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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.

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Jul 31st 2013 new

Do we know why Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, is male? Until we do, we won't know definitively why women cannot be priests ---- or know definitively why they should.

Jesus the Second Person is the first person ever to possess this faculty called 'priesthood'. He is the prototype. No priests existed before him because nobody existed before him. There is no way for a human being to assess from his or her own knowledge or reasoning whether the faculty called 'priesthood' is separable from Jesus' other features such as his looks, height, intelligence, colour of hair, etc. We might hazard a guess that it is, that Jesus' priesthood does not depend upon the colour of his hair, but it is only guesswork. We cannot for certain say that Jesus' priesthood is or is not connected to the colour of his hair because we had never known of this idea of p-r-i-e-s-t until he came along. Before him, there were no priests. When he came along, he came as a parcel of features, just as we all do, and we could not diivide him into strands and say that this strand is important for priesthood but that isn't. There was simply no precedent for knowing what about him was necessary for being a priest and what wasn't.

What about Hindu 'priests' and Mayan 'priests' and priests from older cultures perhaps than those of the Jews? We attribute to them the function of 'priest' as a borrowed word. We say they are 'priests' because they do sacrificial stuff sort of like the stuff we have seen the Jewish priests to do. But this is an anachronistic or retrospective application of the word. The Jewish priests did what they did - bloody animal (but not human, as did 'priests' from other cultures) sacrifice - as a precursor to the bloody sacrificing of the Messiah - because they were inspired by the Spirit of God under the command of God the Father through the Second Person of the Trinity to do so, everything that God the Father does being done for and through his Son. We call the Hindu and Mayan guys doing sacrificial-type stuff 'priests' because what they do is vaguely similar to what Jewish priests did and we have no other word in our vocabulary to use. We are comparing them to a faculty derived from our knowledge of Jesus, even though, humanly speaking, he didn't turn up until long after the Hindu and Mayan guys had been strutting their stuff, so to speak.

So how do we now know that looks, height, intelligence, colour of hair, place of birth, occupation and most other human characteristics have nothing to do with the faculty of priesthood? By watching Jesus choose as his future first priests men who were not born in Bethlehem, did not grow up in Nazareth, did not receive the religious training that would entitle them to be called 'rabbuni', were not carpenters and, we can reasonably surmise, looked and weighed and had skin tones that were different from his. He established by his choice, confirmed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that those features were irrelevant. He never said that those features were irrelevant but his conduct says it for him. But, somehow, he never chose a woman to be an apostle, and, looking at what he did from afar, we surmise that his conduct is telling us that the human feature of gender is relevant to priesthood.

Jesus only chose Jewish men to be his first priests. He himself, the prototype, was Jewish. Today we have men from all races being ordained as priests. Can non-Jews be ordained? Samaritans could become followers of The Way but could they be chosen by the laying of hands to become the next generation of apostles? I don't know whether records kept by the early church that didn't make it into the canon contained evidence of Samaritans being chosen as successors to the apostles but there is scriptural evidence of men of mixed parentage closely associated with the work of spreading the gospel, and so we have confirmation that race is irrelevant to priesthood.

Over the course of time, various human characteristics have been peeled away by the Church, as the teaching successor to Jesus the Word, as irrelevant to eligibility for priesthood. You can even once have been an accessory after the fact to murder, like St Paul when he was the pharisee Saul of Tarsus. He was picked personally by Jesus. Reformed acessories to murder? No problem. But women? No evidence, at a time when there were always women travelling with and supporting Jesus' travelling band, when there were Marthas who were intensely interested in learning the faith and Veronicas willing to identify themselves publicly with what seemed to be the lost cause of a silly crank, that they were rewarded for their faithfulness by being commissioned to apostolic leadership.

And so the matter rests. When we know why Jesus the Second Person was always a male, God being perfect because there is no shadow of change in him, the body that he took into Heaven always being the body suit he will be wearing and was the body suit he was wearing before anything was created, we'll know why women cannot be priests. And because God is the unity of the empirical and the normative, the unity of what is with what ought to be, and the sole standard of morality in the universe, Jesus is male because he ought to be male and ought always to have been male and because it would be immoral if he were not male. Stacked up against this faith-based reality, it's not surprising that the Church does not consider itself free to ordain women as a functioning female Jesus. That would be committing a blasphemy.

