The past couple of days have focused on the roles of men and women. And to close off the week, I’d like to focus on a topic that’s been around for a while: female priests.
What exactly does the Church teach about women as priests?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) discusses who can receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders in paragraphs 1577-1580. In paragraph 1577, the CCC states: “The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. […] The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible” (CCC, para. 1577).
This paragraph states that women cannot become priests because of a choice Jesus Himself made.
But what do you suggest women do in the Church?
Pope Saint John Paul II (JPII) discusses in his Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that women are needed by the Church (If you’d like to read the document, here it is).
And I agree with JPII. Women play a fundamental role in the Church, but:
I speak from experience that women have opportunities to help the Church without becoming priests. During my last two years at university, I was responsible for finding and training people for minstries at Student Mass on Sunday nights. Women can do so many other things within the Mass alone: cantor, lector, serve, be a Eucharistic Minister, usher, lead Children’s Ministry.
Outside of the Mass, women can lead Bible Studies, become nuns/sisters, help with the social aspect of the Church.
But there must be something more. Right?
Women are able to do something that men cannot: bear life. As the couple brings a new life into the world, they both then have the responsibility to their new family.
What does that mean? The father and mother are responsible for teaching their children about God and he Church as well as encouraging them to grow in their faith. This is a major part of the Church, and women are necessary for this.
What do you suggest we do about this?
I think we should put the idea of female priests to rest. JPII mentions in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the Church has no authority to ordain women as priests (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, sect. 4, para. 2). Since this is the case, I think we should put this discussion away.
We should then focus our energy into seeing how women are immersed in the life of the Church. We women already have a multitude of ways to be involved. We shouldn’t have to go against Jesus’s decision to prove that women can have an impact on the Church. We should look at what we already do to see the amazing impact women already have.
Until next time!
Until the next time I speak with you, I hope you have a good day! If you have any commentary on what was covered in today’s post, please comment below!