This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.
Saint Augustine of Hippo is considered on of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time and the Doctor of the Church.
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I agree that analogies (especially in reference to God) always breakdown at some point. That said, the Church as the Bride of Christ is more then just an analogy that we as humans have derived in an attempt to better understand the mystry of God (which in reality is impossible to fully understand. It is a part of scripture, most commonly the Book of Revelation (the marriage of the Lamb). Also noticed that I said the priest was maried in a mystical sense to his congregation, in the a similar way that Christ's marriage to the Church refers to the Universal Church and can not be further broken down to say that Christ is married to everyone within the Church because that would imply that poligomy is OK.
I'm not sure what "more than just an analogy" is supposed to mean, other than to imply that Jesus literally married the Church somehow. My reaction to the analogy is that I don't think saying the priest is somehow "mystically married" to his congregation is going to shed much light on anything, as that analogy needs some explanation itself. I get where you're coming from with the analogies, because their symbolism is natural, i.e. rooted in our natures, particularly our personal natures as male and female. And that is precisely what Inter Insigniores hits on the head, albeit in passing: that the all-male priesthood is a consequence of the very nature of sacramentality in general (to be what it represents), combined with the fact of Jesus' maleness and the kind of priesthood (i.e., a sacramental one) that he established. The maleness of Christ, therefore, is not dispensable or irrelevant, and is essential for understanding the all-male priesthood as well as the spousal analogy (for if Christ is indispensably male, then by necessity his "spouse", the Church, must be the Bride). So you see, I am just trying to take the discussion back a level, to the foundational level of male and female, to answer the challenge presented by female ordination, which by necessity ends up arguing that the maleness not only of the priest, but also of Christ himself, is irrelevant and can be substituted for.
I think it can be very difficult to turn back to the path of grace when one is not firmly set in it as a child.
God works in mysterious ways! I am a "craddle" Catholic but there was a time in my twenties where I would go to Mass if I was awake, and it didn't interfere with my plans for the day.
It's a long story, but a cousin's friend, a female Anglican Minister was indirectly responsible for me becoming more active in my faith, and it wasn't like she was telling me I should convert, or go to Church more often. Anyway, God used her as an agent, and I ended up promising God that I'd go to Church every Sunday for 6 months, and after that all bets were off! Well 11 years after making that promise I've only missed mass when I've been travelling and it's been impossible to attend.
I'm not sure what "more than just an analogy" is supposed to mean, other than to imply that Jesus literally married the Church somehow.
The Church being the bride of Christ isn't something that clergy, or great mystics have used to describe the relationship between Christ and the Church, the Book of Revelation refers directly to the Marriage of the Lamb. So I say this is more then just an analogy because it has direct reference in scripture.
This is very different then the analogy of the One Flesh Union representing the Blessed Trinity (see John Paul II TOB) where this was his way of better explaining things, but there is no direct reference to scripture that says that the marital act is a sign of the Blessed Trinity.
In the end though, we're arguing the same point, just using different language to get there.
Not to mention the often overlooked, but rather obvious fact that boys don't like to do girl things. This should not be discounted in the equation and has been noted by some bishops and priests as one of the reasons for the decline in priestly vocations in the US.
Rosey Grier liked to crochet
Where Fred? Please quote ... Thanks
He's right- there are, though I can't give a direct quote either. These women were NOT part of the Holy Orders though. They were, as some people already mentioned in this thread: wives of actual deacons, widowed women who helped out at the church- think Anna, etc
Does it hit anyone else as strange, that it's primarily the women who are arguing 'against' in this thread and the men 'for'...? (generally of course)
But God does not change. We sometimes need to look back to know the way ahead. That is why so many people on this thread are referring to ancient texts and scripture. Those texts show that early the Church (that is those who had close proximity to actual first hand teaching of Christ) had no concept of female priests. So please let us not of fall into the trap of substituting human reasoning in the place where obedience and trust and God's Wisdom should reside.
Please remember Christ's words to the apostles before he left them: "You did not choose me - I chose you."
In the same way, the role we play in God's plan is not decided by us but by God and if we do not accept the role God has given to us then we are outside of it and actually working against it.
I want to ask - why must women be priests. The greatest honour given to any human by God (apart from Christ) was given to the Virgin Mary who actually carried Christ (God) in her body. And do you know something, she was only able to do that because she was completely obediant to the will of God.