Jul 31st 2013 new
Mother Angelica on the ewtn show once address this issue and she said "Can you imagine men having babies" and "Can you imagine women keeping the secrets of the confessional" there is a great deal of wisdom in those statements.
Jul 31st 2013 new
Excellent reply!! Again what the original statements state are a mere purporting and an attempt to perpetuate non truths. If you don't agree with the magisterial teaching on priestly marriage or holy orders then simply don't be Catholic. Please don't attempt to bring the true one holy and apostolic church to a lower level by perpetuating what you would like to change. Read the creed. We say it at each vigil mass. We are one or nothing. The body of Christ (a man by the way) shall not be broken!! It was His body and His blood. The priest that are married by the way are Not ordained priests by the Holy See the episcopal jurisdiction of the church. Nor are St Pius X society priests any more a priest than you or I. There are unfound ways to serve the church. Priests being married and or women priests are simply illusions and not in God's plan. Unfortunately we are all living in a time of extremely poor catechism and new age philosophy where someone or some group always thinks they may know better than the Church guided by the Holy Spirit. We follow what the church teaches. The church knows best. If we often get confused which we do we look to the fullness of the truth. It tells us men are priests and not married. It's basic doctrine. Dogmatic. Meaning it will not change just like the church will never support abortion. Period.
Jul 31st 2013 new
Thomas,

I agree with you...we are one. But you have to be careful to make the distinction between doctrine and discipline.

Doctrine-- that which cannot change, is the fact that priests cannot be women.

Discipline-- something that can change, is that married men can be priests. Right now, in the latin rite, this isn't allowed, except for certain people that convert. In the Eastern churches under Rome, it is allowed. There are married priests today, validly ordained ...all licit, in both Eastern and Roman churches.


Jul 31st 2013 new
(quote) Chris-930705 said: Hi, Sandra.

You bring up two different points: conflict of interest (where simply being married, by itself, is an impediment to priesthood) and time commitment. It's worth looking at the two as distinct things.

It may very well be the case that, for some people, marriage and the priesthood are each demanding enough, and neither energizing enough, to force a choice one way or the other. But surely we could say the same about any other life-long commitments: I would imagine being both a police officer and a single parent would be difficult.

But for other people, hearing a call to both marriage and ordination can be complementary. Having a supportive spouse and children may prove to be a great blessing for a priest with many other demands.

If anyone asked, I'd guess that you don't think being married is an impediment to our deacons, who are sometimes tasked with just as demanding a schedule as some priests.

I agree with you that being a priest and eligible for marriage would likely be a conflict of interest. How do you minister to a woman if you might end up dating her? But I don't see the same with being an already-married priest, the same restrictions our deacons operate under now.

Someone with better information than I can correct me, but my studies in medieval history suggest that one reason that the Council forbade priests from marrying was an entirely practical one: to avoid wealthy priests from having legitimate heirs.

Peace be with you all.
The only economic reason reason for instituting celibacy for priests was the abuse then rampant in the church of the priests leaving church property to their heirs not the other way around as you stated.

But that was a minor reason. Chelsea in her post gave the major reason for the change.
Jul 31st 2013 new
(quote) Roystan-340472 said:

Do we know why Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, is male? Until we do, we won't know definitively why women cannot be priests ---- or know definitively why they should.

Jesus the Second Person is the first person ever to possess this faculty called 'priesthood'. He is the prototype. No priests existed before him because nobody existed before him. There is no way for a human being to assess from his or her own knowledge or reasoning whether the faculty called 'priesthood' is separable from Jesus' other features such as his looks, height, intelligence, colour of hair, etc. We might hazard a guess that it is, that Jesus' priesthood does not depend upon the colour of his hair, but it is only guesswork. We cannot for certain say that Jesus' priesthood is or is not connected to the colour of his hair because we had never known of this idea of p-r-i-e-s-t until he came along. Before him, there were no priests. When he came along, he came as a parcel of features, just as we all do, and we could not diivide him into strands and say that this strand is important for priesthood but that isn't. There was simply no precedent for knowing what about him was necessary for being a priest and what wasn't.

What about Hindu 'priests' and Mayan 'priests' and priests from older cultures perhaps than those of the Jews? We attribute to them the function of 'priest' as a borrowed word. We say they are 'priests' because they do sacrificial stuff sort of like the stuff we have seen the Jewish priests to do. But this is an anachronistic or retrospective application of the word. The Jewish priests did what they did - bloody animal (but not human, as did 'priests' from other cultures) sacrifice - as a precursor to the bloody sacrificing of the Messiah - because they were inspired by the Spirit of God under the command of God the Father through the Second Person of the Trinity to do so, everything that God the Father does being done for and through his Son. We call the Hindu and Mayan guys doing sacrificial-type stuff 'priests' because what they do is vaguely similar to what Jewish priests did and we have no other word in our vocabulary to use. We are comparing them to a faculty derived from our knowledge of Jesus, even though, humanly speaking, he didn't turn up until long after the Hindu and Mayan guys had been strutting their stuff, so to speak.

