not popular with men or women to say, ignore St. Paul. That shows as much ignorance of the faith as that bizarre video.

  • Kathleen Laplante

    Here is a similar take on this topic:
    A Woman In Support of An All-Male Priesthood
    http://www.tasteandsee2.blogspot.com/2010/11/woman-in-support-of-all-male-priesthood.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.hay.94 Bill Hay

    If the priest is “sent as Christ” then how does one explain the problems the Church has had with pedophilia among some of the ordained priests?

    • Korou

      One explains it in any way one can that can possibly shift the blame to someone else. Including you, you petty little gossip! How dare you go around spreading filthy rumours! After all, it’s only a small percentage of the priesthood who abused children, and certainly the whole church isn’t complicit in covering them up.

      • Cal-J

        One explains that role and character are two different things. The priests’ personal flaws do not, fortunately for the congregation and unfortunately for Korou, interfere with their ability to perform the Mass.

        • Korou

          I’m sorry? Being a child-rapist does not interfere with one’s ability to perform Mass?
          Well, now you point it out I suppose not, no.

          • savvy

            If a sick, doctor gives you a medication, It would still be valid. The sacraments work objectively. The priest is guilty , and could end up in hell, but the Mass is still valid.

        • Claude

          “Fortunately for the congregation,” those that Jesus described as fit to drown in the sea with millstones around their necks are still able to perform the Mass in persona Christi.

          Wow, just wow.

          • savvy

            If a sick, doctor gives you a medication, It would still be valid. The sacraments work objectively. The priest is guilty , and could end up in hell, but the Mass is still valid.

            Now, do not accuse me of supporting sin, because I do not. Just pointing out that if the validity of the sacraments depended on the sanctity of human beings, nobody would qualify.

          • Claude

            Then why not drop the conceit of in persona Christi. It’s practically blasphemous anyway.

          • savvy

            Jesus said, “This is my body”. He did not say “this is my body, if only the priest is a saint” or when gave his Apostles the authority to forgive sins, he did not say “only if you are saints”.

            I do agree that priests will have a lot more to answer to on judgement day, this is why I am glad I am a woman. I do not want to be in a priest’s shoes.

          • Claude

            I’m in favor of priests, not least because the church has such a long intellectual tradition that it requires well-educated specialists to lead the congregation.

            Where did Jesus say that a priest had to preside over the body and blood. That’s right, nowhere.

          • savvy

            So you want priests to function as everything, else but the primary reason for which they are ordained?

            What was the last supper? What did he tell his Apostles to do.

            “It was natural for early Christians to think of the Eucharist as a sacrifice. The fulfillment of prophecy demanded a solemn Christian offering, and the rite itself was wrapped in the sacrificial atmosphere with which our Lord invested the Last Supper. The words of institution, ‘Do this’ (touto poieite), must have been charged with sacrificial overtones for second-century ears; Justin at any rate understood them to mean, ‘Offer this.’ . . . The bread and wine, moreover, are offered ‘for a memorial (eis anamnasin) of the passion,’ a phrase which in view of his identification of them with the Lord’s body and blood implies much more than an act of purely spiritual recollection” (J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines [Full Reference], 196–7).

          • Claude

            You didn’t answer my question.

            Where did Jesus say that a priest had to officiate over the body and blood?

          • savvy

            A priest offers sacrifice. The Eucharist is the sacrifice of Christ. And you call me literal to a fault.

            According to John, Jesus died on the cross precisely at the moment in which, in the Temple, the Passover lambs were being sacrificed. His death and the sacrifice of the lambs coincided.

          • Claude

            Right, having been raised in the Catholic church, I’m familiar with the lamb of God symbolism.

            I think my last complaint about literalism had to do with your overreaction to my use of the word “show.”

          • savvy

            Fair enough.

          • savvy

            The argument is that my views hold a limited view of the Eucharist. They do not, because in the liturgy we are taken to a timeless place beyond time, where, Christ is born, dies, rises and ascends to heaven.

            So it mirrors the worship in heaven, as described in the book of Revelation.

            Christ is the focus of it all.

          • savvy

            Jesus is the priest!

            Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 – the translation of Jesus’ words of consecration is “touto poieite tan eman anamnasin.” Jesus literally said “offer this as my memorial sacrifice.” The word “poiein” (do) refers to offering a sacrifice (see, e.g., Exodus 29:38-39, where God uses the same word – poieseis – regarding the sacrifice of the lambs on the altar).

          • jdens

            Likewise, he also didn’t say, ‘This is my body, if only the priest is male.’

          • savvy

            It was obvious to his Jewish audience that this was linked to his sacrifice, and nobody else’s. There was no lamb, because Jesus is the lamb, making him both priest who offers sacrifice and the lamb who was slain.

          • savvy

            Jesus is the male priest! Hence the priests representing him should be male.

          • pagansister

            Thus body parts are again in play in order to be a priest? Jesus was male thus only males can be priests even it if is 2013? Sorry, had to get that in there. Even though it is 2013 we still can’t break with “Tradition!”. Song from “Fiddler on the Roof” running thru my head.

          • savvy

            So Tuesday is better than Monday, just because it’s Tuesday?

            “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” Heb 13:8

            He has no calendar date. A thousands years is like a day for God. He is not limited by our time and space.

          • pagansister

            There is a lot to be said for “tradition”, however if that was the case in all areas, we would still be using a horse and buggy, there would be no electricity, no phones, no fridges, no printing presses (monks would still be coping), no computers—-think you get the message. Tradition can be a hindrance to progress. Tradition said slavery was fine, women had no say in a marriage as the wife basically was to submit to the husband (some faiths still believe that), it was fine to beat your children (spare the rod, spoil the child)—so Jesus IMO, isn’t the forever guide. Some of that “tradition” came from the Holy Book. I totally disagree that Jesus is timeless. His ideas in some cases have been out grown. I’m sure you disagree—but I’m also sure you’re not surprised.

          • pagansister

            There is a lot to be said for “tradition”, however if that was the case in all areas, we would still be using a horse and buggy, there would be no electricity, no phones, no fridges, no printing presses (monks would still be coping), no computers—-think you get the message. Tradition can be a hindrance to progress. Tradition said slavery was fine, women had no say in a marriage as the wife basically was to submit to the husband (some faiths still believe that), it was fine to beat your children (spare the rod, spoil the child)—so Jesus IMO, isn’t the forever guide. Some of that “tradition” came from the Holy Book. I totally disagree that Jesus is timeless. His ideas in some cases have been out grown. I’m sure you disagree—but I’m also sure you’re not surprised.

          • savvy

            Pagansister,

            I appreciate your views, but tradition here does not mean cultural or political trends. None of which have been considered to be sacraments. It refers to creation itself, rather than what is manufactured for transaction. You cannot outgrow the order of creation, you can only reject it. You have to understand what Catholics/Orthodox mean by Holy tradition. They see it as something being quite different from the things you describe.

          • pagansister

            I’m sure they do.

        • jdens

          So one’s character doesn’t affect one’s ability to perform Mass, ’cause it’s just a role, but one’s gender does.

          • Cal-J

            Well, allow me to explain. To keep it simple, the Mass is a ceremony of public worship through which God transfers certain graces to the community. This ceremony is performed and overseen by a Catholic priest; if the priest performs the ceremony correctly, God transfers His graces to the community of the faithful attending the mass. The mass’s success depends on the priest performing it well, which has no direct bearing on his character outside the mass or beyond it.

            @jdens: Sex, not gender. Gender is a linguistic term that refers to categorizing words. And yes, the Church requires its priests to be male; it’s part and parcel of how it understands itself. You demand the Church conform to your standards in contradiction with its own self-understanding, and then whine and wheedle about the Church’s self-understanding as entirely false. You want to argue your point, you might as well start from the ground up. Here, let me help you: “Jesus was a liar and a charlatan”.

            @Korou: That’s really as simple as it gets; the mass’s success, again, depends on being performed well. If it were dependent on the character of the priest, the graces could not be transmitted to the community, which would be a problem.

            @Claude: Yes, you read that right. Jesus said to listen to the pharisees’ preaching, even when he accused them of hypocrisy and falsehood.

            Let me try it this way, the performance to the mass is a gift both to the congregation and to the priest; no priest properly deserves to perform the mass. It is nonetheless required of them (whether or not they sin in any specific magnitude) so that God can transmit the graces I mentioned to the congregation.

          • jdens

            Aw, Cal-J, thanks for being so insulting. With all my demanding and wheedling and whining and, let’s not forget, linguistic ignorance, it’s a wonder you felt I deserved to be addressed at all. Seriously, it’s helpful if you want someone to listen to what you have to say, to treat that person with some decency and respect.

            I’m aware of the distinctions between grammatical gender and physical sex. Though I’m no expert, I did study linguistics for a time, and did you know that words get their meaning from usage, not from dictionaries? Sex has come to refer not only to the male/female distinction but also to the physical act of intercourse. Meanwhile, guess what was listed as a synonym of sex when I did a quick Google definition search? Gender. Imagine that. And, just to be sure we all know how gender is used in this context, here’s how Wikipedia summarizes its usage:

            Gender is a range of characteristics of femininity and masculinity.[1] Depending on the context, the term may refer to the sex (i.e. the state of being male or female), social roles (as in gender roles) or gender identity.

            I don’t demand anything of the RC Church because I don’t claim it as my own. However, these women do, and I dispute the idea that the RC Church can’t change its ways. I started commenting on this blog post not because I have any need for the RC hierarchy to change, but because I found holes in the theological arguments put forward (and because people clearly found these women to be an easy target).

            And clearly, your Church is not in agreement on this issue, so it is not a matter of ‘how it understands itself’ unless by ‘it’ you mean the ruling, ordained decision-makers, who are, of course, men.

            Finally, I find your emphasis on a human’s performance as a condition for the transmission of God’s grace totally contrary to what I hold dear about the relationship between us and God. Maybe that emphasis is entirely orthodox for the RC Church, and if so, that’s just one more reason it is not my spiritual home. Your depiction of this performance makes the priest look like a magician. Say the right words in the right order with the right elements and the correct gestures, and God’s grace will be conjured. It also puts the priest right in the middle between humankind and God. No access to God’s grace unless the priest performs his duties correctly. No. Call it my Protestantism taking over, but I reject that.

          • Cal-J

            I apologize for losing my temper and confusing you for one of the other posters on this board. However, I never called you linguistically ignorant, I simply chose a term and made a case for it.

            On the issue of sex and gender, I was making specific definitions for our conversation — a human being’s sex is not arbitrary, while gender is specifically vague (your wikipedia log has three different definitions, not one of which you distinguished as the actual definition of your term, so I went and established one, through the more specific word “sex”; if you insist I clarify, then I assert “sex” to here mean a human being’s state of being male or female).

            “And clearly, your Church is not in agreement on this issue, so it is not a matter of ‘how it understands itself’ unless by ‘it’ you mean the ruling, ordained decision-makers, who are, of course, men.”

            By “it” I mean the Catholic Church as bound up in its teaching, the body of doctrine specifically called “Catholicism”, which includes submission and assent to the magisterium and teachings of the Church.

            Catholicism is a specific creed in which there are specific things taught, and a self-described catholic who fails to hold them means that that same catholic is in error.

            My statement still stands in its entirety; your objection, that the specific maleness of the hierarchy invalidates its authority, is an accusation of motivation through class-interest, and, thus, an ad hominem. Logical fallacies are not arguments, and that you present one as such undermines your whole argument on this point.

            “Finally, I find your emphasis on a human’s performance as a condition for the transmission of God’s grace totally contrary to what I hold dear about the relationship between us and God. Maybe that emphasis is entirely orthodox for the RC Church, and if so, that’s just one more reason it is not my spiritual home.”

            The priesthood is an office with certain powers and functions corresponding to a public role. The exercise of those public functions by default cannot depend on the priest’s character, which is itself a gift from God, who transfers the specific graces through the Mass being performed well.

            “Your depiction of this performance makes the priest look like a magician. Say the right words in the right order with the right elements and the correct gestures, and God’s grace will be conjured. It also puts the priest right in the middle between humankind and God. No access to God’s grace unless the priest performs his duties correctly. No. Call it my Protestantism taking over, but I reject that.”

            Well, no, “conjure” is inaccurate, but you’re getting closer. Secondly, I did not say there was no access to God’s grace unless the priest performs his duties correctly, I’m making the point that God deliberately designed the priesthood that way, so He could transmit certain specific graces (i.e. those borne by the Sacraments) to His people.

            This has ceased to be an argument about the specific maleness of the priesthood and become one about whether God established a priesthood at all, which is beyond the scope of our current argument, though certainly an interesting one to be had, if you’d like it.

          • savvy

            “Say the right words in the right order with the right elements and the correct gestures, and God’s grace will be conjured. It also puts the priest right in the middle between humankind and God. No access to God’s grace unless the priest performs his duties correctly. ”

            No, it does not work that way. It’s more like form and matter count, because God created it.

            Maybe I should recommend a book to help you understand?

          • jdens

            That is the way Cal-J described it. His only dispute was with the word ‘conjure’.

          • savvy

            Let’s go back to my previous example, about the order of creation, where everything in creation has it’s own properties, characteristics etc. In the same way the sacraments have form and matter that are taken from the natural physical world, and have meaning. They point to spiritual realities. Mess with the physical reality and that language becomes jumbled, the spiritual reality becomes jumbled.

            Example: Getting rid of sex distinctions creates confusion about the cross. God ordered creation a certain way for a reason.

          • savvy

            “And clearly, your Church is not in agreement on this issue, so it is not a matter of ‘how it understands itself’ unless by ‘it’ you mean the ruling, ordained decision-makers, who are, of course, men.”

            Not entirely. Female saints have had a huge impact on shaping the church’s theology. For example, the Catechism is not filled with things made up by the Vatican, but by saints, both male and female. Today’s feminists, simply do not have the same spunk.

            Someone told me if these women, were anything like the pre-Vatican 2 nuns who, could invoke awe and fear in a person at the same time, whom the men could never say, no to, maybe they would have an easier time.

          • Claude

            I’ll file this one away under Ad Hoc Rationalization.

          • savvy

            No, under facts. Kings who were not afraid of the Pope, were afraid of Catherine of Sienna. The last person who commanded that kind of attention in our times was mother theresa.

          • Claude

            So women pre-Vatican 2 had “spunk” but women post-Vatican 2 do not.

            Ludicrous.

          • savvy

            No, actually post-V2 younger women are catching up. Young successful women are being drawn to more traditional orders, as opposed to ones with aging hippies. The tide is turning.

          • Claude

            Sweeping generalizations of this sort are completely baseless.

            Really, it does your cause no good to resort to fantasy.

          • savvy

            Gee. arent’ we angry. Fantasy? You need to go out more.

          • Claude

            Huh? I’m not angry. But I suppose that’s all you’ve got by way of rebuttal.

          • savvy

            No, it’s more like I belong to this generation and have met these women.

            http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2011/11/In-Britain-the-Counter-Cultural-Appeal-of-Being-a-Young-Nun

          • Claude

            So you stand by your statement that pre-Vatican 2 women have more “spunk” than post-Vatican 2 women? Do you care so little for your own credibility?

          • savvy

            Post-Vatican 2 women, are not the ones mostly in favour of women priests. I should have clarified that I was talking about the hippies who are not pre-Vatican 2 or post-Vatican 2.

          • Claude

            The clarification does nothing to negate the meaninglessness of your initial statement: Today’s feminists, simply do not have the same spunk [as pre-Vatican 2, presumably prominent Catholic, women].

            You’ve turned your distaste for “feminists” into a generalization about women spanning all of Christian history. It’s an absurdity.

          • savvy

            Claude,

            Okay, I apologize for making sweeping generalizations. Let’s stick to contemporary feminists okay. I used to run a feminist book club at one point in time, for heaven’s sake. There was a lot of anger and hatred of men. A lot of the same secular arguments are espoused by radical Catholic feminists, if you read Donna Steichen.

          • Claude

            You don’t get it. You should apologize to me for suggesting I would skunk around some other site under a different name to create the appearance of agreement with my objection here to your self-evidently absurd remark.

            By the way, I depend on registered Disqus users to negotiate this unwieldy thread. I didn’t even know registered used are tracked regardless of which Disqus-enabled site they comment on. Now I know.

          • savvy

            Maybe you should apologize for accusing me of making generalizations about women throughout Christian history. The women I was referring to are saints and doctors of the church.

          • Claude

            Why? You admitted that you did so. And, in fact, you did.

          • savvy

            I was comparing the Catholic women proponents of women’s ordination to Catholic women saints, not to ALL Christian women.

          • Claude

            But that’s not what you said. I’m not a mind reader.

          • Claude

            I see somebody at that other site you posted at responded to this bunk almost word for word as I did. It is the obvious reaction.

          • savvy

            Umm. Claude, she did not. She simply said, this does not make you a better Christian. I did not disagree.

          • Claude

            “Marcie” said:

            this sweeping generalisation does you no favours

            I said:

            Sweeping generalizations of this sort are completely baseless…it does your cause no good to resort to fantasy.

            Why bother making assertions that are so easily refuted?

          • savvy

            Were you Marcie?

          • Claude

            Really? That’s a pathetic accusation.

            No, and you owe me an apology.

    • Dave P.

      How does that explain pedophilia among other ordained clergy (including married ones)? How does that explain Jerry Sandusky? How does that explain the number of pedophile public school teachers, which exceed pedophile/pederast clergy in percentage and absolute numbers? I could go on and on…yes, ephebophile clergy is a great scandal, and the coverup thereof even greater, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around why a priest having a relationship with a 17 year old is not OK with popular culture, but an advertising executive doing the same is (Queer as Folk).

      • Korou

        But the thing is, Dave P, most of the Catholics I have engaged on the topic do not think that it is a great scandal. They make excuses, try to divert and pretend that it never happened, or that if it did happen it’s all over now.
        It’s a huge problem, and it’s another huge problem that its not being addressed, as you correctly pointed out.
        And by the way: I don’t think the horror at the Church is caused by the occasional priest “having a relationship with a seventeen year old.”

