WHO CAN RECEIVE HOLY ORDERS?
Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination. The Lord Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles…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 . 1577 (Catechism)
WHERE DID THIS ALL BEGIN?
Jesus chose 12 apostles was to replace the 12 tribal ‘fathers’ of Israel. In the cultural context of His time, it was natural he chose men for this limited purpose.
THE MOST VOCAL CONTROVERSY
Among the most vocal controversies in the Catholic Church recently has been the question of the ordination of women.
We need to fulfil our canon law duty to speak out as church leaders encourage us to do.
“All the faithful, both clerical and lay, should be accorded a lawful freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought and freedom of expression.” Gaudium et Spes, no 62; Canon Law no 212 § 3. As a consequence, eight out of ten Catholic scholars in the world support the ordination of women.
SEVEN REASONS WHY WOMEN CAN RECEIVE HOLY ORDERS!
- One priesthood in Christ
Through baptism women and men share equally in the new priesthood of Christ.
This includes openness to Holy Orders. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[a] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:27-28
- Empowered to preside
At the Last Supper Jesus empowered both women and men to preside at the Eucharist. Women were present at the Last Supper when Jesus said: “Do this in commemoration of me!”
- Women have been deacons
Until at least the ninth century the Church gave women the full sacramental ordination of deacons. This proves women can be ordained. Does it make sense that women are apt for the diaconate, but not for the priesthood?
- The ability for women to be ordained has been present in the Church’s latent Tradition.
One example is the age-long devotion to Mary as Priest. It shows that, according to the ‘sense of the faithful’, in Mary the ban against women has already been overcome. If women can become saints, surely they can become priests.
- The wider Church accepts women priests
After serious study and prayer other Christian Churches now ordain women as priests. Though not everything other Churches do can be accepted by the Catholic Church, this converging consensus by believing Christians confirms that ordaining women is according to the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
- Women too are, in fact, called to be priests
The fact that many responsible Catholic women discern in themselves a vocation to the priesthood is a sign of the Holy Spirit we may not ignore.
- Cultural bias
The Church’s practice of not ordaining women as priests was based on a three-fold prejudice against women. This has affected the judgment of Church leaders.