So how do we now know that looks, height, intelligence, colour of hair, place of birth, occupation and most other human characteristics have nothing to do with the faculty of priesthood? By watching Jesus choose as his future first priests men who were not born in Bethlehem, did not grow up in Nazareth, did not receive the religious training that would entitle them to be called 'rabbuni', were not carpenters and, we can reasonably surmise, looked and weighed and had skin tones that were different from his. He established by his choice, confirmed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that those features were irrelevant. He never said that those features were irrelevant but his conduct says it for him. But, somehow, he never chose a woman to be an apostle, and, looking at what he did from afar, we surmise that his conduct is telling us that the human feature of gender is relevant to priesthood.

Jesus only chose Jewish men to be his first priests. He himself, the prototype, was Jewish. Today we have men from all races being ordained as priests. Can non-Jews be ordained? Samaritans could become followers of The Way but could they be chosen by the laying of hands to become the next generation of apostles? I don't know whether records kept by the early church that didn't make it into the canon contained evidence of Samaritans being chosen as successors to the apostles but there is scriptural evidence of men of mixed parentage closely associated with the work of spreading the gospel, and so we have confirmation that race is irrelevant to priesthood.

Over the course of time, various human characteristics have been peeled away by the Church, as the teaching successor to Jesus the Word, as irrelevant to eligibility for priesthood. You can even once have been an accessory after the fact to murder, like St Paul when he was the pharisee Saul of Tarsus. He was picked personally by Jesus. Reformed acessories to murder? No problem. But women? No evidence, at a time when there were always women travelling with and supporting Jesus' travelling band, when there were Marthas who were intensely interested in learning the faith and Veronicas willing to identify themselves publicly with what seemed to be the lost cause of a silly crank, that they were rewarded for their faithfulness by being commissioned to apostolic leadership.

And so the matter rests. When we know why Jesus the Second Person was always a male, God being perfect because there is no shadow of change in him, the body that he took into Heaven always being the body suit he will be wearing and was the body suit he was wearing before anything was created, we'll know why women cannot be priests. And because God is the unity of the empirical and the normative, the unity of what is with what ought to be, and the sole standard of morality in the universe, Jesus is male because he ought to be male and ought always to have been male and because it would be immoral if he were not male. Stacked up against this faith-based reality, it's not surprising that the Church does not consider itself free to ordain women as a functioning female Jesus. That would be committing a blasphemy.

Unfortunately for your thesis, God instituted a legitimate priesthood for His chosen people the Jews long before His only Son our Lord came into the world.

Every male Jew born into the tribe of Levi, Aron's decedents, are priests under God's laws for the Jews.

Chrit's priesthood is the prototype of the priesthood of the New Covenant which is His Church.
Jul 31st 2013 new
(quote) Thomas-984554 said: Excellent reply!! Again what the original statements state are a mere purporting and an attempt to perpetuate non truths. If you don't agree with the magisterial teaching on priestly marriage or holy orders then simply don't be Catholic. Please don't attempt to bring the true one holy and apostolic church to a lower level by perpetuating what you would like to change. Read the creed. We say it at each vigil mass. We are one or nothing. The body of Christ (a man by the way) shall not be broken!! It was His body and His blood. The priest that are married by the way are Not ordained priests by the Holy See the episcopal jurisdiction of the church. Nor are St Pius X society priests any more a priest than you or I. There are unfound ways to serve the church. Priests being married and or women priests are simply illusions and not in God's plan. Unfortunately we are all living in a time of extremely poor catechism and new age philosophy where someone or some group always thinks they may know better than the Church guided by the Holy Spirit. We follow what the church teaches. The church knows best. If we often get confused which we do we look to the fullness of the truth. It tells us men are priests and not married. It's basic doctrine. Dogmatic. Meaning it will not change just like the church will never support abortion. Period.
There are, in fact, legitimately married priest ordained by the Roman Catholic Church. Contrary to your statement. They have existed in the Eastern Rites of the Church (not just the Orthodox Churchs which arenot in union with Rome) since the time of the Apostles until today.

There are a growing number of former Protestant ministers and priest who have come into the Church who have been ordained priests by the Church so they could continue their ministerial work.
Jul 31st 2013 new
Yes, for example, we know that the Apostle St. Peter was married before he was ordained, and that this did not invalidate his ordination.
Jul 31st 2013 new
Chelsea, I am so impressed with you. You most certainly know your Catholic faith so well. You put many Catholics to shame. Blessings to you.
Jul 31st 2013 new
Christine, According to EWTN, women hold high offices in the Vatican. I found this true in many parishes across the country as well. Are you saying that you somehow feel cheated because the priesthood is limited to men? The twelve apostles were men. I most certainly would not forgo my cradle Catholic faith for anyone or anything. May I suggest some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The Lord be with you.
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