        • Dave P.

          That’s the vast majority of the scandal – most of the victims were adolescent boys, many of them on the upper age level. That’s a whole different thing that pedophilia. I can even tell you from personal knowledge (which I didn’t really want to know) that some of those relationships with 16 and 17 year olds were consensual – like Brian and Justin on Queer as Folk. Mind you, I’m not excusing the predatory clergy, nor justifying the coverup. But I think there’s a bit of a double standard. And I’m waiting for the media to do an in-depth investigation into why so many child molestors are found in the public school systems, and why districts, states, and perhaps even the Feds have helped cover up their activities…

  • ForsythiaTheMariner

    I’m beginning to suspect that this video is satirical. Made by, no doubt, people with no respect for the Catholic Church, but perhaps started entirely as a joke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fmanaloto Francis Manaloto

    I didn’t read all 100+ comments but may I direct you to Mr. Peter Kreeft?

    “When feminists become saints, we will follow them”

    http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/09_priestesses.htm

    • jdens

      Who decides who’s a saint? Men.

    • jdens

      Also I read some of what this man wrote, and it’s difficult to pay attention to the validity (or not) of his arguments when he is so distractingly offensive in his depiction of feminists.

  • Montague

    One might even say that Women naturally have greater Dignity than men (Cf Chesterton “The great unconscious gravity of a girl” from MWWT and the line about nothing being worse than a man with dignity and a woman without). But this video shows no dignity in Priestesses. Therefore, Priesthood is not natural to Women? Who knows?

  • pagansister

    The RCC is just plain afraid to allow women to have that much “authority”. Just because the Church claims to have a couple thousand years of MEN running things is really no reason to totally reject the idea of women in the priesthood. If there were no changes in traditions there would still be slavery in the USA, women still wouldn’t be able to vote etc. Jesus was male, he had women in his group that played important roles—Mary M. for one, until the Church decided to make her a reformed prostitute. Really? It was too much to admit that women can have responsibility for things other than “accepting all children god gives them”, ie motherhood? The men who continue these traditions are just that —MEN. Scared men in dresses and funny hats.

    • Hilary

      For the record, this is why I’m Jewish. My lapsed Catholic mother and unaffiliated Jewish father were trying to figure out what tradition to raise me, and by that time women Rabbi’s were being ordained in Reform Judaism so my mother dicided to raise me Jewish and converted. So if I wanted to be a Rabbi, I could.
      If someone doesn’t like Catholic traditions, leave. It’s not like there aren’t other ways to be Christian. If they love it as is, stay. But don’t pretend that there’s any democracy between the pope and the rest of the laity.

      • pagansister

        You had very wise parents, Hilary. One thing that is most certainly true—there is absolutely NO democracy in the RCC. Poppa in Italy gets all his messages directly from the Big Dude and relates them to the flocks—or so he claims anyhow.

      • savvy

        This is called the arrogance of ignorance. Judaism does not have priesthood. Why is everybody so confused?

        • pagansister

          Perhaps they are called Rabbi’s, savvy? There are women Rabbi’s, as I’m sure you know.

          • savvy

            Yes, but Rabbis are distinct from priests in Judaism, and they do not play a sacramental role, neither do Protestant ministers.

            Some people cannot figure out what they want a priest for.

          • pagansister

            Protestants receive communion—and IMO the role of a Rabbi and a minister is just as important as those of a priest. The Jewish faith has it’s own version of sacraments, just called different names, due to the lack of Jesus worship. Obviously the Protestant version of communion isn’t literally eating blood and flesh! (no cannibalism) .

          • savvy

            The roles might be important, but the theology is different.

          • pagansister

            I would think that would go without saying—-but women have more important roles in the Jewish faith and many Protestant faiths.

          • savvy

            No, they do not. Catholic women already do everything a Rabbi or a Protestant minister does. There are more female saints than male saints. The Queen of Apostles and saints is a woman.

          • pagansister

            Rabbi’s and Protestant ministers (women and men) are leaders of a religious group —what leading role equivalent do the Catholic women have? Not presiding over Mass or leading a particular Church.

          • savvy

            Catholic women can teach, preach, heal, run ministries in the church, be theologians, even in seminaries, etc. They can be pastoral leaders of a church. They cannot preside over the Mass, or absolve sins, yes, but neither do Rabbi’s or Protestant ministers.

          • pagansister

            Yea! Everything but actually doing the BIG job of absolving “sins” and presiding over Mass. Thus still Male domination. :o)

          • savvy

            The priesthood is about sacrifice, not dominance. In fact it’s the proponents of women’s ordination, are engaging in a case of projection. They do not understand the meaning of the priesthood.

          • pagansister

            Sacrifice? Really? How is it a sacrifice to be housed, paid (yes a small amount I suppose) and taken care of in their old age? Then there are the priests who take advantage of their positions—which we won’t go into here. The celibate part? Do you really think ALL of them really are?

          • savvy

            I am suspicious of your suspicion.

          • pagansister

            You are suspicious of my suspicion? Explain. Females can’t preside because of the magic drink/wafer transformation? That isn’t suspicion, but currently factual.

          • savvy

            The Eucharist is his atoning sacrifice. It’s Christ who offers the same sacrifice that the did on Calvary, in a unbloody manner, at every Mass, through the instrument of the priest.

            As I said, political arguments are not going to convince me, just as theological arguments won’t convince you.

            I love the Eucharist, and will stand up to every priest, prophet, and King to defend it.

          • jdens

            What political argument is she making? And what theological argument are you making? What I’m hearing is, “Because the Eucharist. Because Christ is male. Because God is masculine. Because sacrifice. Because the cross. Because icons.” But at every request to support the claims made in your given reasons or why any of the claims invalidate a woman’s priestly vocation, there is just a repetition of similar pronouncements. It’s not convincing, and I don’t think you can blame that on any political-theological divide.

          • savvy

            As a non-Catholic, she does not care about theology, hence she is looking at this from a different perspective, than I am.

          • Claude

            Right, only Catholics care about theology. Meanwhile, in the Gospel of Thomas Jesus said:

            When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom.”

            So, yes, there is Christian precedent for gender neutrality to commune with the divine. Maybe not OK with savvy, but fine by Jesus.

          • savvy

            I am not a gnostic, who rejects the created world as illusion.

          • Claude

            But you don’t have to be a gnostic to be interested in what Jesus may or may not have said. After all, the above is consistent with Jesus’s expansiveness toward women in the canonical gospels.

          • savvy

            How so? Is there any evidence to prove that Jesus ordained any women to be sacrificial priests or the Apostles did?

            I think we might be talking about two different concepts.

          • Claude

            No, we’re not. If you don’t like Thomas, there’s always Galatians 3:28. Male nor female, all one in Jesus Christ. That is all that matters.

            I see you’ve been parroting this Alice C. Linsley. Certainly antecedents to the priesthood are interesting (the Horites? Ha!), but the notion of the priesthood as divine mandate is unpersuasive. Jesus himself was dismissive of ritualistic piety and institutional conventions. Insistence on male consecration of the host seems very much beside the point.

          • savvy

            “Male nor female, all one in Jesus Christ.”

            It says we are equal, by virtue of our baptism. it does not abolish gender or refer to the priesthood.

            “Jesus himself was dismissive of ritualistic piety and institutional conventions.”

            Jesus, is the reason for the whole system. He was opposed to hypocrisy.

            Matt. 5:17-19. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

            “but the notion of the priesthood as divine mandate is unpersuasive.”

            It was not for the early church or saints throughout the ages.

            “Insistence on male consecration of the host seems very much beside the point.”

            Nope, it’s the primary reason why the priesthood exists.

          • Claude

            Priests are made for Christianity, not Christianity for priests!

          • savvy

            I am not sure what you mean.

          • Claude

            Really? I mean that you seem to place a higher value on the convention of male priests than the meaning of communion.

          • savvy

            I am just saying that they are linked. It’s the very reason the priesthood was instituted.

            1545 The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ’s priesthood: “Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers.”

          • Claude

            Of course they’re linked, because the Church forged a link!

            It’s fine to have priests, the Mass can be quite beautiful. But all this patriarchal nonsense is simply tradition. The Church made the rules, she can change them.

          • savvy

            The church did not make them. it was handed down to them. You might want to read the same book, I recommended to pagansister. it helps understand where these things came from and why etc.

          • Claude

            Did Jesus make these arrangements? No. Did Paul? No. Is the important thing about communion anachronistic Church symbolism or participation in the mystical body of Christ?

            If the book is by that blogger you keep cribbing from, no thank you.

          • savvy

            No, the book is not by her, thanks for not taking a look. Look you can choose not to believe in something, you cannot tell others how they should or should not view communion.

          • Claude

            Why not?

          • savvy

            You are failing to convince me.

          • Claude

            Oh well. That’s OK.

          • savvy

            How do you know Jesus or Paul did not make these arrangements?

          • Claude

            How does anyone know anything about Jesus and Paul? From the NT, however unreliable.

          • savvy

            Yes, it also depends on how one reads the NT. Scripture is received tradition. The church did not come from the Gospels, the Gospels came from the church, and was received by it.

          • savvy

            People do not give up their lives for just tradition. There are times in history, where people have risked their lives just to attend a single Mass.

          • Claude

            Regardless, the male priesthood is a tradition. It can and will change.

          • savvy

            I am tired of explaining this.

          • Claude

            Actually, you yourself have not been doing much explaining. Many of your answers are lifted without attribution, or just snippets from the catechism.

          • savvy

            It’s explains the theology. I have said, this before that no amount of socio-politics is going to convince those who love Christ’s Eucharistic presence and the opposite is also true.

          • Claude

            You’ve used that dodge before, ineffectually. Also, you’re not making sense.

          • savvy

            Why don’t you tell me what your views on communion are then?

          • Claude

            My views are entirely commonplace. Communion is ritual participation in the mystical body of Christ, initiated by Jesus at the Last Supper as described in the gospels and by Paul.

          • savvy

            My views stand with that of historical and biblical Christianity, rather than with those came a 1000 years later and said, “this is what happened or this is what it means”

          • Claude

            Not sure what you’re talking about here.

          • savvy

            I am just saying that this theology is Protestant, not Catholic or Orthodox.

          • Claude

            Excuse me? From the catechism:

            1323 At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

            Of course there’s a bit of ecclesiastical embellishment there but essentially my own quite uncontroversial view is in compliance.

          • savvy

            Yes, the perpetuation of the sacrifice of the cross, throughout the ages.

          • jdens

            perpetuate: Verb
            Make (something, typically an undesirable situation or an unfounded belief) continue indefinitely.
            Preserve (something valued) from oblivion or extinction.

            What about his view is not in accordance with this?

            There may indeed be important differences between the way you see the Eucharist and the way others do, but so far, not a single ‘distinction’ has demonstrated why a woman couldn’t preside as priest. Oh, except for the ‘Priests are male because they must be’ distinction.

          • savvy

            Priests are male because they function in place of Christ who is male. Why is this so hard to understand?

          • jdens

            But priests who are not Jewish function in the place of Christ who was Jewish. Priests are not circumcised. Priests can be any number of things different from Christ except for his gender. Why.

            You would have to prove that, (1) his gender, but nothing else human about him, is essential to the meaning of his life, death, and resurrection [so a daughter of God, fully human and fully God, living, dying and rising again would have been completely useless to humanity, except maybe as a lesson for nasty feminists] and, (2) that it would be impossible for a woman to point to Jesus, in order to have any coherence in your argument.

            I think you have done a better job defending (1) than (2). Your argument for (2) seems to be a mix of “because women priests have pointed to other gods before, they must also point to something else now” and “because women represent life not death”. But men functioned as priests who pointed to other gods in ages past as well, and that clearly doesn’t mean all priests must therefore point to those gods. And we’ve already discussed how both men and women are associated with both life and death, and that both of those themes belong next to the cross.

            Personally I think you have to do some serious theological and logical contortions to arrive at either one of those conclusions.

          • savvy

            1. Masculine and feminine have meaning. You would have to reject this to make your argument. Why do you think Christianity rejected gnosticism and matter rejecting iconclasm. It denies the incarnation.
            2. It already pointed to a different religion. If you read Irenaeus against heresies.

          • Claude

            “Christianity” didn’t reject gnosticism. Gnosticism was quite popular, hence the vehemence it inspired in the proto-orthodox who eventually prevailed in defining Catholicism.

          • savvy

            Christian gnosticism was invented by Simon Magus, who came under the influence of esoteric sects.

            So Apostolic Christianity did reject gnosticism.

            You can create your own brand of Christianity, stop waging war on others.

          • Claude

            Um, no. Gnosticism was a widespread phenomenon of diverse Christian beliefs and practices that flourished in the first centuries AD. Even Paul reflected gnostic ideas; perhaps one reason Marcion was so fond of him.

            I’m “waging war” and should create my own brand of Christianity because I disagree with your position on the ordination of women? Come on.

          • savvy

            Paul did not reflect gnostic ideas. There was an established church by a 100 A.D.

            “I’m “waging war” and should create my own brand of Christianity because I disagree with your position on the ordination of women? ”

            Yes, because the sects that ordained women were gnostic and were rejected by Apostolic Christianity, because Jesus Christ came in the FLESH.

          • Claude

            Actually, he did. In fact, I mentioned a strikingly similar passage in Galatians and the Gospel of Thomas right here in this interminable thread.

            As for me “waging war,” that’s ridiculous.

          • savvy

            It’s similar according to your perspective, not according to the actual meaning. St. Paul is referring to baptism, and our equality in Christ. It does not refer to Holy Orders or whether or not men and women can be priests.

            You obviously do not accept the link between priesthood and sacrifice, simply because it refutes your whole argument.

          • Claude

            Right, Paul forgot to mention the future institutional structure of the RCC when he wrote Galatians — perhaps because he was convinced Jesus would return in his lifetime. Remind me again of the part where Jesus says some guy whose taken holy orders must preside over the love feast.

          • savvy

            At the last supper Jesus served bread and wine ,just as Melchizedek had done with Abraham (Gen 14:18). He said to the disciples “this is the New Covenant in my blood” (Lk 22:20), signifying, among other things, God’s transfer of Priestly duties from the Levites to Jesus who was the “true priest with the others [disciples] being only his ministers”

            Within a short time, there was a structure to this new ministerial office with bishops, deacons, and priests (1 Tit 3:1).

            You also have things reversed. The church does not come from the Gospels, the Gospels come from the church, and were received and compiled by the church. Jesus did not write a book, he established a church.

            These views are also shared by the Eastern Orthodox. There were five centres of Christianity, who held certain things in common.

            Your comments betray an ignorance of early Christian worship.

          • Claude

            For starters, Luke is not the most reliable narrator in the world. He is a kind of theo-historical fiction writer. The passage you cite is disputed, but OK. (I suspect you are again cutting and pasting without attribution?)

            Titus is thought to be a forgery that indeed describes institutional developments in the emerging church.

            I’m not sure what you mean by “the Gospels come from the church.” The canonical Gospels are anonymous texts written and circulated decades after the life of Jesus. Do you mean that Paul’s churches predate the canonical gospels? And if so, in what way have I “reversed” things? Titus was probably written long after Paul’s death.

            By the way, I’m aware that Jesus didn’t write a book (but thanks for the patronizing tone), and it’s not at all clear he even “established a church.” Rather, he was concerned to reform Judaism in preparation for what he thought was the imminent arrival of the Kingdom.

          • savvy

            You have given me your opinions, rather than evidence for your claims.

            “Do you mean that Paul’s churches predate the canonical gospels?”

            Yes, the Christian church in general predates the cannon of the Gospels. You might want to read the Early Church fathers. I would rather trust the Apostolic fathers, given their proximity to the events, rather than your opinion.

          • Claude

            Sorry, these are not my opinions but the conclusions of New Testament scholars.

            I’m actually aware of the early Christian churches (or “assemblies” or “gatherings” as the Greek word ecclesia is more strictly interpreted), not least from having read Paul’s letters. There wasn’t a church in the sense of one, holy apostolic Church, but many, and they were in conflict with each other.

            Kindly stop hectoring me about my ignorance of early Christian history when you apparently know even less about it than I do.

          • savvy

            Scholars ?

            Professor Peter Flint, the non-Catholic scholar who translated the only English version of the Dead Sea Scrolls which won first prize from the Washington Biblical Archeology association:

            “Without the Catholic Church you have no Bible, just a bunch of books and letters. With the Church you have the Bible!”

            “There wasn’t a church in the sense of one, holy apostolic Church, but many, and they were in conflict with each other.”

            The term Catholic was coined by ignatius of Antioch, to make a distinction between the Apostolic church and other sects around.

            Ignatius of Antioch

            Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too as you would the apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command of God. Make sure that no step affecting the Church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction. The sole Eucharist you should consider valid is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church

            (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

          • Claude

            Apropos of nothing. If you meant to buttress your accusation that I was just spouting opinions, you failed.

          • savvy

            I refuted your arguments. You have not refuted mine.

          • Claude

            Well, no.

            It seems pointless to argue further. You strike me as an uncritical consumer of church doctrine, and my time would have been better spent reading the catechism three times over rather that negotiating your cut-and-pastes.

            On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed the exchange. Thanks and good day.

          • savvy

            I am not an uncritical consumer. I am a Christian, who does not see how certain views can be accepted, without rejecting the cross itself.

          • savvy

            According to you the Gospels themselves are some kind of male conspiracy. So yes, there is no point in this discussion and there is no point in any priest, male or female.

          • Claude

            I never said anything of the sort and never would. Kindly do not put words into my mouth to make you feel more comfortable in your position.

          • jdens

            To be fair, she said that to Claude. But I know it’s confusing the way the comments are laid out.

          • savvy

            Okay, what is your argument?

          • Claude

            About what?

          • savvy

            You argument is that the church forged a link between the priesthood and sacrifice. Mine is that they got this from the Apostles and Jesus himself, who were not unfamiliar with the sacrificial system in Judaism and it’s pointing to the Messiah.

