The Vatican Nightmare: WOMEN PRIESTS!


Something in Vatican DNA reacts negatively towards women.

But it was not always so……..

 

When it comes to the Vatican’s current attitude toward women in the church, I think of George Orwell’s famous line from Animal Farm that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”. 

(1)   The Vatican is preparing to update the 2001 norms that deal with priestly sex abuse of minors, in effect codifying practices that have been in place for several years. At the same time, it will include the “attempted ordination of women” among the list of most serious crimes against church law, or “delicta graviora,” sources said.

(2)   Vatican opposition to women’s ordination is reprehensible and absolute theological nonsense.

(3)   The old men at the Vatican (well young men at the Vatican as well!)  need some serious in-service updating about women in Christian history.

_________________________________

What we know……………………..

Women in the ministry of Jesus: Jesus broke established religious and cultural taboes about women.

  • In stark contrast to the rabbis of his day, Jesus often used women as illustrations in his teaching.
  • He dared walk out to and speak to the Samaritan woman at the well in the heat of the day. He offered her living water. She talked to her neighbors and many of them believed in Jesus “because of the woman’s testimony” (John 4:28-29, 39).
  • Most Jewish and Greek men had negative views of women, but Jesus treated women with dignity and respect.
  • He healed various women, cast demons out of them, and raised their children from the dead.
  • The rabbis said that women should not be taught Scripture, but Mary (criticized by older sister Martha) rejects the typically female role, becomes a disciple learning at the feet of Rabbi Jesus. His response:  “Mary has chosen what is better.”
  • He protected the woman about to be stoned to death.
  • Women were the first witnesses to the Resurrection.

Women in ministry in the early Christian community

  • Following the example set by Jesus, women were acknowledged and respected as leaders in early Christian communities.
  • Euodia and Syntyche are called Paul’s fellow-workers in proclaiming the Gospel.
  • Priscilla (Prisca), Junia, Julia, and Nereus’ sister are all key leaders in the Christian community.
  • Paul praises Junia (or Junias) as “prominent among the apostles.”
  • For Paul and the early church: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Ordination and Eucharist in the early church 

  • Ordination as we know it did not exist in the early Christian church.
  • The “Twelve” were not ordained by Jesus at the Last Supper.
  • (Parenthetical remark: I find it comical and sadly stupid the way even some “informed” people posit events at the Last Supper based on what they see in the 15th century mural painting in Milan created by Leonardo da Vinci.)
  • The person who presided at Eucharist in early Christian communities was the head of the household or the leader recognized by the community.
  • Even when important visitors, like Paul,  came to visit and address the community – an early form of “apostolic visitation” – the person who presided at Eucharist was the community leader.
  • We know of course that women were heads of households and the acknowledged leaders in early Christian communities.

Women and ordination in later church history

  • There is now abundant historic evidence that right up into the late Middle Ages women in the church were ordained to diaconal, presbyteral and episcopal ministry. (See for instance The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination by Gary Macy)
  • In a great number of Christian communities today women are ministering as ordained ministers.
  • And of course there is an ever-increasing number of Roman Catholic women who are now ministering very effectively as women priests.

There is no valid excuse

for

Vatican patriarchy, misogyny and opposition to women’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church.

10 thoughts on “The Vatican Nightmare: WOMEN PRIESTS!

  1. One thing seems to be certain for me: Had women been in positions of leadership in our church in our day they never would have put up with or covered up all the abuses of children. They would have acted forcefully.

    Besides, most of us know that the real forces that keep our parishes alive as today are the faithful and devoted women. Why not give them a greater chance at leadership and ministry?

      • LAITY or ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

        For the People of God

        For as long as I can remember I have been told that I belong to the
        laity of our church. Then one day I wanted to understand more of
        what this word or label meant. Webster’s dictionary describes LAITY, as people of a religious faith, as distinguished from clergy.
        I began to ask myself why this distinction and when did it begin? I believe it began when the hierarchical system began, about seventeen hundred years ago. But, I cannot recognize this distinction in anything Jesus said or did. Now I ask myself, do we really want this kind of system to continue within the Body of Christ? Do we still want a hierarchical system in our church, which categorizes or labels its members, from those on top who dictate to those they consider are on the bottom, as they perceive the laity to be? Unfortunately, for a very long time, we “the laity” believed and accepted that we, the majority of God’s people, were on the lowest rung of the ladder in our church.
        On the other hand, Simon, whom Jesus called the Rock, tells us, the followers of Christ, that we are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” What lofty descriptions of God’s people, you and me. It really doesn’t get any better than this! We need to believe this. We are “a people of His own, (priesthood) so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (One Peter 2: 9) It is time to believe in these words and claim the truth in them. The Holy Spirit inspired Peter to tell us that we have been favored and raised to new spiritual heights in the life of Christ. For our sake and for God’s sake, we must accept this favor, this grace that is given to all of us. The Spirit of Christ in Peter and the Spirit of Christ within us has called us out of darkness. The Light has entered into us. That is why we gather in new communities or we communicate on the internet, or speak with one another in our social gatherings about all that is happening within or to our church. We are all tired of that former darkness, along with a secrecy that was sinful. We are people who love the Light.

        Jesus let us know that there is something special about being a ROCK. It happened the day that Jesus asked his disciples; “Who do people say that the Son of Man is? They replied with, “Some say…” “But Jesus said, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my heavenly Father. And I say to you, you are Peter, (which mean rock) and upon this rock I will build my church, (community) and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Mt 16:16-18) What Jesus is telling us is that we, like Peter, who confess and believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, are Rocks and he will build his church (community) upon us. And this is exactly what he has been doing for two thousand years.
        Peter affirms this truth as he says: (One Peter 2:4-8) “Come to him a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” It is important to believe in these words; otherwise we shall always be labeled, LAITY. Add to this the fact that Christ is “the cornerstone” of our spiritual house.
        We are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation”; these are lofty descriptions of God’s people, you and me. It really doesn’t get any better than this! Or does it? I am recalling a few other words that Jesus said to Peter, and to all the rest of us who become a Rock for him. Jesus tells us, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” Now, I am suggesting that we believe what Jesus has offered to us. Imagine, keys to the kingdom of heaven! It is time to use the keys that Jesus has handed to us and open up the treasures of the kingdom, “broadcast the seed” of Christ’s Spirit here and now!

        Margaret Barry

        July 19, 2007

  2. As a female in our church for 70 yrs., I agree with Richard and we should not only vote with our feet but with our dollars. I was privileged to attend the ordination of Women Priests that was held in Venice, Fl. It was truly an event full of promise. Our church is truly out of touch, botching the sexual abuse scandal and investigating the female orders. It makes me sad as well as angry. The male hierarchy like the fancy vestments, the adulation and bowing. God help us, the $ could be better spent helping the poor. Praying for change.

    • Thanks Pat. I too am a strong supporter of the Women Priests movement and find them wonderfully Christian and pastoral in every good way: no arrogance, no power and control.I also have a good friend who is an Episcopalian woman priest and she is terrific.
      John

  3. I was taught that when God calls, we are to say “Yes” just as Mary did.
    So why do men in the Vatican continue to believe that God couldn’t possibly call on other “Mary’s” to do His will, just as they?
    The biggest “delicta graviora” is their ATTITUDE against women!

  4. Thank you! I was so hurt (AGAIN) by the latest pronouncement that I went searching and found your blog.
    I remember what my church seems to forget- the first person the Risen Christ appeared to was – a WOMAN! It was to HER that he first said- “Go and tell…..}

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