A non-Catholic reader complains of the loopy new Archbishop of Canterbury…

He supports women ministers, so he should be shunned by all right-thinking Christians.

I have no problem with women “ministers”, merely with women priests. A woman can minister (i.e. “serve”) as well as a man. She simply can’t confect the Eucharist or celebrate Holy Orders, Confirmation or Anointing.

It’s certainly not my place to tell other denominations how to order their internal affairs (though I am endlessly fascinated by the many non-Catholics I meet who very much want to tell the Catholic Church how to order Hers), but, from a Catholic perspective, the only thing the Church makes clear is that women cannot be ordained to the sacerdotal priestly office. She makes no claim that women cannot participate in governance or teach. That is why we have abbesses in our tradition, as well as female doctors of the Church (not to mention queens).

One of the ticking time bombs left by this papacy (which no one has noticed yet) is that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, in making it clear the priestly office is all we are talking about with respect to women, is that there is now a much clearer possibility for a lay woman to be made a cardinal. We’ve had lay cardinals in the past. So there’s no particular reason we couldn’t have them again–and that some of them could be women. I’d be in favor of it, so long as they are orthodox.


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