          • Claude

            I did say something somewhere about the church forging a link, but it could not have been with regard to the priesthood and sacrifice (at least, not broadly). I was probably talking about the church’s establishment of a male-priest avatar to preside over communion.

            I’ve said repeatedly that I think the important thing about communion is participation in the mystical presence of Jesus, a spiritual experience that transcends gender, ethnicity and so on. The rest is religious convention.

          • savvy

            The issue here is not what you and I think, but what this stands for.

            “I was probably talking about the church’s establishment of a male-priest avatar to preside over communion.”

            When did they do this?

          • Claude

            When did they do this? I don’t know exactly. I’m not sure anybody does.

            Oh well, I’m not going to argue over transubstantiation. You are disproportionately concerned with the letter of the law, in my view. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect.

          • savvy

            So the Early Christians and Eucharistic martyrs died for the letter of the law or the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ?

            “The Romans, from Village to Empire.” (Oxford Press 2004). I flipped it open to the section on Christianity in ancient Rome. It discussed the Roman’s impression of the early Christians.

            …Their ‘eating the body and drinking the blood of their savior’ was called cannibalism…

            Ignatius of Antioch wrote this on his way to Rome, to be thrown to the lions.

            Writing to the church at Philadelphia he states, “Take care, then, to partake of one Eucharist; for, one is the Flesh of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and one the cup to unite us with His Blood, and one altar, just as there is one bishop assisted by the presbytery and the deacons, my fellow servants. Thus you will conform in all your actions to the will of God” (Letter to the Philadelphians, par. 4).

            There’s a lot more. This is just to get things started.

          • Claude

            Wow, that’s quite a leap, from you to the early martyrs!

            And you know, I have read a little Ignatius.

          • savvy

            Make what you want of it.

          • savvy

            This is of monumental significance. Tradition goes so far to say that the Mass will be banned under international law, during the reign of the Anti-Christ.

          • jdens

            I was tricked by Disqus again! It said this comment belonged to pagansister.

          • pagansister

            What was I accused of saying to Claude? Whatever it was, it must not have been nice…..

          • jdens

            No, it was attributing Claude’s comment to you, and there wasn’t anything wrong with his comment–but it would only make sense coming from him, since it was in response to savvy’s comment to him, “According to you”. I tried to clear up confusion and ended up just causing more!

          • pagansister

            Thanks for your efforts to clear things up, jdens! With all these comments I’m surprised anyone knows what anyone has said anymore.

          • jdens

            I know, and because I refuse to create an account with disqus, it’s a real pain to find the new replies. Even the usual ctrl+f doesn’t work. I’m going to have to give it up. It’s taken far too much of my time already. I won’t call it a waste, but I’ve been neglecting other duties.

          • pagansister

            Hope you don’t stop posting altogether–perhaps we will catch each other on another site.

          • jdens

            Thanks, pagansister. I’d like that.

          • savvy

            Your case fails, simply because the new testament church predates the new testament. So the church does not stand or fall on the new testament, it’s the other way around.

          • jdens

            1. More of the same. I’ve already addressed this, as has someone else in the thread previously. I don’t have to reject meaning in order to reject your framing of it. I’m not putting forward an argument; I’m examining yours. And I haven’t said anything devaluing the body or the incarnation.

            2. As I said in the comment above, male priests also already pointed to different religions, but that’s not stopping them now.

          • savvy

            My context is here is a sacrificial male priest. They always pointed to atonement and sacrifice. A Christian priest would point to the atoning sacrifice of Christ and Christ as bridegroom.

          • jdens

            But there are examples of both male priests and female priests performing sacrificial rites throughout history, and both have pointed to other gods and other religions. If a Christian male priest would point to the sacrifice of Christ, then historical precedent is no reason to suppose a Christian female priest wouldn’t also.

          • savvy

            Actually the priesthood based on the ontology of blood distinctions was always male in every culture, religion.

            I am not saying that the Eucharist is not mystical, rather it’s a BOTH/AND. This is why the Mass is the marriage of heaven and earth, God and humanity etc.

            This is why there are communities, and parishes dedicated to perpetual adoration.

          • jdens

            based on the ontology of blood distinctions? That’s getting mighty specific.

            Reference please?

          • savvy
          • jdens

            That’s a really interesting post, and thank you for the link (although I’m aware that your source is hardly unbiased on this subject matter). However, what you seem to be saying is that a priesthood based on the idea that only men can be part of sacrificial blood has always had only men for priests. Well, yeah. You’ve limited your terms so that’s the only possible outcome. But our world’s history definitely includes female priests who sacrificed. I guess the cultures that embraced this did not have the same hang-ups about blood that the Afro-Asiatics referred to in that article did. Come to think of it, we in our culture don’t have those hang-ups. And besides that, as you’ve stated before, the Eucharist is a bloodless sacrifice. And both men and women come into contact with it.

          • savvy

            The source was formerly ordained in the Episcopal church. The reason why sacrificial blood always had males for priest in these cultures, because it was linked to atonement and in Christianity to the cross of Christ.

            I have not limited my terms, but this what historical Christianity has always held. I choose to stand with them, rather than with the reformers.

            The issue is not about our culture, here but about the cross of Christ. As Flannary O’Connor said, “If it’s only a symbol, to hell with it”

            Yes, both men and women, receive the eucharist, or immortal food, that brings them life. But, since this is Christ’s sacrifice. It’s Christ that is presiding over the sacrifice. The priest just being his instrument. The fact that the sacrifice is now bloodless, and we behold the Lord under the appearance of bread and wine. It still does not change the fact that it is a true sacrifice, that brings us to the foot of the cross at Calvary.

            With a male priest, there is no doubt that new life comes from Christ, because men do not give birth to new life. With women given their natural ability to give birth, there is confusion about whether new life comes from the atonement of Christ or from the atonement of the woman.

            It’s a different religion.

          • jdens

            No it isn’t. [Insert all the refutations I've already provided].

          • savvy

            Correct me if I am wrong, but your argument is that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, but we do not try to explain this. This is fine. I am just saying that if it is a sacrifice, then the person offering the sacrifice is a sacrificial priest.

            The Eastern Orthodox, also do not try to explain things, but still agree with the necessity for a male-priest.

          • Claude

            With women given their natural ability to give birth, there is confusion about whether new life comes from the atonement of Christ or from the atonement of the woman.

            Come on, really? Given that every Christian is acquainted at a minimum with Jesus’s death and resurrection, it’s ludicrous to think a woman priest would throw anybody off track.

          • savvy

            Claude, I am assuming that you are not a Christian, because there is so much confusion about the basics now in Christianity. There are many who deny the creed.

          • Claude

            Like I said before, I’m a lapsed Catholic. I was born and raised in the Catholic church so am familiar with the rudiments.

            Though things have changed since I left. I don’t remember any of this “God has a plan for my life” stuff that currently seems to be a staple of kitsch Catholicism.

          • savvy

            “I don’t remember any of this “God has a plan for my life” stuff that currently seems to be a staple of kitsch Catholicism.”

            Huh?

          • savvy

            I have spent hours explaining the Catholic priesthood to Catholic priests. That is how deep the confusion is. The average Catholic cannot tell the difference between a Protestant service and a Catholic Mass.

          • Claude

            Really. Did you go to seminary.

          • savvy

            I am currently studying the theology and liturgy.

          • Claude

            Where?

          • savvy

            In Canada. I do this part-time.

          • Claude

            The thing is, the education of Catholic priests is fairly rigorous.

            So I was surprised by what you said.

          • savvy

            Rigorous can mean a lot of things. For example, in the East, the liturgy, never went through huge changes, like it did in the West.

            Off course it depends on the parish. Some you can just step into and know what is going on. Others you have to try a few times, for it to sink in.

          • savvy

            I was lapsed too. It was HIS Eucharistic presence that brought me home. It was not the church that did this, but Christ himself. This is a whole different story, but I am just giving you an insight into my background.

          • Claude

            Well, thank you. I appreciate it.

          • Claude

            I responded to this but the post has disappeared.

            All it said was thank you, I appreciate it.

          • savvy

            Our in-house gnostic Claude seems to be confirming my arguments.

            Here’s the deal. Christ offers a new birth — a creative prowess replicated (not mirrored) in the creation through the female. It is through the female new life comes into the world. This is so fundamental to creation (all but the most primitive species are designed this way), that it affects our entire way of seeing. The perception, in other words, is not merely socially constructed, but reaches to the very core of our being — an ontological reality.

            Put a women in front of the altar holding a chalice, and the symbolic imagery becomes confused. Who is offering the new life here — the woman through her natural creative prowess (where she has a child or not is irrelevant here), or Christ?

            Put a man in front of the altar, and there is no question that the life comes from Christ — especially on the symbolic level. Why? Men, by nature, cannot create life. Man cannot hold life within themselves and give birth.

            Think this through. Don’t just react. Ask yourself why the sacramental churches that allow female priests end up with problems with neo-paganism, and lesbianism. It deals with the symbolic confusion.

          • Claude

            I’m not a gnostic. I’m a lapsed Catholic.

            Not sure how I’ve confirmed your arguments, since I’m unmoved by the idea that a priest must be a literal analog to the maleness of Jesus. It seems a trivial point.

          • Karen

            What is the meaning of feminine? Masculine?

          • savvy

            Feminine= Church/Humanity , Masculine=Christ/God

            Now I know in typical human discourse one is superior to the other, but in Christianity the paradox is that one empties himself for the other, in this case Christ emptying himself to death on a cross for his bride. It’s a love story. Masculine and feminine do not just exist to confuse us.

          • Karen

            And God is clearly superior to the Church. You may repeat that feminine is not inferior until you pass out from lack of oxygen, but that does not change the fact that you believe that masculine = God; feminine = human, and human < God. Please, just be honest without yourself and the rest of us. Men are, in Catholic doctrine always better than women. It's quite simple and clear from your demonstrations that this is the case.

          • savvy

            Nope, Karen, you just do not get this. Jesus is God, but is also fully man. You can’t say this makes him less than God.

            The church is fully human and fully divine.

          • jdens

            Yes, but only men are allowed to represent the divine. How about this. The church without Christ is not divine. It is Christ that makes the church divine, right? Without Christ, we’re not the Church but just humanity. (Which is starting to get weird with the analogy because Christ +humanity=Church would turn into Father + Children = Mother. )
            But only men are allowed to represent Christ, so only men represent the divine. And as you described before, God bows down to lift humanity up. The bowing down itself is a clue to this innate superiority. It’s like saying women are equal to men because men have condescended to bring them up to their level.

          • savvy

            God is not a sexual being, God is spirit. So masculine and feminine were created by God and not the other way around. Your argument is not with me, but with the order of creation itself and with Christianity. The cross is kenosis, the self-emptying of oneself for another. It’s does not imply superior as much as natural difference, such as men are physically stronger, so can life someone up.

            This is an observable and universal distinction. The same as women give birth, or east-west, north-south etc.

            Your argument is that it’s not fair that they are not exactly the same, hence they are not equal, etc, etc. This would be an argument with creation itself.

          • savvy

            Perhaps you do not understand what I mean by church.

          • savvy

            Okay, I am really going to clarify this. Masculine and Feminine are first cosmic principles, before they become male and female. Christ and his church are both human and divine.

            They are both the vehicle through which humanity finds salvation.

            So the world was created for the church, rather than the other way around.

          • jdens

            Actually, I think we can find examples of people who gave up their lives for tradition–especially when that particular tradition played into deeply held values forming a tribal identity. But I’m curious, is there someone who died in order to prevent women from being priests? I want to know the story of anyone whose battle cry was Give me men, or give me death.

          • savvy

            Very funny. The issue is they saw the Eucharist as the same sacrifice at Calvary and the nuptial banquet of heaven. And the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

          • jdens

            :) But you assume that they couldn’t see it that way unless a man was presiding as priest, and I don’t think that’s a safe assumption (although given the patriarchal worldview, maybe it is). All Christians cherish the Eucharist, whatever they call it and however they describe it. That is not an argument in favour of an exclusively male priesthood.

          • savvy

            You argument makes sense only if you accept ghost in machines theory and reject that masculine and feminine carry spiritual significance. You also have to understand the Mass.

          • jdens

            Nope. Leaping all over the place now. I’m not supporting “ghosts in machines”, and as someone already made the point, I do not have to reject that masculine and feminine carry spiritual significance in order to reject your definition of that significance. And it really doesn’t mean I have to accept your conclusions about acceptable male and female roles in the church based on your definitions of masculine, feminine, and their spiritual significance. (Someone accused me of confusing male/female with masculine/feminine, so I want to make sure they’re distinguished here.)

            And again I see the assumption that a failure to concede must mean a failure to understand. Apparently, only people who agree with your views about men and the priesthood really understand the Mass. I readily admit that there are whole libraries of volumes of things I do not understand about Roman Catholic doctrines and traditions, but I think it’s condescending to assume that all those Catholic women who feel they have a priestly vocation are just ignorant.

            For all the wonderful mystery in the Roman Catholic tradition, it seems hell bent on trying to define and limit and explain everything. Reminds me of the decline of the prophets at the rise of the scribes.

          • savvy

            You do not have to agree with my definition and I do not have to agree with yours. Lets just agree to disagree.

            The issue is revealed vs. relevant religion. The Russian Orthodox are already calling this the final break in Christianity.

          • jdens

            I haven’t offered a definition for you to agree or disagree with.

            I don’t think the issue is how you’re framing it. It’s not about ‘revealed’ vs ‘relevant’ or as the evangelicals often say ‘absolute truth’ versus ‘relativism’. I do think our understandings of authority differ greatly, even if we’ve only talked around it. That’s a much more difficult and involved conversation to have and beyond the scope of this comment section. And I think our treatment of language and text probably differs a good deal also. I think there is a literalism in your application of metaphor running throughout your arguments that I don’t see a need for.

            So yes, let’s agree to disagree. And if I can say this without sounding pompously pious because I do mean it quite sincerely: May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen

            (By the way, we haven’t really factored the Holy Spirit in these conversations at all!)

          • savvy

            I think the metaphor exists simply because masculine and feminine are cosmic principles, that already exist, rather than the other way around.

            But, I agree. Amen and God bless You.

          • pagansister

            One of many reasons that the RCC and the Orthodox churches don’t get along! (regarding your last paragraph above).

          • savvy

            We totally agree on this issue.

          • pagansister

            I’m happy that we agree on some things, savvy. Feels good. :o)

          • savvy

            Nope, I meant the church agrees with the Orthodox churches on this issue. Sorry :)

          • pagansister

            Darn! Thought we had a moment there! :o)

          • jdens

            By the way, “my argument” is simply that your argument does not hold. You seem to assume all sorts of positions that I have not put forward.

          • savvy

            Why is that?

          • pagansister

            It is very obvious that you like your Eucharist served by a male—and that it really doesn’t bother you that there is a basic inequality regarding the rules about the person that presides over that function. Your basis for your arguments are based on what you have been taught and have chosen to believe. However I find it a little disturbing since I think in one of the posts you said you are female also, (if I’m wrong, I’m sorry) that you don’t recognize the inequality.

          • savvy

            I do not agree with your definition of inequality. You have confused equal with same. I have explained this issue many times over. If you do not want to accept it fine. Do not project your views onto me.

          • pagansister

            Am sure you don’t agree—I’d have been surprised if you did agree with my definition of inequality. IMO, women and men are both qualified to perform the Eucharist —but then no one has ever said the Church is an equal opportunity employer.(but they did hire me, a total non-Catholic) to teach 10 years in one of their schools. I even have a small retirement income from the diocese. Anyhow, the only difference in qualifications seems to be (as brought up in some other posts) the genitals. So I guess if I use the word “equal” to literally mean “the same”, the obviously male and female bodies are not. But using “equal” to mean qualified, intelligent, able bodied (not using the term for body parts), and fit—then I purpose that male and females are “equal” to perform that Sacrament, except in the eyes of the male dominated Church.

          • savvy

            Do you understand how sacraments work? They work objectively, not subjectively. The Form, matter, and intention of the sacrament cannot stray away from their substantial nature.

            So yes a woman cannot be a priest, and two people of the same sex cannot be married.

            I do not share your anti-matter dualism.

            And a sacrament is not a career. If someone wants one, find something else to do.

            There are other things that able-bodied, intelligent women can and should do in the church.

          • pagansister

            There are other things women “should ” do in the church? SHOULD? What SHOULD they do/ Obviously the sacrament is not a career—it is part of a career for a male in the Church.

          • savvy

            Holy Orders is a sacrament. We have been over this. There are many other forms of ministry women can be part of. In fact almost everything.

          • pagansister

            Well of course, I should have remembered that.

          • savvy

            I know personally know former women priests who left the Anglican church to join Catholic and Orthodox churches, where they cannot function as priests. The reason is they do not care about the title. They care about HIM. They are not giving up their saviour for some political cause.

          • pagansister

            Most certainly their choice to make—whatever gets it for them. They may like having a more conservative religious group to belong to. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that women being unable to serve as priests in the RCC is still, IMO, totally outdated. Women in the RCC don’t have a choice—the former Anglican women priests did, so they gave it a try and didn’t find it to their liking.

          • savvy

            Your opinion is not relevant to me, because we are arguing from a different premise.

          • pagansister

            Different premise? You just said that the women left because they weren’t happy being priests in the Anglican church. Are you getting political on me? How were they “giving up their savior” if they remained priests? Or did they find it better to follow the part(s) of the good book somewhere that said they shouldn’t be leaders/priests for whatever reason mentioned in the Book.? Just speculating here.

          • savvy

            Because they were not priests. They were ministers. They understood that a priesthood that did not point to the Eucharistic sacrifice was not a priesthood.

            They wanted the Eucharist.

          • pagansister

            OK, I just assumed that in the Anglican’s had priests like the Episcopal church does.

          • savvy

            Yes, they once did. There is now no mention of being ordained into the sacrificial priesthood, except in continuing Anglican churches that do not accept women priests.

