Women Priests and the Eucharist
The Mystical Supper, Icon by Simon Ushakov (1685).
We have just celebrated Holy Thursday. As the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter, four events are commemorated on this day:
- the washing of the Disciples' Feet by Jesus Christ
- the institution of the the Eucharist at the Last Supper
- the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane
- and the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot.
Speak of the Last Supper and countless artistic renditions portraying Jesus and the Twelve seated at a banquet table almost immediately come to mind. Reinforced by art and fused in our psyches is the notion that the Last Supper was a man only meal. The long held assumption that it was a man only mean has given powerful support to the notion that because they (the men only) are with Christ at the Last Supper, they alone receive the sacramental charge, "Do this in remembrance of me," (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:240 which is joined to the institution of the Eucharist -- and reinforcement of the notion that only men can be priests.
The event has significance in the case for women priests.
From the Vatican's point of view, one of the most compelling arguments - so it says -- that supports that ban against women priests is the so-called example of Jesus:
- he chose only male apostles
- only the twelve apostles were present at the Last Supper. Since this is where he instituted the Eucharist, only men can preside at mass.
But is it true? Were only men there? And if the Last Supper contains some of the foundational elements of ordained priesthood, what kind of priesthood was being modelled by Jesus?
What do you think? With help from our library and some of our galleries, we will explore.
with love and blessings,
post edited by Sophie - 2009/04/10 20:19:18