          • pagansister

            I just posted a little above regarding priests in the Anglican realm.

          • pagansister

            I just did a tiny bit of research—Anglicans DO have women priests—same title, so I guess those women left because of the different definition of what happens to the wine/grape juice and the wafer/bread at communion, I guess. They wished to actually eat flesh and blood of their savior, not just have those foods used to remember him.

          • savvy

            It’s a lot more complex. For example, does one see the Mass as mere fellowship or as a cosmic event that transcends time and space and brings us to the foot of the Cross, where heaven and earth bow down in worship.

            If you want to understand the Mass this is an excellent book.

            http://www.amazon.com/Lambs-Supper-Mass-Heaven-Earth/dp/0385496591

          • pagansister

            You obviously found this after my note below! Thanks for the reference.

          • savvy

            No Problem.

          • pagansister

            Personally, when I received communion (the old days when i was a Christian) it was a for fellowship as well as the representation of the sacrifice of Jesus. That was a very long time ago. When I visit my former church (Methodist) with my sister who is still a member, I don’t go up to receive communion any more—obviously. My sister totally understands.

          • savvy

            I understand it’s just symbolic, and not seen in the same terms as a catholic mass or orthodox divine liturgy, where both sacrifice and the nuptial meaning of the Eucharist come into play.

          • jdens

            Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about priests in the Anglican tradition:

            “The role of a priest in the Anglican Communion is largely the same as within the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity, except that canon law in almost every Anglican province restricts the administration of confirmation to the bishop, just as with ordination. Whilst Anglican priests who are members of religious orders must remain celibate (although there are exceptions, such as priests in the Anglican Order of Cistercians), the secular clergy – (bishops, priests, and deacons who are not members of religious orders) – are permitted to marry before or after ordination. The Anglican churches, unlike the Roman Catholic or Eastern Christian traditions, have allowed the ordination of women as priests in some provinces since 1971.[20] This practice remains controversial, however; a minority of provinces (ten out the thirty-eight worldwide) retain an all-male priesthood.[21] Most Continuing Anglican churches do not ordain women to the priesthood.”

            “As Anglicanism represents a broad range of theological opinion, its presbyterate includes priests who consider themselves no different in any respect from those of the Roman Catholic Church, and a minority who prefer to use the title presbyter in order to distance themselves from the more sacrificial theological implications which they associate with the word “priest.” While priest is the official title of a member of the presbyterate in every Anglican province worldwide, the ordination rite of certain provinces (including the Church of England) recognizes the breadth of opinion by adopting the title The Ordination of Priests (also called Presbyters). Historically, the term “priest” has been more associated with the “High Church” or Anglo-Catholic wing, whereas the term “minister” has been more commonly used in “Low Church” or Evangelical circles.[22]”

            There’s a great deal of theological diversity in the Anglican tradition(s), something I very much like about it, so it’s difficult to categorically say how Anglicans see the Eucharist. In my own Anglican experience, the Eucharist is not ‘mere fellowship’, as you disparage it. It is a sacrament. We don’t try to explain how or in what manner the bread and the wine become Christ; only that Christ’s presence is real in the sacrament. No matter how many times you assert the opposite, you don’t have to have a male priest in order to see the Eucharist as transcendent (and immanent!).

          • savvy

            Thanks for this. So I take it that you do not see it as the same sacrifice at Calvary made present and a nuptial banquet. The Eastern Orthodox do not explain the real presence either, but still hold that a male priest is necessary.

            So, we disagree. End of story.

          • jdens

            I don’t know about how ‘Anglican theology’ sees the church in relation to transcendence and immanence, but those qualities about God are pretty basic theology. And that’s what we’ve been talking about, the nature of God, which you have insisted is unrelentingly and wholly masculine, and you have used transcendence as part of that argument (creation from without, etc), but you have not allowed the flip side of that, God’s immanence, to be evidence of God’s femininity.

          • savvy

            It’s not about what this church or that thinks, as much as what Christians have held historically about the Eucharist. I just choose to stand with them.

            Ignatius of Antioch

            Make certain, therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist; for there is but one body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with his blood, and one single altar of sacrifice —even as there is also but one bishop, with his clergy and my own fellow servitors, the deacons. This will ensure that all your doings are in full accord with the will of God (Letter to the Philadelphians 4 [A.D. 110]).

            Justin Martyr

            God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [minor prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: “I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord, and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles” [Mal. 1:10-11]. He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us [Christians] who in every place offer sacrifices to him, that is, the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist (Dialogue with Trypho 41 [A.D. 155]).

          • jdens

            You attempted to show the difference between how we Anglicans treat the Eucharist and how it is defined in the Roman Catholic tradition in order to demonstrate that what we celebrate isn’t really the Eucharist. I offered some clarity on that matter because your depiction is inaccurate and misleading, not to mention insulting.

            You can quote however many people or texts you want, but without demonstrating how they support the very particular claims that you are making here, they have no effect on the argument.

            Incidentally, if it’s what Christians have held historically, and not what any church thinks that matters, then there’s a great deal more diversity to contend with, and you must remember that we present-day Christians are also party of history. We also shape Christianity’s teachings and traditions.

          • savvy

            The issue is that different Anglicans will give you different views, but those who have engaged in a historical, anthropological study of this issue, have realized that the priesthood linked to atonement was always male, because it pointed to the one to come and was linked to his atoning sacrifice.

            “but without demonstrating how they support the very particular claims that you are making here, they have no effect on the argument.”

            If the Eucharist is the same as the sacrifice of Calvary, then Christ is both priest and victim, and the priest who offers the sacrifice must be male.

            The issue here is revealed vs relevant religion. If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then this we cannot ice our own cupcake on this issue.

          • jdens

            Nope. That’s the issue you’re trying to make it. We can agree that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and still disagree about whether a woman can point to Christ as well as a man can.

            “If the Eucharist is the same sacrifice of Calvary, then Christ is both priest and victim”

            yeah, I’m following you.

            “and the priest who offers the sacrifice must be male”

            whoops, lost me again.

            That’s a huge leap.

            And that is what has been frustrating to me in our dialogue. Rather than fill in the gaps to support a particular claim, you seem to leap off to another distantly related declaration. When queried about that, you point in another direction, and before I know it, you’ve flown off again.

          • savvy

            “and the priest who offers the sacrifice must be male”

            Why is this so hard to understand that Jesus is the son of God=male.

          • jdens

            Nobody has a hard time understanding that Jesus was male. It’s why everyone else has to be that’s the mystery. Jesus was also Jewish and circumcised. Yet neither of those two things make the leap with you when it comes to priesthood. And you have already said that Jesus is the only priest making the sacrifice. All other ‘priests’ are icons. Icons point to something beyond them. Excluding women from this is a leap.

          • savvy

            Race is not integral the same way that sex is. The body is a theology, that makes manifest the mystery of God. There is meaning to our creation as male and female. This meaning reveals to us the things of God, just as marriage is seen as the revealing to us the relationship between Christ and his bride the church.

            Without this distinction, we miss Jesus.

          • jdens

            His very DNA is not an integral part of his body?

          • savvy

            It does not carry the same spiritual significance as masculine and feminine.

          • jdens

            But you derive its spiritual significance from its integral connection to the body. Going in circles.

          • savvy

            Yes, our creation as male and female.

          • savvy

            What makes you think women are not capable of acting the same way? If these stereotypical arguments were made on the other side, it would be called male chauvinism.

          • pagansister

            If women were allowed to be priests and pulled the same stunts as some of the male priests have been known to have pulled, then they should be called out the same as the male priests. I’d have no problem with that.

          • savvy

            I agree, but perhaps what you and others want is not a priest. Go to a church that does not have one.

          • pagansister

            That’s possible—-but if I needed the magic stuff that happens at communion—-then who would be called to do that? According to the Church, it has to be a priest. (if I were Catholc).

          • savvy

            And? Why should others be denied a valid Eucharist, for you.

          • pagansister

            I did and do.

          • savvy

            I would disagree. Catholic women already do everything a Protestant minister or Rabbi does.

    • savvy

      What you want is not a priest. Why don’t you get that these comparisons to slavery, and secular roles are not valid.

      • pagansister

        Only pointing out with the slavery and voting examples that tradition doesn’t have to be continued when it discriminates against a gender—in this case, women. And yes, it actually is about leadership.

        • savvy

          Political arguments are not going to convince those who love his eucharistic presence and theological arguments are not going to convince those who do not.

          You do not have to be a priest , to be a leader. This is secondary.

          • pagansister

            But in the RCC it certainly helps to be MALE and a priest.

          • savvy

            Anybody interested in a status symbol should find something else to do. The highest calling is to be a saint. Being a priest is not better than doing something else. This is the very definition of clericalism.

          • pagansister

            “The highest calling is to be a saint.” I’m working on that. :o)

    • Dave P.

      Pagansister:

      I have a cousin, a woman religious, who founded a college and was able to hold her own against one especially prickly bishop. That’s one fairly recent example of many influential and powerful womwn in the Catholic Church. No one would have called dynamos like Scholastica, Gertrude, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila Katherine Drexel, Dorothy Day, Catherine Doherty, and Teresa of Calcutta “oppressed” or “powerless”. Even now, what would you call Alice von Hildebrand, Helen Hull Hitchcock, Mary Ann Glendon, or Amy Welborn? If they are “marginalized” and “oppressed”, I’d love to be marginalized and oppressed as well.

      • Karen

        All of those women are upper-class, especially Hildebrand who is actually, by marriage, a member of the German nobility. It has never been difficult for upper class women to have careers, which is why all of those women do every single thing in their power to prevent women who AREN’T privileged from improving our economic position. If we can compete with them, they suddenly aren’t Super Special Snowflakes anymore.

        • Dave P.

          So powerful and influential women are the enemy as well? Then you must not be a fan of Oprah Winfrey, Alice Walker, Hillary Rodham Clinton, or even Bishop Jefferts Schori.

          As far as the deceased ones go, my cousin was the daughter of farmers. Dorothy Day was of middle class background, and embraced poverty voluntarily. Catherine Doherty renounced her nobility. And Katherine Drexel used her fortune to minister to Native Americans and African Americans, founding Xavier University as part of that apostalate.

          Lastly, I think Amy Welborn would be amused to be called upper class. She may make a decent living from her work, but I doubt she is a part of some secret cabal intent on keeping inferior women from getting ahead of her…

          • Karen

            Winfrey, Walker, and Clinton are all self-made; none of them came from powerful families. This is different from the Catholic women you list, all of whom except Dorothy Day were born to extraordinary privilege.

          • Dave P.

            Doherty’s nobility did nothing for her on this side of the Atlantic. Katherine Drexel used none of her fortune for herself after she founded her congregation. Mother Teresa gave up teaching upper-class Indians to minister to the poorest of the poor.

            Sure, Alice Walker and Oprah Winfrey are self-made (Hillary could be considered upper-middle-class in background, actually). But they all rose up in money and influence. (nothing bad about that in and of itself). The examples I cite gave up their titles and fortunes, and embraced poverty. In the case of my cousin, she came from German peasant stock. They were powerful in their own way, and none of them would have considered herself oppressed.

            Furthermore, I have known a lot of well-educated Catholic women who were and are not in the upper-income bracket, who do not think they are inferior or oppressed because they couldn’t become priests. My late mother, to whom I owe my faith, was one. She had an extensive personal library of theological works, and not the “pop” stuff, either. My eldest son’s godmother is another. She works as a translator in a hospital. She is a dynamic teacher, and her knowledge of the Faith is breathtaking. She also lives it to the fullest. I could go on and on with examples, but you’d consider them all deluded or malevolent, or some combination of the two.

      • pagansister

        Good for your cousin, Dave P. No matter how powerful she was, she ultimately was supposed to follow the rules set by that prickly bishop. I’m not saying that women haven’t contributed to the Church—some who have sacrificed to do so. However—they are in too many ways treated unequally, IMO.

        • Dave P.

          Trust me, she found ways to get around that bishop. Even then, some of the women religious superiors could mix it up with interfering prelates and come out on top.

          • pagansister

            Happy to hear that, Dave P. She sounds like some one to be reckoned with.

          • Dave P.

            She was. Mother Bartholomew Frederick, OSF, was her name. Quite the hellion in childhood – it was a surprise when she decided to enter religious life. She was (and is still)affectionately known as “Mother B.” to the community. However, if she got “on the warpath” (such as with aforementioned bishop), she was called “Black Bart”. Time and space keep me from relating her story, but suffice to say she accomplished much in her 99 years of life.

          • pagansister

            “Mother B” obviously was a very special person—99 years –long and productive life, from what you said. Expect it was always wise to stay on her “good” side. :o) I had the honor of working with a slightly built nun, perhaps 5 feet tall, of advanced age when I met her, but still teaching 5 years of the 10 years I taught in a Catholic elementary school. . Sister was an FCJ. She was a trip, and I totally enjoyed knowing her. I agree that women religious can be powerful in the Church—-but still contend that since they ultimately have to do as they are told by the males (priests, bishops etc.) then they are still not on equal ground. Without them, where would the Church be?

          • Dave P.

            Well…I don’t know if Mother B. or any of the Catholic women I know would have accomplished as much had they been ordained. But they have done a lot. Many thanks for the kind and courteous conversation.

          • pagansister

            Totally enjoyed it, Dave P. Perhaps we’ll meet again on these threads.

          • Dave P.

            One last thing (since I’m all but quitting this thread for good after this): if you want a realistic portrayal of religious life as it was in the 50′s and 60′s, read In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden. It’s well worth it. Thanks again, O My Noble Adversary :-) .

          • pagansister

            Cool, Dave P. Sounds like a good read and I appreciate your recommendation. My best to you and look forward to more discussion on perhaps another thread. Good Night.

  • Crux_Sacra

    The lyrics to the song remind me of Satan’s infamous speach in Paradise Lost. The process of discernment should reveal what is God’s will, not the person’s. Humility is needed for discernment of vocations. There is no humility on display during this video, if indeed it’s serious, but rather an astounding amount of pride. From the very first verse, nothing but pride. And children have been drafted into the movement! St Therese of Lisieux, pray for us!

  • http://twitter.com/kmo_9000 Kevin

    Haha, looks like they disabled the comments since last I saw that video a couple days ago. Guess this blog drew a bit of negative attention. I downloaded a copy of the video in case they try to take it down though.

  • http://reasondecrystallized.blogspot.com/ extremities

    You made perfect sense. You believe that only men can represent Jesus because men are more like Jesus, and you fail to see why that makes you a raging misogynist.

  • teigitur

    Oh dear that should put some more people off Lady “Priests” . It just shows how trite and superficial they are. Hilarious.

  • Sophias_Favorite

    Two things that people need to keep in mind, when forming opinions about this issue.

    One, men can’t be Korean shamans, at least not the kind that gods speak through (there are two kinds of Korean shaman). There are some, very few, men who are naerim saram (“people descended upon [by gods]“) and can channel the gods, but they perform their rituals in women’s clothing, because all shamans are women, even if they’re male.

    Two, women can be Navajo medicine-men, but they cannot perform the role of dancers in the Yé’ii Bichaii or Night Way, because each dancer wears the mask, and takes on the power, of a male god (“yé’ii bichaii”, “maternal grandfather of the gods”, is a title of Talking God, one of the four brother deities who first gave the Navajo their religion).

    People who don’t assume their gods are fake don’t think they get to decide who gets to be priests.

  • judi

    god help you and all like you !!!! it will never happen !!!!! so get over it !!!!!! if the mother of god did not ask, who are we ??????

    • pagansister

      it will never happen? You wish. who are we?????? WOMEN!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angelo-Ocampo/100000081911147 Angelo Ocampo

    Don’t tell me that the people behind womynpriests are lesbians.

  • Korou

    I ca’t say I find this theology at all convincing, but as the effect seems to be to move the Catholic Churc further and further towards irrelevancy I can’t say I find this a bad thing. I do feel sorry for the women who find themselves members of such a repressive organisation, though.

  • Gaby

    from the video: “I want my church back” Huh???? Oh, yeah. Over at womenpriests, they think the early Church ordained women as priests and then those evil, power-hungry male patriarchs cut them out of the action. A word of advice: don’t get your church history from Dan Brown.

  • Corita

    As a *very* innocent younger teenage girl I remember arguing with my Catholic date that there was no reason for women not to be priests. Within a few years, I had changed my story: Women should not be priests because… I knew exactly how women were looked at, and treated, by a large percentage of men– even the Catholics I knew. I was convinced that women could not possibly seen as holy, and self-contained. They would be objectified, gawped at, gossiped about and made demands of by their parishioners male or female.

    Now, 20 years later I also know that the same thing happens to men…

    But I still am going with my “sex objects” argument against female priesthood. Not very theological, but then again God knows us well, maybe there is that practical reason as well.

  • jdens

    It’s easy to point and laugh. They look like they’re having fun, and they’re putting themselves out there for something that’s important to them. I admire them for trying to reform their tradition rather than abandoning it.

  • Octavo

    TL;DR Jesus had a penis; therefore, the priests who represent him need to be similarly equipped.

    • jdens

      Um, I did not write this. Is something up with Disqus? It had a different user name ready for me when I went to post…

      • jdens

        Never mind. It’s different now–maybe things are just showing up weird on my computer. Sorry!

  • Hermes60

    What about Paul refering to women apostles????

  • Barbara

    So, then the men if the Catholic Church are involved in a metaphorical gay relationship with their “bridegroom” priests?

  • Graham-Michoel Wills

    At Pentecost, I don’t recall the Holy Spirit ordaining the Disciples as priests.

  • Eric Stull

    So, Marc, have you ever heard of a straw-man argument? If you hadn’t, well, you have now, and the reason for your hearing of it is that you are guilty of just having made one. For which, I can only say, shame on you! You begin looking into this grave matter by implying that female claims to the priesthood are so frivolous that they must be made by means of a shallow, self-esteem-themed pop-music-style video? Why should anyone take you seriously when you begin so frivolously?

    By the way, that philosophical tradition you cite as the Church’s gift to the West actually began with a bunch of pagan Greeks many centuries before. You might recall from the book of Acts Paul’s rather unsuccessful appeal to these folks on the Hill of Ares in Athens. Stop snobbishly appropriating the legacy of antiquity as a Catholic cultural contribution! The Church, mainly through its monks, does deserve credit for its engagement with and transmission of this legacy, but the claim that the gift is the Church’s own original contribution is a lie that is getting a little old and can only work on the unsuspecting.

    Eric

    • jdens

      Hi Eric, did you choose the username jdens or was it the default when you tried to post? I’m asking because jdens is what I go by, but also because there was a different username that neither I nor my spouse had ever used ready as the default when I first tried to post.

      • jdens

        Never mind; it’s changed again. Sorry for the confusion. I swear I’m not going crazy–it keeps showing me comments from other people with my username and then later it’s corrected. I shake my fist at Disqus

  • drdanfee

    Ah, … nice hostility there, threadsters … and targeting girls who (you allege, mistakenly) wonder if God could work through them to lead, change the world for the better, and do something besides conform to the most closed, traditional ideas of what a sumissive/obedient wife/mother/sister should be. What could be a better demonstration of how the supposedly finalized doctrine tends to work out in real life among us? Alas. Lord have mercy. My first impulse was to get into exploring the ‘essentialist’ medieval underpinnings of this line of thought, apparently locking doors tight right up to now. However, I paused, then thought maybe I could recast some trenchant aspects of the justice/love point by saying it this way: Let’s for the passing moment set aside critical explorations of the essentialist legacy doctrine of traditions about barring and banning women priests. The rest of the call and the anguish still remains to speak to us. That is, given that only men may become priests, how shall faithful communities show in daily call, worship, service, and witness that God regards women as something more than breeding cows who must bear offspring (or, at least say they want, above all, to bear offspring?) before we credit them with attention, recognition, and affirmation of spiritual and human gifts equal in real, local impact to the immense institutional machinery of ‘priesthood’? How in worship shall we affirm that God in the woman next to me in the pew is just as real, just as telling as God in the man sitting next to me in the pew? The church claims to valorize women equally to … and sometimes implies that it valorizes women more … to men. But in modern life this claim is simply not being lived out in a sufficiently broad band manner which makes it something we can take for simple granted as happening because preaching, teaching, and doctrine claim to say it is happening. Finally, I cannot resist asking some pesky additional questions, if we for the moment grant the ‘essentialist’ thinking that is supposed to be trumping all other notions. For, it seems, if we must be careful that the essentialist male priest extends Christ to the Bride that is apparently all non-ordained lay people? Then, surely, the deep, resonant undertones of homo-eroticism color us men who sit in the pews as innate to that “Bride”? One cannot suddenly switch on this foundational ‘essentialism of sex/gender’ when we are thinking through women, and turn down its volume or turn it off altogether when we turn to think through who men lay people are in God. If the priest’s genitals are so salvific a matter by direct, final revelation, how is it that the lay guy’s genitals suddenly turn into non-essentials which are subsumed by symbolic “Bride” status, rather than the other way round when womens’ genitals cannot be subsumed because, well per the tradition, it just ain’t so. Alas. Lord have mercy.

    • Barfly_Kokhba

      Seek help.

  • KN

    I think descriptions of the bridegroom/bride analogy for Christ and his Church are very beautiful, and very true, but I don’t think they provide a good explanation for the all-male ministerial priesthood. It’s an analogy. It’s the closest thing we have, in our creaturely comprehension, to help us understand ultimate union with the divine. But it’s not to be taken literally. As Balthasar writes at the end of his piece on this issue, “every member of the Church, even the priest, must maintain a feminine receptivity to the Lord of the Church.” The priest is Christ, the bridegroom; the people in the nave are the bride. But this symbolic realm doesn’t exclude men from taking on the feminine role with respect to a layman’s receptivity to the bridegroom. If men can be in the nave, why can’t women be at the altar? The answer, I think, is a mystery, just as Christ’s choice of bread and wine as the sacramental matter of the eucharist over other substances is a mystery. Do bread and wine have symbolic value and a long history in Scripture? Of course they do. But the actual reason that rice doesn’t make for valid eucharistic matter has to do with the institution of the sacrament, not with symbolic meaning. I don’t dissent from the all-male priesthood, but I think we miss the point of the bridegroom/bride analogy to Christ and his Church, and risk sending laymen the message that lay participation in the Church is feminine, when we take the analogy too literally.

    • jdens

      I agree with so much of what you’re saying, but no way is it ok for institutionalised discrimination to be explained away by ‘it’s a mystery’.

      • Claude

        I agree with what you’re saying (here and all along). Well said by KN but lost me at “it’s a mystery.” Not really.

  • Toby

    The biggest problem is that the bible was written by men and women were squeezed out. You really don’t have to read between the lines to understand that women were disciples of Jesus and received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus was a radical advocate of total equality. This shows through event the malecentric redacted accounts in the existing bible. The images of marriage and lovers, is poetry. The type of love Jesus showed his disciples, male and female, was beyond that. Male priests is a product of the Greek anti woman and Roman male chauvanism (an understatment!). The church needs to accept women as full priests and stop forcing good catholic gays into the priesthood.

    • pagansister

      Amen, Dave P, Amen. Well said.

    • pagansister

      Obviously I credited my post below (14 hours) to the wrong person—sorry Toby! I just discovered the error.

    • savvy

      Nobody is arguing that women were never disciples. Jesus did not ordain them to be sacrificial/sacramental priests to preside over the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is the point. Jesus is the only priest.

  • Toby

    The quote from John Paul is utter nonsense. How could the Church have no power and now they want to fast track him as Saint. Maybe the dustbin of history awaits.

  • Woodstock Churchlady

    Hey, lighten up! Is the problem that the Church can’t take criticism or that all criticism has to be SERIOUS? I’m not Catholic (or did you guess?) and I can tell you from experience that the Catholic Church is missing out on some terrific priests. But that’s OK. The Protestant churches would love to have these women.

    • savvy

      You can take them, since you rejected the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments a long time ago.

  • Panfarar

    But using this writer’s logic, taking seriously the sexuality of the priest having to be male, since Christ is also male, would require that all church members then must be female.

  • Alex

    I’m a bit confused. And this isn’t to reject the argument, but rather for clarification.

    It seems to me that the logical playing out of this argument would require all males to become priests or not be believers.

    I say this because you say that priests are continuing Christs and therefore a bridegroom and because bride grooms can only be male, only priests can be male.

    Your statement is thus, “The role of bridegroom is not something that can be separated from maleness, just as the role of bride cannot be separated from femaleness, and thus the priest — insofar as he participates in the very role of the Divine Bridegroom, Jesus Christ — must be male.”

    Following this logic of gender roles it would seem that men cannot be part of the Church if the Church is a bride. This is because the role of a bride can only be filled by women, just like the role of a bridegroom can only be filled by a male, i.e. the priesthood.

    Now, I don’t honestly think you believe this, but i must put forward that this is the logical conclusion of your argument. The conclusion being that all males must be priest and not part of the Church and that all females must be part of the Church and not priests.

    Again, this is not to reject the argument, but rather an observation to assist is clarification.

  • agrabb

    “The role of bridegroom is not something that can be separated from maleness, just as the role of bride cannot be separated from femaleness, and thus the priest — insofar as he participates in the very role of the Divine Bridegroom, Jesus Christ — must be male.”

    If this is true, then wouldn’t the Church’s role as the Divine Bride have to be all female?

  • Eve

    This written analysis makes perfect sense – as long as you forget the following points: First, a priest not only represents Christ but is also the BRIDE of Christ. At which point, gender falls down. In fact you could argue that, in that capacity, women would make more “appropriate” priests. Secondly, let us not forget that, in the early church, Paul recommended and appreciated Junia and Phoebe, female deacons of the church. And Mary Magdalene has been called “The Apostle to the Apostles” since the earliest days of the church. Finally, no one chooses to be male or female; no one earns the role of male or female. To say that someone who is born male is the only one who has the right to be a priest is equivalent to saying that, since Jesus had (undoubtedly) dark hair and dark eyes, only those who were born with dark hair and dark eyes can be priests. Of course, historically, it’s always been the opposite: for centuries, people who were born black, or Native American, or Asian, were not allowed to be priests, either, because they were born with inappropriate features and skin color. Some day, women, born with inappropriate genitalia, will be allowed to be priests, too. Some future pope will put out another encyclical, declaring the opposite of what Pope John Paul II said. It will not be the first time that an encyclical of one pope has been changed by another.

    • Claude

      The Gospel of Thomas:

      (114) Simon Peter said to him, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.”

      Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.”

      Bart Ehrman explains that in antiquity women were considered a lesser degree of human than men, hence the prerequisite of becoming male (presumably by assimilating the power of Jesus’s teaching) before entering the kingdom.

      But there you have it, from a gospel commonly thought contemporaneous with the canonical gospels and reportedly from the Lord Jesus himself: “I myself shall lead her…”

      • pagansister

        AND? That was 2000 or so years ago—it is truly fortunate that times have changed since that time—except I guess in the mind of Thomas and his amigos as well as the RCC.

        • Dave P.

          That passage is one of many reasons why the Gospel of Thomas was rejected as canon.

        • Claude

          Funny, I see that passage as supportive of women priests, for those concerned about form.

          Oh well.

          • pagansister

            Thanks, Claude. I tend to agree with you upon re-reading the above. I totally misread it. After going thru some 400 comments here, scanning a comment doesn’t mean it has been read correctly. :o)

          • Claude

            Oh good! Yes, I’ve been getting bleary trying to keep up with this monster as well.

        • savvy

          The issue here is that we want a priest for different reasons.

      • savvy

        Bart Ehrman comes from a Protestant background, and has not taken Catholic or Orthodox views into consideration.

        • Claude

          My bet is that Bart Ehrman knows more about Catholic and Orthodox views than you or I will ever know.

          • savvy

            You are going to lose the bet, since I have read Bart Ehrman, and he makes the assumption that ALL Christians have the same views on female leadership.

          • Claude

            Nonsense.

          • savvy
          • Claude

            Nowhere in that article does Ehrman, as you say, “make the assumption that ALL Christians have the same views on female leadership.”

          • savvy

            He does not take into account the priesthood as a sacrificial office, seen by the early church or older churches. He applies Protestant interpretations to these texts.

          • Claude

            Non sequitur. You said Ehrman makes the assumption that all Christians have the same views on female leadership, and that is false. If anything, he is pointing out the contrary.

          • savvy

            Okay, I should have said, his arguments do not take into consideration views on a sacrificial priesthood.

    • pagansister

      Your post is absolutely mind-blowing! Well said. Now—if only the Church had such well thought out and common sense thoughts! Perhaps your last 2 lines will someday come true!

    • Cal-J

      “First, a priest not only represents Christ but is also the BRIDE of
      Christ. At which point, gender falls down. In fact you could argue
      that, in that capacity, women would make more “appropriate” priests.”

      I’m afraid not. The Church as an institution is the Bride of Christ (this symbolism represents the unique connection between Christ and his Church); the priests and bishops, following the symbolism, are actually the spiritual eunuchs charged with Her protection.

      “Secondly, let us not forget that, in the early church, Paul recommended
      and appreciated Junia and Phoebe, female deacons of the church.”

      Junia as in the lady mentioned with Andronicus by Paul in Romans? It could be very easily argued that Paul is simply indicating that the two are worthy of attention (how closely they can be aligned with actual ministry largely depends on one’s translation; “of note among the apostles” is too vague to draw definite conclusions from). And the Greek diakonos attributed to Phoebe simply indicates that she was a servant of the Church in her area (diakonos, from which we get our “deacon”, strictly means “servant”); there’s not enough there to argue she held a position equivalent to a proper deacon in the hierarchy of the Church.

      “And Mary Magdalene has been called “The Apostle to the Apostles” since the earliest days of the church.”

      Yes she has, but the people who actually called her that used it as an honorary term.

      “Finally, no one chooses to be male or female; no one earns the role of
      male or female. To say that someone who is born male is the only one
      who has the right to be a priest is equivalent to saying that, since
      Jesus had (undoubtedly) dark hair and dark eyes, only those who were
      born with dark hair and dark eyes can be priests.”

      Aha, here we hit on an important issue.

      Nobody arguing for the male priesthood can do so successfully on the basis of “rights” (at least as understood in the confused sense moderns use the word in, which is a conflation of civil peacetime privileges and natural obligations), because no one has a right to the priesthood. Some men — some, not all — are called to the priesthood, which is a specific consecration to a role in God’s church.

      The priesthood is not properly understood as a job or career. A Catholic priest is a specific kind of monk, performing a role, as understood by the religion itself to be specific to men.

      “Of course, historically, it’s always been the opposite: for centuries,
      people who were born black, or Native American, or Asian, were not
      allowed to be priests, either, because they were born with inappropriate
      features and skin color.”

      Huh. Now I find that kind of funny. You see, from what I understand, in China, the Catholic priests mostly look Chinese; in Africa, they look African. I’m fairly certain I could rustle up some Mexican or Native American priests for you without much trouble.

      You see, the local church of local members is likely to have priests from among the locals, too. It’s not that complicated.

      It doesn’t really help your case when you demonstrate that you have a racist understanding of history — and yes, I did call it racist (I have not called you racist specifically — yet). You specifically took it upon yourself to speak for the history of at least three different ethnicities (depending on how vague we want to be here), as though you had were enlightened enough and authorized to do so without needing to take a look out the damned window. And the great irony is you probably thought you were only being politically correct.

      “Some day, women, born with inappropriate genitalia, will be allowed to
      be priests, too.”

      Women born with inappropriate genitalia? There’s such a thing as appropriate genitalia?

      “Some future pope will put out another encyclical,
      declaring the opposite of what Pope John Paul II said. It will not be
      the first time that an encyclical of one pope has been changed by
      another.”

      We’re all waiting for the day.

    • savvy

      “First, a priest not only represents Christ but is also the BRIDE of Christ. At which point, gender falls down. In fact you could argue that, in that capacity, women would make more “appropriate” priests.”

      This is exactly why women cannot be priests. They are natural life givers, and receivers of gifts. Christ’s death brings us new life. Men do not give birth to new life. With a male priest there is no doubt, that new life comes from Christ. With a woman, it confuses us whether new life comes from the death of Christ or the woman. The priesthood is like giving birth, in this case, the one who gives birth to new life is Christ on the cross.

  • Dave P.
  • Lagerbaer

    You know, the analogy works both ways.

    If god or Christ wants to “marry” the church, and if the church is represented by its priests, then isn’t that… gay marriage?

  • Atramentus

    I would offer, as an alternative to a purely theological answer, the half-joking fact that women already have every advantage over men; and the perfectly serious fact that giving such a task to the sex so precisely unsuited for it (less sensitive, less emotionally strong, less inclined to discussion/counseling, less open and oriented to interpersonal work etc. etc.) positively rings of the familiar laughter of Heaven. It is perfectly aligned with Jesus’ annoying habit of giving key roles to people too frail to handle them, in order to prove a point to the rest of us.

  • Margo

    Over 600 comments and yet no one has touched on the lyric that most caught my attention: “Excommunication? I’m still glowing” which is soon followed by “But I’m a Catholic, so ordain a lady”. Is that not a most obvious contradiction? The lyrics admit to excommunication from the Catholic Church, yet the women still consider themselves Catholic? How does that work?

    And lest some of you out there think the Church discriminates against women, that is entirely missing the point. It is similar to when Jesus rebuked Peter for thinking as the world does instead of as God does. The world is striving to say that gender does not matter, men and women are completely the same and should be able to do anything they desire. Whereas God responds by making men and women distinct and complementary to one another. Neither gender is “better” than the other. God made each human with specific, unique gifts for each person’s purpose in life. If God wanted us all to be the same, He would not have created man AND woman.

    Let us please stop perceiving it as women are not allowed to be priests; rather that God has different (not better or worse) plans for them.

    Finally, God is infinite, we humans are finite, as such we will NEVER fully understand His ways or His teachings. That is where trust, faith, and obedience come into play; we must surrender to Christ and trust in His ways even if we do not always completely understand them. I realize this requires humility as well, for we must acknowledge that we are not God, only God knows what is truly best for us.

    Thank you, Marc for this wonderful post! God bless everyone in this discussion!

    • Claude

      Who’s saying that men and women “are completely the same” and that “gender does not matter”? Anybody you could actually cite?

      • Margo

        Oh I could provide several citations as that seems to be the underlying case of same sex marriage and same sex parenting, that two mothers can do just as well as a father and a mother. But, I digress and wish to stick to the topic at hand – female priests. Thus, I return to the question I asked in reply to your other comment, does gender matter? If I am wrong and no one is saying that, then that would mean gender does matter and that there are unique roles for men and women, such as the priesthood for men and religious life (sisters, nuns) for women.

        • Claude

          Wow. “Gender does not matter” is not the underlying case of gay marriage! Gay people just want to be able to get married! In a religion that honors Jesus, who by all accounts held marriage in high esteem, it’s a wonder there’s so much hostility from Christians toward gays who wish to marry and have a family.

          Does gender matter? It depends. With regard to the priesthood? I think not. Mind you, for 600 comments we’ve been exposed to variations on the church rationale for limiting the priesthood to men, which in short amounts to “because Jesus was male.” But really, what do you expect from an authoritarian institution with a long history of male dominance.

          Also, the position that “gender matters” in general does not mean that in particular “unique roles for men and women” in the church are inevitable.

          • Margo

            What does it mean for two men (or two women) to be married? I think the gender issue comes more into play when discussing parenting because there are distinct differences in a father and a mother raising a child and two females (or two males) raising a child. That’s my biggest concern is the parenting aspect. Actually, Catholic teaching compels Catholics to treat those with same sex attraction with love, as in loving the individual as a child of God, yet hating the SIN of same sex marriage. I realize it is not always easy to recognize/understand the loving the person, hating the sin mentality.

            I think people would also do well to cease viewing the world in terms of dominance (which gender dominates the other). That is where the trouble, doubts, and rejections of God begin is with viewing the Church as male dominated. Why do people perceive the Church as limiting? Probably because they view in terms of dos and don’ts, which is the wrong way of perception. It would do us well to remember that God has a plan for every person, a plan out of complete love. We need to stop fighting Him, stop trying to change Him, and just trust and accept His plan.

          • Claude

            Yes, I’m conversant with the patronizing Catholic practice regarding homosexuals to love the sinner, hate the sin. Alas, it’s not at all hard to understand the mentality.

            I think people would also do well to cease viewing the world in terms of dominance…. The whole history of the civilization is about dominance. No way around that one, I’m afraid.

            And why do people perceive the Church as limiting? Because it is. The very nature of orthodoxy is that it delimits.

            Your views about God’s plan for every person is interesting. If all you need is to go with the plan, however you divine it, what do you need the Catholic hierarchy for?

          • Margo

            It is not patronizing to love an individual and to see them as a child of God. Catholics love God so much that we want to share His love with everyone. It is too good to keep to ourselves, thus we want to lead people to Christ and Heaven, rebuking them when necessary (as Christ Himself did). What’s patronizing about that?

            Just because our history has been about dominance, why does that mean that dominance must continue? Are we obligated to stick to that status quo? What if people’s minds and hearts were to be open to God’s way and forming their consciences according to His perfect loving teachings? Why can’t people change how they perceive things? The Church’s hierarchy exists to guide people to Christ, in an organized (as opposed to chaotic) manner. As much as people like to think of themselves as self-sufficient, none of us are. We are all need Christ and His shepherds (the Pope, bishops, and priests) to help us on our journey to holiness. We are not free to change God or live life as we see fit.

            If you think about it, life is limiting. We are not infinite beings, each person has individual limitations. No one has the ability to be whoever they desire to be. So, please quit acting like the Church is the bad guy imposing limits on people.

          • Claude

            What’s patronizing about that? Think about it. (Have you ever really?) Would you appreciate being considered “disordered” by your co-religionists because of the sexual orientation you were born? Is that fair? Is that right? Is that loving your brother or sister as yourself?

            Just because our history has been about dominance, why does that mean that dominance must continue? Are we obliged to stick to that status quo? Why, exactly! Why must male dominance of the Catholic hierarchy continue? Well said.

            I’d say there’s a big difference between accepting guidance from the clerical class and reflexively accepting church doctrine as inviolable. They’re just men.

          • Margo

            Oh every sin I commit is disordered and it frustrates me to no end that the word “disordered” used as an adjective to describe the sinful behavior has somehow become an insulting remark about a person. Every single person on this planet is a broken sinner in need of God’s mercy. Homosexuality as a BEHAVIOR is intrinsically disordered as it violates the natural law. There is no sugar coating sinful behavior. Murder is disorder, theft is disorder. Every single person is born broken with crosses to bear. Christ told us that the only way we could follow Him is to accept our crosses. For those with same sex attraction, their cross is to surrender their desires out of love for Christ (after all we all should love Christ first and foremost). No person is required to give into their desires, especially if those desires separate them from Christ. And it is total love to want to bring people closer to Christ. If I hated a person, then I would just let them keep sinning and be cut off from Christ.

            I didn’t say to get rid of male hierarchy, I said to change our perceptions of it (that males have more power than females, untrue, yet an often mistaken perception). Church doctrine IS inviolable. Here is a brief introduction to the Church Magisterium: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/chura4.htm

          • Claude

            Murder, theft and homosexuality are all somehow morally aligned? One of these three is not like the other, and to pretend otherwise is heartless and inhumane.

          • Margo

            Good job, Claude! Murder, theft, and homosexual behavior are all mortal sins, which damage a person’s soul. Now, let me clarify. Engaging in homosexual behavior (having a romantic/sexual relationship with a person of the same sex) is sinful. It is NOT sinful to be attracted to someone of the same sex. It is the person’s response to the attraction that is sinful.

          • Claude

            That was a rhetorical question. I’m familiar with the Church’s position, OK? And I think it’s wrong.

          • Margo

            You are free to disagree with the Catholic Church’s position as God gave us the free will to either accept or reject His love. I understand that certain teachings (especially those regarding people with same sex attraction) can be very difficult to accept. But, I just really want to understand what exactly makes you think that it is wrong? Is it that the Church does not allow sin? Or that the Church does not allow people to give into their desires (do whatever pleases them)? What if you thought about it as leading people closer to Christ? That striving for holiness was the most important part of our lives, resisting sinful behavior? The Catholic Church commands us to treat those with same sex attraction with love and respect. Here is the Catechism’s explanation of the role of those with homosexuality:

            “2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

            2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

            2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

          • Claude

            This argument hinges on “Sacred Scripture.” As you must be aware, scripture has been used to justify all kinds of injustices, as well as just causes. Apologists for slavery appealed to scripture to defend human bondage. Abolitionists in the US (evangelicals) used scripture to agitate for an end to slavery. And so on.

            The Church’s draconian stand is especially ironic given the number of homosexuals in the hierarchy. It’s tragic, really.

          • pagansister

            The Catholic Church “commands” you to treat people with SSA with love and respect? Commands? Does that resemble a dictatorship? Does to me. So you are saying that the Church is your Commander/boss/dictator (or is that the pope?) Not sure how that works in a democracy. Iran maybe, North Korea, maybe. But the USA?

          • pagansister

            There is not one person who comes into this world “broken”! I hate that the CC seems to think a child is born already a sinner! That is such BS. A child who dies unbaptized is considered not able to go to that haven in the sky? How can anyone in their right mind think that?

            AS to the attitude of the Church towards those who happened to be born attracted to the same gender and express their love physically? Love the sinner, hate the act? What a crock! I have the honor of knowing 2 lesbian couples, married and happy. How in hell can that be “sinful?” Unbelievable. Teaching 10 years in the Catholic school, I met several good Catholics who disagree with it’s thinking on that subject and the woman priests too. They are what I call the non-robot Catholics. IMO, they will go to that heaven that is the goal of many Catholics.

          • Margo

            Well, if a person is not a sinner then that would make them either Jesus or Mary and they are both in Heaven so…yeah, kinda no way around being a sinner, except constantly working out our salvation by resisting sin in so far as we are able within our finite limitations and seeking God’s mercy through the glorious Sacrament of Reconciliation.

            Oh, it is very possible to be happy while committing a grave sin. Satan is tricky in his ways of desperately trying to tear us from God and lead us to Hell.

            People may think of themselves as being “good” Catholics, but to be Catholic means to submit to ALL of the Church’s teachings, or what’s the point? Why be part of a religion with which you disagree? And they will not necessarily go to Heaven unless they seek repentance and beg of God’s mercy for disobeying His teachings. The Church’s teachings ARE God’s teachings, they are not separate. Heaven is the goal of all Catholics, but it would a lot of Catholics some good to study up on their faith and actually live it, instead of picking which teachings they like. Once you reject a teaching, you reject God.

          • pagansister

            One has to believe in Satan in order to worry about the sin thing. I don’t. As to your opinion of my Catholic friends? They are entitled to their opinions. BTW, you didn’t answer how babies are born in sin. Surely you must have an answer. AS to Jesus and Mary? Proof of their existence? Can’t use the Bible—was written in order to push an agenda.

          • Claude

            pagansister: There are a few–very few–extra-Biblical references to Jesus, but along with the NT it is apparently enough for historians to have reached a consensus that Jesus, and therefore Mary (or Miriam), existed.

          • pagansister

            Thanks, Claude.

          • Claude

            You’re welcome!

          • Margo

            You’re right and the agenda was to lead people to our true home in Heaven with God. Perhaps the Bible should have been written without a purpose…? And if you don’t believe in the Catholic faith, then why are you spending all this time on a Catholic blog? I said it above, you are free to reject God, He will not force His love on you. What are you hoping to get out of being on BadCatholic’s comment thread?

          • pagansister

            Why am I on this blog? I enjoy the give and take and opinions. Meet interesting folks on blogs.

          • Woodstock Churchlady

            Spoken like a true Unitarian! I hope to meet you in that big discussion group about heaven in the sky!

          • pagansister

            Thank you, Woodstock Churchlady. Someday that meeting might just take place. :o)

          • pagansister

            Another thought—you still didn’t answer how a baby is born in sin. No answer for that question?

          • Karen

            So what power do women have?

    • jdens

      Margo, I can tell from your comments that you are earnestly committed to your faith, and that you love the Roman Catholic Church with fervent devotion. I respect that.

      Although you come from a staunchly RC perspective, some of your comments actually remind me of conversations with staunch fundamentalist evangelicals (who have more and more in common with RC conservatives every day, though each looks at the other rather suspiciously). I remember one telling me, “The Bible is the Word of God” as if that settled the debate we were having. The debate, by the way, wasn’t about biblical authority, but it seems these conversations always come back to authority in the end.

      The arguments for keeping women out of the priesthood cannot be adequately defended logically or theologically, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that it comes down to ‘Because the RC Church is infallible’. I know the black-and-whiteness of that can be comfortable. No need to question, to consider other points of view. The answer is already there. I think that may be comfortable, but is ultimately irresponsible. Where fundamentalist evangelicals have made the Bible into an idol, others have made an idol of the institution of the RC Church.

      Maybe the Holy Spirit is using these women to bring the Church more into alignment with the Kingdom of God.

      • Claude

        Excellent!

        • savvy

          Why are lapsed Catholics so concerned about whether Catholic priests are men or woman, when they obviously do not want to go to church or want the sacraments. If you are here to convince us how this a all a sham made up by men in dresses, then it’s not working.

          What do you want a priest for?

          • Claude

            That’s a good question. Why am I concerned about this. Just off the top of my head: though lapsed, the Catholic Church had me long enough to mark me for life, and I’m still interested in its affairs. The church is a powerful institution, and it’s important to be be vigilant with regard to powerful institutions. There is a shortage of priests on the US, so if women want to take up the slack, good on them. I also find the theological justification for male priests anachronistic. Furthermore, I may someday decide to take communion again, and I would be delighted to receive the sacrament from a woman.

            You keep asking what I’d want a priest for, and I answered elsewhere. The short answer is that the Church has a long and rich history, so I think it preferable to have a well-educated expert running the show.

          • savvy

            Not everybody thinks like you. I know pastors who have given up their entire ministries, just to enter the Catholic church, because they were convinced that this was the church established by Christ, and has the true presence of Christ on the altars.

            This is not just a show for sincere Christians. Everything on earth is secondary to Jesus Christ, for sincere Christians.

            if it was, a show I would sooner be an atheist.

          • Margo

            savvy – thanks for hanging in there and for keeping the discussion going!

            Claude, pagansister, etc. – Do you realize that the Catholic mass is more than a Protestant service? The Catholic mass is a divine Sacrament, the celebration and reception of the Eucharist – the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. As savvy said, it is not a show, it is a sacrifice, an act of life-giving love and our response to it. What is your opinion of Sacraments?

          • savvy

            Thanks Margo. It seems like some people want a priest for everything besides, a priest was ordained for.

            Just because they think of power, status, adulation, advancing career options etc. they assume everybody else does.

            It’s called projection.

            As, I previously said, these arguments are not going to convince those who have a love for his eucharistic presence.

          • Claude

            How presumptuous. You know next to nothing about me.

          • Margo

            So, Claude, why cannot you not accept that men and women have different roles within the Church? It’s not about exclusivity, okay?

          • Claude

            Oh, but it is!

          • Margo

            Okay, so there should be no limits, right? People should be allowed to do whatever they please? People should be allowed to sin without consequences as long as it makes them happy?

          • Claude

            Since you have said this before, I wonder how you get from the suggestion that women should be able to preside over communion to the idea that anything goes.

            This is a giant leap with no logical connection.

          • Margo

            Well you seem to strongly disdain rules or traditions that limit people from fulfilling their desires. In this case, you seem upset that certain women want to be priests and are being limited by Christ who desired the priesthood to be for males and the religious life (sisters, nuns) for women. Am I correct in thinking you would like women to do whatever they desire in the Church even if it means rejecting God’s plans?

          • Claude

            Hold on there, sister. I don’t think Jesus did institute the priesthood, even less the women religious. If I were convinced that Jesus was a stickler over this sort of thing (and there’s nothing in the Gospels to suggest that he was–quite the contrary) then I would, of course, concede.

            Jesus had grievances with organized religion. I think he would be appalled by the church that acts in his name.

          • Margo

            Why did Jesus tell Peter that He would build HIS Church on Peter the “rock”? Why were Jesus’ parting words before the Ascension, “Go and make disciples among all nations and behold I am with you always”? Need I go on about Jesus giving the men power to forgive sins when He breathed on them? Sounds like the Sacraments to me. If I’m wrong, then where did the Sacraments come from? Why do we even have them? Just for fun and the sake of ceremony/ritual?

          • Claude

            Margo, you draw really wild conclusions sometimes that are completely unwarranted. If I thought this was about “fun and the sake of ceremony/ritual” I wouldn’t waste my time here.

            Jesus may well have told Peter that he would build his church on this rock (though I wonder if there’s an Aramaic word for “church”), but how do you extrapolate from that declaration the Roman Catholic institutional structure?

            You raise some interesting questions, but I have to stop for now. Thank you for engaging with me and have a good night!

          • pagansister

            First one has to believe in “sin” to worry about consequences. Man through government has secular rules that have worked for how many years to “keep the peace” . Those laws and rules have provided consequences for wrong doing. “Sin” is a religious word used to keep the flocks in check—telling them there is a place called hell that will get you if you commit a “sin”—but I forgot—confession gets you out of trouble and you pay by so many Hail Marys or Our Father’s etc. From what I understood while teaching in the school is that even murderers ( and others who commit horrible crimes) can be forgiven. Can’t quite accept that. Jail is too good for some. Off the point. To me there is no infinite forgiveness.

          • pagansister

            How is it NOT about exclusivity?

          • savvy

            You told me what you wanted a priest for.

          • jdens

            Ah, come on, I thought we were doing pretty well there with the respectful dialogue, but now you’ve drawn a line and characterised everybody who agrees with you as having a love for Christ’s Eucharistic presence, and every body who doesn’t agree with you as thinking only of “power, status, adulation, advancing career options, etc”. That’s not right. You’re slandering your opponents.

          • savvy

            I never meant you. I just asked claude, what he wanted a priest for, and it turns out it was for every other reason, besides a priest was ordained for. It’s all a show.

          • Claude

            Margo, again, I am a lapsed Catholic familiar with the dogma. It should be clear by now that I have strong sentiments regarding communion.

            “Show” is a figure of speech. Relax.

          • pagansister

            Hi! Margo. Of course I realize that a Catholic mass is more than a Protestant service—to a Catholic. I was raised in the Methodist church for 17 years. I received communion, knowing I wasn’t, to put it bluntly, eating another human being, but remembering him with the drink and bread representing the blood/body. Once a month for 10 years I attended the children’s mass with my class at the Catholic school I taught in—–obviously not participating. No secret I wasn’t Catholic by anyone in the school. My opinion of sacraments? Which ones? There are more than just the Eucharist. That one to me is a little to Literal—magic words over the cup and wafers that make them human flesh and blood? Really? For those that believe? Fine. It works for you. No problem. Marriage as a sacrament? Again, if it works for you–great. Neither of my children were married in a religious setting or by a representatives of such. 48 years ago, I was married in the Methodist church to please the parents, even though I didn’t need a church to “bless” the union. However when I was married in the Methodist church, I wasn’t told that one of my jobs was to NOT use birth control and just keep having kids. To me, that part is interfering with a couples decision whether to use BC or not—and shouldn’t be the job of a bunch of men claiming to represent what their God wants—more kids. All the above to say, if all the sacraments work for those that are Catholic, and they feel they are true–super.

          • Claude

            Not everybody thinks like me? This just in.

            jrens was right about you. You are literal to a fault.

          • savvy

            Nope, I have explained my views on this issue and that of the historic church. You can reject it, because you do not like them calling the Eucharist a sacrifice, but that is your problem.

          • Claude

            Huh? When did I say that I had a problem with “them” calling the Eucharist a sacrifice? Please do find the quote. I’m waiting.

      • savvy

        If someone starts out with the premise that the Gospels are a human construct, then as I previously said, nothing is going to convince them, because they have already made up their mind and do not want to be convinced. So, a person has no choice, but to simply appeal to authority.

        • Claude

          What do you think the Gospels are?

          • savvy

            They were written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. BTW , according to your logic, why have a priest, male or female?

          • Claude

            We don’t know who wrote the Gospels.

          • savvy

            Yes, we do.

          • Claude

            Who?!

          • savvy

            Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Look if the Gospel writers are not the Gospel, writers then Jesus is not Jesus, and there is no point in this discussion.

            As, I said, I would sooner be an atheist.

          • Claude

            savvy,

            The gospels were written by anonymous authors. It is only in the 2nd century that the canonical Gospels were given titles “according to” Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, at a time when the church became concerned to establish an apostolic pedigree for Jesus’s life and teachings. They were first-century texts written in koine Greek by Christians (probably) living outside Palestine, and the originals have been lost. Jesus’s disciples, Aramaic-speaking peasants, were almost certainly illiterate.

            I’m a bit taken aback that you would “sooner be an atheist” than accept that the Gospels were not written by their ostensible authors. But this is the consensus of hundreds of years of New Testament scholarship. You might ask your priest about it.

            Please know that I’m not saying this to upset you, but because it’s the reality.

          • savvy

            New Testament scholarship has no consensus. Matthew was a tax-collector, Luke was a doctor, hardly illiterate.

            We are in partial agreement, since the church was quoting the canonical Gospels before they were compiled. The eye-witness accounts were transmitted from the Apostles to their successors, the Apsotolic fathers, who claimed to be transmitting the teachings handing down to them.

            So once again the Gospels come from the church, the church does not come from the Gospels. It’s pretty clear that Jesus established a church.

          • Claude

            New Testament scholarship most certainly does have a consensus about the authors of the New Testament. Matthew might have been a tax collector, but he did not write the Gospel According to Matthew. Likewise, the author of the Gospel According to Luke is unknown.

            This maxim you keep repeating isn’t all that meaningful. Since someone had to write the Gospels, and these someones are thought to have been Greek-speaking Christians from outside Palestine, it follows that the Gospels arose out of early Christian communities. But early Christianity was very diverse; the “one true faith” didn’t consolidate for centuries. You can read in Paul how mere decades after Jesus’s death the followers of Jesus were already in conflict.

          • savvy

            I have already responded to this in another post. If someone wants to cook up a Gospel, why attribute it to second stringers, instead of themselves.

            “But early Christianity was very diverse; the “one true faith” didn’t consolidate for centuries.”

            There is still a great deal of diversity, in older church’s but the basics are the same.

            “You can read in Paul how mere decades after Jesus’s death the followers of Jesus were already in conflict.”

            Yes, and they did permit those who were appointed to resolve the conflicts. So what?

          • Claude

            What on earth are you talking about? The gospels were obviously written by sincere Christians who wanted to communicate the good news of Jesus. The authors didn’t reveal their identities; they were anonymous. The authors also relied on oral history and other authors to construct their gospels.

            Tell you what. Do you have Raymond E. Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament on your shelf? I don’t, and I have never read it, but I’m confident you’ll find confirmation of all this in Father Brown’s book.

            The point of stressing diversity in the early church is that saying “the gospels come from the church” is, strictly speaking, a misrepresentation. There were many “churches,” and as you can see from even just the canonical Gospels themselves, different interpretations of who Jesus really was.

          • savvy

            Raymond E. Brown’s, books have a personal bias. Why should I take his views over that of the Apostolic fathers. If an incident took place and there were eye-witnesses, whom would you trust, the ones who were there or the ones who were not.

            There were five centres of early Christianity, that had different liturgies, customs etc, but were united, in faith, not divided into different churches. Unity in diversity.

            The division took place after the Catholic/Orthodox schism.

            There are different emphasis and eye-witness accounts, of Jesus, because there were different authors, but this does not change the fact that put it together, and they were in agreement on the basics.

            “The authors didn’t reveal their identities; they were anonymous.”

            What lies behind all this criticism is a scenario like this: Long ago, sometime between Jesus (whoever he really was) and the rise of the “organized Church,” some unknown editors just cooked up a story about Jesus, attributed it to, say, John, and sent it off to random communities of gullible people. These people naturally believed without question both that the book was from John and that John was telling the truth, so they started a Church based on this book. They never bothered to check up on any of this, because they were 2,000 years more gullible than we Brights. Nor did anybody from the community where John lived ever say, “Hey! John didn’t write that!” Nor did John himself ever protest that he’d written or said nothing of the kind. Fortunately, Brights are smarter, so these elementary questions occur to them.

          • Claude

            Raymond E. Brown’s, books have a personal bias.

            What have you read of Father Brown’s books?

            By the way, you’re confused. The authors of the gospels themselves didn’t attribute their gospels to disciples or companions of the disciples; as I said initially, that came much later, in the 2nd century.

          • savvy

            “What have you read of Father Brown’s books?”

            His argument is that the early church did not have priests.

            “The authors of the gospels themselves didn’t attribute their gospels to disciples or companions of the disciples; as I said initially, that came much later, in the 2nd century.”

            Okay, then why would those in the 2nd century, attribute it to people they never knew, if they wanted to cook something up, why would they not use their own names?

          • Claude

            Ha! Well, that’s a happy coincidence. (He must have more than one argument…) I’ve never read him. I recommended him because I’m aware that he’s a highly respected scholar and was a Catholic priest who kept his faith to the end, so you could not dismiss his work as “Protestantism.”

            I’m going to go watch some football now.

          • savvy

            “I recommended him because I’m aware that he’s a highly respected scholar and was a Catholic priest who kept his faith to the end, so you could not dismiss his work as “Protestantism.””

            What point is keeping the faith, if a priest cannot figure out what he is ordained for. I have said, this before the proponents of women’s ordination are ALREADY Protestant, even if they have not sealed the deal.

          • jdens

            But savvy, can’t you see that by dismissing any scholarship that reaches a different conclusion than yours as ‘biased’, you are choosing to read only that which re-enforces what you already think?

            And again, this was, apparently, a devoted Roman Catholic, but because of this one view you’ve cut him loose as a Protestant.

          • savvy

            Okay, perhaps I should not have been hasty. I did mention, I would read him, and compare it with the Apostolic fathers.

            “you are choosing to read only that which re-enforces what you already think?”

            Aren’t you doing the same? Trying to win me over to your point of view?

          • jdens

            No, I’ve gone to your links and read what they had to say. The only article I specifically refused to finish reading was linked to by someone else, and that was because the author was openly contemptuous in the very first few paragraphs. Heck, I’ve even read this blog’s views on the issue, which are most certainly not in accordance with mine. I have learned a great deal from reading some of these texts, even if they did not succeed in convincing me. I think understanding the very best argument is important, and I think mutual understanding and respect is worth pursuing.

            I have a tendency to get hung up on being ‘right’. And yet my perspective used to be dramatically different to what it is now. I was raised in quite a conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical household. I gradually found my way to my episcopal home where the liturgy quiets my soul, and the Eucharist is the center of worship. And though I am unashamedly liberal or progressive or whatever we’re calling it these days, I try to remind myself, I have been wrong before, and I will be wrong again.

            I like this from a reflection on Episcopal Cafe:

            Most deep truths, most right thinking, is pretty simple — God is good. Creation is a wonderful mystery. Everything is connected. Healing is possible. Growth happens. Greed brings suffering. But even these truths need to be held gently in the face of the mystery that is Reality Itself. Truth is more than my concept of truth. “God is love” means more than my understanding of love.

            http://www.episcopalcafe.com/thesoul/simplifying.html

          • savvy

            Thank you for sharing your story with me. I understand your perspective better now. I shared my lapsed stage and why an experience with the Eucharist brought me home. I suffer physically when I am away from Mass. It stops when I return. There are some things, you have to experience to believe.

            I do agree that you are on a journey, like we all are. I agree that views do change, and I am seeking God’s will, rather than my own.

            I also do not want a minimum daily requirement, which means I am more likely to consider Orthodoxy, if my views change, rather than Protestantism.

            I do agree that God is love, and love for Christians is Christ crucified.

            God Bless.

          • savvy
          • savvy

            Claude, was also initially referring to Fr. Raymond Brown’s views on who wrote the Gospel. I agree that the Gospel writers did not sit down to write them, as soon as the event happened.

            A community always precedes a community’s book.

            But, what we do know is that these things were handed down to the Apostolic fathers who knew them.

            If the argument is that they cooked this up, then why did they attribute it to someone else?

            It’s basically an argument from suspicion.

          • Claude

            savvy, just in the interest of accuracy, I do not know Raymond Brown’s personal views, since I haven’t read him, as I mentioned a few times. The point is that historical scholarship has produced a consensus on authorship of the gospels, and serious scholars take historical evidence seriously. That is why I’m confident that Fr. Brown would discuss the consensus in his book.

            Yes, the apostolic fathers did read gospels, no one is disputing that,

            No one is saying that “somebody cooked this up” (whatever you’re referring to here). I must not have been clear about all this because you don’t seem to understand. The point is that in the second century the titles we now know as The Gospel According to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were added to the anonymous texts. I can’t remember the details; there was a concerted effort to establish an apostolic pedigree for certain gospels, but if I remember well there were also genuine misunderstandings about who wrote them. It is not an argument from this or that scholar; it is the consensus of hundreds of years of scholarship and painstaking analysis by specialists in a high-skill, complicated field. Raymond E. Brown is highly esteemed; he knows far, far more about this history than you or I.

            Now back to football.

          • savvy

            Thanks for the clarification. I am just making the point that the Apostolic Fathers attributed them to these writers, because they knew them, and this was handed down the them.

            This is why what was recognized as Apostolic was accepted by them and others, while those that were not were rejected.

            This would have only been possible if they had the authority to do this. In this case, through Apostolic succession.

            To say that they did not write them, means either the Apostolic fathers are lying or they were frauds.

            My point is that why would they attribute this to someone else if this was the case.

          • savvy

            And reformation in Christianity, meant a return to the roots of the faith, when something went wrong. It was not based on leaving the roots behind for new concepts.

          • savvy

            jdens,

            A few points to consider. Interpret your own scripture only started in the late 19th century. This has led to the rise of anybody from the Westboro baptists to the nut down the street using scripture to justify their actions etc.

            Scripture is always to be interpreted through the mind of the church. A community always comes before a community’s book. This is why the older churches do not subscribe to Sola Scriptura.

          • savvy

            Tell you what, I will read him, if you read the entire writings of the Apostolic fathers. Let’s see who is closer to the actual events.

          • Claude

            I’d like to read the entire writings of the Apostolic fathers regardless, but first I’d have to get off this thread.

          • savvy

            Okay, this was a good discussion. I am glad we reached a stage, where the average person does not go on this issue.

          • Claude

            Agreed! Thank you for engaging with me.

          • savvy

            The entire writings of the early church fathers are available to read. They were mostly in consensus.

          • Claude

            Which early church fathers are we talking about here.

          • savvy

            The ante-nicean fathers, or the 1st- 3rd centuries.

          • Claude

            Who is particular?

          • savvy

            It depends on what you are looking for.

          • savvy

            Clement of Rome was a disciple of the apostles Peter and Paul. Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna were disciples of the Apostle John.

          • Claude

            So, you don’t even have to read Fr. Brown. These snippets come from the Intros to the Gospels in my RSV annotated Bible, authorized by the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and most Protestant denominations. Italics mine.

            Matthew: The Gospel is anonymous. The unknown Christian who prepared it during the last third of the first century may have used as one of his sources a collection of Jesus’ sayings that the apostle Matthew is said to have made. In time a title containing Matthew’s name, and signifying apostolic authority, came to identify the whole.

            Mark: Though the gospel is anonymous, an ancient Christian tradition may well be correct in ascribing it to John Mark…, who is said to have composed it at Rome as a summary of Peter’s preaching.

            Luke: Although the gospel is anonymous and the evidence pertaining to its author is inconclusive, there are many considerations supporting the early Christian tradition that the author was a physician Luke, a Gentile convert and friend of Paul’s.

            John: Who is the author? Tradition says it was the apostle John. Many scholars, however, suggest a disciple of John who recorded his preaching as Mark did that of Peter. [In other words, we don’t know who the author is.)

            The editors downplay just how contested these Christian traditions are, but the point is that the gospels are anonymous and we don’t know with any certainty who wrote them.

          • savvy

            The thing is we do not know who wrote them. This does not mean that they did not write them or the events are not true.

          • Claude

            Well, at least you’ve finally acknowledged that the gospels were anonymous.

            This does not mean that they did not write them or the events are not true.

            True! But it’s highly unlikely any of the apostles wrote them, because they were almost certainly not literate enough to write in Greek. Few people were.

          • savvy

            “True! But it’s highly unlikely any of the apostles wrote them, because they were almost certainly not literate enough to write in Greek. Few people were.”

            I would disagree. The 1st century was quite advanced as was the Roman empire. Such snobbery is not worth it’s wait in praxsis.

          • Claude

            This is not a matter of opinion, and you are wrong. It has nothing to do with “snobbery”! I do not make stuff up and post it on the internet. Why don’t you look up some studies of literacy in the 1st century and report back to us?

            You seem not to recognize the distinction between religious dogma and historical scholarship. It’s a distinction with a big difference.

          • savvy
          • Claude

            Here is Bart Ehrman (from his book Did Jesus Exist):

            Several significant studies of literacy have appeared in recent years showing just how low literacy rates were in antiquity. The most frequently cited study is by Columbia professor William Harris in a book titled Ancient Literacy. By thoroughly examining all the surviving evidence, Harris draws the compelling though surprising conclusion that in the very best of times in the ancient world, only about 10 percent of the population could read at all and possibly copy out writing on a page. Far fewer than this, of course, could compose a sentence, let alone a story, let alone an entire book. And who were the people in this 10 percent? They were the upper-class elite who had the time, money, and leisure to afford an education. This is not an apt description of Jesus’s disciples. They were not upper-crust aristocrats.

            In Roman Palestine the situation was even bleaker. The most thorough examination of literacy in Palestine is by a professor of Jewish studies at the University of London, Catherine Hezser, who shows that in the days of Jesus probably only 3 percent of Jews in Palestine were literate. Once again, these would be the people who could read and maybe write their names and copy words. Far fewer could compose sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and books. And once again, these would have been the urban elites.

          • savvy

            Check out the link I gave, you these theories are being refuted with the discovery of every new inscription from that time period.

          • Claude

            I’m interested to read that article, but just to note; the article begins with this graph:

            How likely is it that someone would have written down and collected Jesus’ sayings into a book in Jesus’ lifetime? Several lines of evidence converge to suggest it is quite probable.

            Nobody is disputing the possibility that “someone” might have done so. But the likelihood that that someone was one of the apostles is slim.

            And I’m skeptical that “these theories are being refuted with the discovery of every new inscription from that time period.” But–looking forward to reading that piece.

          • savvy

            What if they were orally transmitted? Scripture is basically written tradition.

          • Claude

            Of course there was oral tradition!

          • savvy

            So as the Apostolic fathers claim these things were handed down to them and they recognized them as Apostolic because they claimed to know the Apostles.

          • Claude

            I think I’m done for now. The whole point of bringing up uncertainty about who wrote the gospels and so on was that likewise what Jesus may or may not have said is uncertain. Many of you authoritarians in these comments are certain of the verities of the faith, but that is very much a matter faith, not of evidence. Even if Jesus said everything attributed to him in the Gospels, he never said anything about a priest having to preside over the memorial body and blood. And if Jesus was the divine man described in John, it is ludicrous to describe him in terms of the traditional priesthood.

            I hope women win the right to become ordained priests. Good luck, ladies!

          • savvy

            “The whole point of bringing up uncertainty about who wrote the gospels and so on was that likewise what Jesus may or may not have said is uncertain.”

            Cheeky and deceptive!

            “Many of you authoritarians in these comments are certain of the verities of the faith, but that is very much a matter faith, not of evidence.”

            In that case, why do you want a priest, male or female, if there is no evidence for either?

            You have no right to wage war on what others hold sacred, because you do not have the same views.

            “Even if Jesus said everything attributed to him in the Gospels, he never said anything about a priest having to preside over the memorial body and blood.”

            Jesus is the male priest, who presides over it. This why the priest acts in persona Christi, duh!

            “And if Jesus was the divine man described in John, it is ludicrous to describe him in terms of the traditional priesthood.”

            Why? Please explain?

            “I hope women win the right to become ordained priests. Good luck, ladies!”

            Nobody has a “right” to become a priest, not even men. Stop politicizing everything.

            This is why I said, political arguments are not going to convince those who love Christ’s Eucharistic presence and theological arguments will not convince those who do not.

          • savvy

            I was right about you. All you care about is status, power, advancing career options etc. The rise of self above all else including God.

          • savvy

            You have only demonstrated that Sola Scriptura is not 100% reliable. A point the older churches agree with. Evidence includes the writings of the early church fathers, early christian worship, and the historical/anthropological links to a priesthood with atonement always been male.

            To quote St. Vincent of Lerins.

            “If someone wants to be protected from tricks and remain healthy in the faith, he must confine his faith first to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and secondly to the Tradition of the Church. But someone may ask, is not the canon of Scripture sufficient for everything, and why should we add thereto the authority of Tradition? This is because not everyone understands the Scriptures in the same way, but one explains them this way and another that way, so that it is possible to get therefrom as many thoughts as there are heads. Therefore it is necessary to be guided by the understanding of the Church … What is tradition? It is that which has been understood by everyone, everywhere and at all times … that which you have received, and not that which you have thought up … So then, our job is not to lead religion where we wish it to go, but to follow it where it leads, and not to give that which is our own to our heirs, but to guard that which has been given to us.”

          • Claude

            savvy,

            I simply responded to your own reliance on scripture to justify the exclusion of women from the priesthood. Moving the goalposts again, are we?

            I’m not against tradition on principle but neither do I think that reflexive acceptance of church dogma is the way to understanding Jesus; understanding requires seeking and thinking for yourself. That I’m compelled to point out the obvious is one more reason why I wish to disengage here.

            But since I haven’t served you well due to the limitations of my own knowledge it’s only fair I offer the following. I just started reading the comments section at the National Catholic Reporter where the discussion is richly informed. You could start with this:

            http://bit.ly/XyEBLR

            On the other hand, if you are only interested in reinforcing in your mind the church’s apologetics, there may be little point. Good day.

          • savvy

            Claude,

            Scripture is important, but so is interpretation of scripture.

            “On the other hand, if you are only interested in reinforcing in your mind the church’s apologetics, there may be little point. Good day.”

            There is a lot more evidence for my claims, that there is for interpret your own scripture. This has been the major source of division in Christianity, leading to thousands of denominations, where everybody claims the previous one was wrong.

            I am aware of what the fishwrap (National Catholic Reporter) engages in. I do not subscribe to it.

          • Claude

            OK, so I read this and though it was very interesting, but it was pretty speculative and didn’t offer any hard data on the literacy rate. It seems concerned to demonstrate that something like Q, the hypothetical sayings source for Matthew and Luke, could have been written during Jesus’s lifetime.

            I don’t know much about Q but I’m pretty sure it’s thought to have been composed after Jesus’s death.

            Anyway, thanks for the link, it was a good read.

          • savvy

            Even if they were composed after this death so what? It was still the 1st century. Do scholars refuse to accept WW2 because the ww2 historians did not participate in it?

          • savvy

            Why would the Apostolic fathers attribute it to them, the people they knew, instead of to themselves then?

          • Claude

            I don’t think the origin of these attributions is known.

          • savvy

            You said, it was in the 2nd century?

          • Claude

            Scholars agree it was some time in the second century. I’m not certain, but I think Irenaeus made the first mention that has survived of the gospels according to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

          • savvy

            I do not know if it was Ireneus, but since you brought him up he wrote, ” The Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said” (Against Heresies 1:10 [A.D. 189]).

            “Suppose there should arise a dispute relative to some important question among us. Should we not have recourse to the most ancient churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary [in that case] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the churches?” (ibid. 3:4).

            This refutes your previous argument, that there was no unified church.

          • Claude

            Against Heresies was a screed against Gnosticism, a serious rival in the late 2nd century to the proto-orthodox. Therefore the church was not yet unified.

            I’m not really making arguments here but channeling stuff I’ve read by scholars about early Christianity. I am not a scholar and obviously, neither are you. I’ve tried to give accurate information and think I’ve done OK so far. But please stop acting as if I’m reeling theories out of my head. That just isn’t the case.

          • savvy

            “Against Heresies was a screed against Gnosticism, a serious rival in the late 2nd century to the proto-orthodox. Therefore the church was not yet unified.”

            What exactly do you mean by unified? Since, Christian gnosticism was invented by an Orthodox Christian, who came under the influence of eastern religions.

          • Claude

            Christian gnosticism was invented by an Orthodox Christian, who came under the influence of eastern religions.

            We’ve been through this, and no, gnosticism was a diverse and widespread movement. You could google it.

          • savvy

            I wanted to know what you meant by united. They were not a part of mainstream Christianity, which was already united and had an established church. These groups were not united.

            You have things reversed.

          • savvy

            The community, not the book, comes first. The book is the testimony, not merely of one man, but of the whole Church. The book was believed because the man was believed.

            “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24). It means “You guys in the neighboring diocese down the road know John and what he has suffered for the Gospel and you know us. We will vouch for the accuracy of this document.”

            That’s why John’s Gospel propagated so quickly and was so quickly accepted. It’s also why other Gospels that claimed to be from apostles did not propagate quickly and were not accepted, because even ancient people did not accept apostolic authorship just because the document claimed it.

            It’s also why Gospels written by figures of no importance in the rest of the New Testament, such as Mark and Luke, were accepted and attributed to them, even though the documents themselves make no claim to be authored by these men.

            Think about it: If you are going to cook up a Gospel, why attribute it to second stringers?The Gospels weren’t invented by anonymous myth-makers.

            They are the works of the people to whom they are attributed. The community remembers who wrote them even when the documents themselves do not say, “by Mark,” “by Luke,” or “by John.” That’s the scholarly evidence.

          • Claude

            I didn’t see this response yesterday. Who are you quoting here, just out of curiosity?

            Anyway, I posted more below (“So you don’t even have to read Fr. Brown”) concerning the anonymity of the Gospel authors.

          • savvy

            The Apostolic fathers held these things were handed down to them from the Apostles.

        • jdens

          Well, first of all, it’s debatable whether the Gospels really support your argument. Your interpretation of them certainly does. So, even if one holds to the infallibility of the Gospels, one can still argue your point.

          On the subject of the inspiration of the Scriptures. I believe the term is ‘God-breathed’, right? A few years ago it occurred to me, humans are God-breathed, too, according to Genesis. And we are fallible. Now I’m sure there’s a flaw in there; it was only a thought. But we hold that the Bible is the Word of God, not the words of God, and definitely not God Godself. A word is a symbol for the real thing, not a substitute for it. It has its limits.

          Finally, I think it’s safe to say that neither of us wants to be convinced by the other’s argument, so that’s hardly something exclusive to your opponents.

          • savvy

            “Your interpretation of them certainly does.”

            Just as your interpretation supports the views that a priest who presides over Christ’s sacrifice, does not have to be male.

          • savvy

            “Well, first of all, it’s debatable whether the Gospels really support your argument.”

            Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 – the translation of Jesus’ words of consecration is “touto poieite tan eman anamnasin.” Jesus literally said “offer this as my memorial sacrifice.” The word “poiein” (do) refers to offering a sacrifice (see, e.g., Exodus 29:38-39, where God uses the same word – poieseis – regarding the sacrifice of the lambs on the altar).

            There is a reason this was considered the standard in Christianity.

          • savvy

            I do thank you for engaging in this discussion with me. Your views might help improve the Anglican image in the eyes of non-Christians, but it is hurting relations with both Roman Catholics and Orthodox. You might want to see this.

            Metropolitan Hilarion Blasts Anglicans for Renouncing the Faith

            http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=17075#.UPHehJj7D-s

            Best Wishes,
            Savvy

  • Margo

    I think we also should take a step back and consider the underlying issues of this video as well as the push for female ordination. Why do women want to be priests so badly? Is it that the women genuinely want to carry out Christ’s work in absolving people of their sins and consecrating the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus? Or is it just that they FEEL that the Church is being unfair with the male priesthood? What is it that women really want? Do they really want to be men? Why not embrace being female?

    • Claude

      Well, you could always assume the worst while ostensibly wondering why.

      By the way, what makes you think women interested in the priesthood want to be men? That is a wild assumption on your part.

      • Margo

        That is what I am trying to figure out. I would like to understand the motivations from those women who want the priesthood to be open to both males and females. If they don’t want to be men, then they want to be women. What does it mean to have two genders? Should we just forget everything and try to just all exist as a single gender?

        • Karen

          It isn’t that we object to two genders; it’s that the Catholic church has decreed that the male version of human is better than the female version.

        • jdens

          I’m not a Roman Catholic woman wanting to be a priest, so I can’t answer for them. But I imagine if you felt you were called, not to the cloister, but to the ordained priesthood, wouldn’t you want a fair process of discernment for that calling, and not just an automatic rejection based on your gender?

          • savvy

            Discernment is already quite fair and comprehensive. My spiritual director once told me, that if “God wants you to be somewhere nothing on earth will keep you out, and if God does not want you somewhere nothing on earth will get you in.”

            This is true based on my own experiences.

    • pagansister

      Why do women want to be priests? You could ask the same thing of men–why do they want to be priests? (excludes those that want to fondle kids). All women want is “equality”. They want to be treated fairly (to use your question about the Church being unfair). One can “embrace” being female and still want to be priests, IMO. Simple.

      • Margo

        Okay, so women don’t like being told “no”? I have an idea – what if there are no restrictions for anything? No more rules and people are allowed to do whatever makes them feel good. One slight issue with that is that God doesn’t work that way. He did not create us and give us life so we can do whatever pleases us. He created us out of love so we could know, love, and serve Him in return. And I personally am beyond glad that God does not treat us fairly. Oy! If God was completely fair and gave us what we all deserve – we would be in mega trouble. Fortunately, God is merciful to those who repent of their sins and choose to love Him instead. I’ll say it again, we as human beings are not free to do whatever pleases us. Oh, we may very well think we are, when the reality is that we are just trapped in our sins. True, authentic freedom comes from obeying God and He gives you complete joy and peace.

        • pagansister

          You figure all rules are based on what God wants? Really? You are correct, we humans cannot do what we want because there are laws/rules that limit that. Humans wrote the rules. Oy! We in the USA are not a society based on the rules of a particular faith/religion, as some countries are, fortunately. So I will continue to follow the secular rules of this country and those I may visit in the future. Using the ” Do as ye will as long as it harms none” helps me a lot. True, authentic freedom, in my case doesn’t come from obeying God. As to women not being priests in the RCC? Why shouldn’t they? Would the RCC collapse it that happened? I think not. The pope now and those later,however, will do whatever they can to stop it but eventually saner heads will prevail.

          • Margo

            Okay, the problem in discussing this with you, pagansister is that female ordination IS a Catholic theological issue, no way around that. Ultimately, all humans ARE called to obey God, yet He does give us free will to either accept and obey Him or reject Him and do our own thing. However, it usually does not end well when we arrogantly think we know more than God and can live without Him. And although you may think your actions do not harm others, the reality is that others may be harmed without you ever consciously realizing it. Women should not be priests because God incarnated Himself as a man in the person of Jesus Christ; He did not come as a woman, He came as a man. This is where faith and trust come into play with Catholicism. We must trust that Christ truly does have our best interests in mind and trust His teachings even if we do not fully understand them. We also must pray for the grace to be able to see concepts, teachings, and people as God sees them, not as the world sees them. The world is finite and will eventually end when God wills it, while God is infinite.

            Finally, the RCC can only teach Truth; it was established by Jesus Christ and protected by the Holy Spirit. God gave men and women different roles to play, men and women do have equal dignity as children of God, but equal does not mean the same. How boring would it be if we were all the same!

            God’s teachings are the BEST for humans. Are they the easiest? Heck no! But best does not mean easy, best means greatest happiness, greatest success. Is that not what all humans crave? Infinite happiness and peace? It is only found with God.

          • pagansister

            You do express the party line well. It is really hard to follow the rules of some invisible being I do not believe in. I’m not going over all you said above—-I’ve heard it before. IF i agreed with it, I would have converted while I was teaching in the Catholic school, or I wouldn’t have left the Methodist church when I was 17. My parents were loving, beautiful people who raised me in that tradition, but it made no sense to me then (my sisters stuck with it). and it still doesn’t. I’m fine. My adult children are fine–raised in the UU tradition like their father was. Each has chosen their own path—neither happen to be Christian—but both are loving, kind, honest, beautiful human beings who live just fine without answering to a divine being.

          • Margo

            Nothing left to say then as you’ve made your choice to reject Him. No one (not even God Himself) can force a person to accept God’s glorious love. All we can do is offer and pray you’ll one day open your heart to Him and give Him a chance.

          • pagansister

            Not likely. I would have to acknowledge Him/Her to reject Him/Her. I don’t acknowledge. I’m in my mid-60′s so the chances of changing my mind on any of this are slim to none. My mother-in-law lived to 92 as a non-Christian and she did just fine. In fact, she helped found a UU fellowship in Florida, in the early 1990′s which is still alive and well. I’ve lived long enough to have searched out other ideas. I find all religions very interesting, and I take bits and pieces and use those that help me. It works. I have symbols of many in my house (except a crucifix, which I find gruesome)—they are beautiful. All religions are great for those that believe in them. They also help those of us who don’t. As far as I’m concerned there is no religion that is superior to another. My best to you.

          • Claude

            Finally, the RCC can only teach Truth

            Interesting. The Pope tweeted a few weeks ago:

            We do not possess the truth, the truth possesses us.

          • Margo

            I meant that Truth is the only thing that the RCC can teach and that it is an impossibility for the RCC to spread false doctrines/teachings. And if we are open to it, the Truth does possess us. God should be involved in every aspect of our lives.

          • Claude

            The Pope goes on to say:

            Christ, who is the truth, takes us by the hand.

            I take this to mean that individual understanding, or consciousness, of Jesus’s message affects our conception of the truth. Hence our quite disparate views of the right way to go.

          • Margo

            Christ will lead us to His Truth. If each person individually interpreted the Truth to suit their desires, it would be chaos and filled with sin. Hence Christ giving us the Church and the bishops, starting with St. Peter to be the visible shepherds. If you want to do whatever you want, then fine! Christ will not force Himself on you. But please stop expecting authentic Catholics such as myself to be swayed away from Christ whom I deeply love.

          • Claude

            You have a Manichean view of things. Following your conscience does not amount to “chaos,” or doing whatever you want.”

            The Church has been a highly politicized institution practically since its inception. It was created by men and is subject to the failings of men. It may be that Jesus offers truth, but it takes a bit more than received dogma to arrive at truth, which can be, as everyone knows, elusive.

          • savvy

            The point is this, theological arguments are not going to convince you and political arguments as won’t convince us on certain issues.

      • savvy

        The priesthood exists to offer the sacraments, not to make people feel better about themselves or to advance career options.

  • Amy PK

    As a faithful Catholic, and someone who heartily agrees with you on this topic, I want to ask as devil’s advocate: if bridegroom is definitively masculine, and bride (the Church) is definitively feminine, then couldn’t one make the argument that the Church shouldn’t contain men, but only women? If that’s not the case, then what is the role of men in the feminine Church?

    • pagansister

      Good Question—let’s see what happens with it.

  • Christine Dorothy

    I’ve just watched the video on huffington post live. Seriously, women clergy sound so much as disobedience. I just realize this. Take a look at Genesis 3. A woman heard a voice, convincing voice suggesting her to break a limitation set by The Authority with first doubting that Authority. Doesn’t that sounds similar?

  • Bro. Pier-Giorgio

    After reading this, I think you’re taking the imagery of the Bridegroom and Bride far too literally… Seeing gender essentialism still used as a defense for an all male priesthood just baffles me. “There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). If we’re all one in Christ Jesus, then the sex of the individual makes no difference. I pray that the Catholic Church will one day recognize that this isn’t an issue of the Church having authority or not having authority — it’s about shifting away from defending a sexist mindset.

  • June-Marie

    If Christ didn’t want women to be priests, why was it to women that He first appeared after the Resurrection, and why did he tell the women (the ‘three Marys’) to ‘go tell the Good News’ – ie the gospel ? By denying women the priesthood, the Catholic Church denies the explicit teaching of Christ Himself, – most importantly, perhaps, denies his first command upon resurrection

  • Aquinas’ Goose

    You missed the perfect opportunity to present the obvious: “female priest” is a logical fallacy. There can be no “female priest” because a priest is ipso facto male. Saying “female priest” is like saying “female peacock” (that would properly be a “peahen”) or a “male chicken” (that would properly be a “rooster”). So say it loud and say it proud: the Catholic Church does not recognize the ordination of Priestesses!

  • DjB

    Thank God the Catholics are holding onto the truth.
    May the Protestants be as wise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kat.ambrosino Kat Ambrosino

    Your very literal application of the husband/bride analogy would make all of the men in the flock gay, as they are the bride to a male priest. “Thus the priests, sent as Christ, are also sent as the bridegroom. The priest is a man, as Christ was a man, as a bridegroom is always a man.”
    This surely isn’t the end-all justification to the Church’s opposition of female priesthood that I was searching for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TomGMSchumann Thomas Schumann

    The painful thing about watching that video was, when I saw it for the first time before reading on through the article, I laughed and laughed, and was cheerful, for I was certain that it was a joke – a good one, too. It was then that I clicked the YouTube link to see what light-hearted soul decided to mock the “ordination of women” movement with this piece of brilliantly comical absurdity. Alas, for when I saw that the YouTube channel was actually the Ordination of Women channel, I very nearly threw up in my mouth.

  • Carolina

    I am not a Catholic, but I have a question: If the priesthood represents the groom and therefore is male, and the church represents the bride and therefore is female, what about male members of the church? Would that be equivalent to saying that every Catholic man who is not a priest has a vagina? Or that the church as a whole is inherently female? What is the innately female quality of the church? I am not trying to argue! I genuinely am curious about this point of view. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Women are “far more capable” than men? Given that one of the main points of the author’s article seems to be that men and women have equally important roles, I hope this is sarcasm.

  • Cason

    “The role of bridegroom is not something that can be separated from maleness, just as the role of bride cannot be separated from femaleness, and thus the priest — insofar as he participates in the very role of the Divine Bridegroom, Jesus Christ — must be male.”

    I have a question about this point. It seems to me, a logical continuation of this thought is “And the Church – insofar as we participate in the role of Divine Bride – must be female.” If portraying the role of bridegroom necessitates maleness, why doesn’t occupying the role of bride necessitate femaleness?

  • Rooke

    Dear Marc,

    Very interesting articule, it prompted me to re-evaulate the issue and helped me realise my mistakes, thankyou

    Dear all

    After reading a lot of comments i wanted to say something. In the church a priest is called “Father”, this has many means of course and i don’t really want to explain that. We also have “Brothers” “Sisters” and “Mothers”!! so i don’t see where anyone is “missing out” tbh. You’re basically asking for the right for men to be “Sisters” and “Mothers” and women to be “Brothers” and “Fathers”. IT IS SILLY. One important point about church heirachy, “Well women don’t have any power to change anything because they can’t become Pope” This fake quotation which represents the majority of simpliar arguments is neglecting the VERY VERY IMPORTANT ROLE OF THE MANY MANY FEMALE ST’S WHO ENCOURAGED CHURCH REFORM. If you ever wonder why women aren’t the preist, rather than complain out of ignorance, try an find out what is actually taught.

    God Bless.

    Rooke

  • tomo

    You say: “the further we stray from the idea that man and woman have meaning, the more consistently Catholics will have to defend this doctrine.” You also say that this straying is well-intentioned. (Often, but not all the time, it is.) I think these are the most important points you make. Modernity (whatever that is) wants to make ever more things mean ever less. Identity is construed ever more generally. A “person” is an embodied desiring rational agent, and nothing more. (And once we reach the transhumanist stage, we can reduce our identity even more. Hurray!) Of course we are those things, but there is a heck of a lot more than that at the core of our being, and I fail to see why we should not want there to be more. I guess the idea is that the more we deny value to the particular, the more impossible it becomes for us to engage in violence and oppression. If it quite literally is “all the same”–if the only things that have value are one or two absolute universals–then there is nothing to get worked up about, and utopia has been achieved. Apart from the fact that this is probably a fantasy, it is also very boring, grey, and sad. Down with equality=sameness, I say. The other point worth making here is that your argument requires us to get in touch with the symbolizing side of human nature. Many people just don’t want to do that. It’s dangerous “romanticism.” But again, without the symbolic lens, life is boring, grey, and sad. A sham. Vive la difference.

  • gretchen

    Why would any woman want to be a Catholic priest, anyway? This is a manmade, brainwashing religion and lots of priests I know have been personally mean and nasty to me with no provocation. Why be involved with anything having to do with this morally corrupt organization?

  • Tracy Michelle Hargett

    I like your comparison to Jesus being the bridegroom and the Church being the bride. That I have heard before. You say because of this ALL priests must be male. However, the reality is that ALL members of the congregation of any given church are NOT ALL female. Some are male and some are female. So how is it that Jesus is “bridegroom” to the male members of the congregation? Is this too literal an interpretation or is there an explanation for it?


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