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Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition

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Sophie
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2007/02/10 20:21:02 (permalink)

Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition

Dear friends,

Traditions are an important part of the Catholic church.  They give us our identity and help keep us faithful to the mission and teachings of Jesus Christ.  It is important to understand the difference between traditions with a small 't' and Tradition with a large 'T.'  Tradition is the core truths of the Christian faith as taught by the Apostles.  Like the Bible, it is a primary source of revelation for us. The truths of Tradition are unchanging and the same for every age.  Small 't' traditions are the customs and rituals that help us live our faith.  These traditions are influenced by history and culture and can differ between cultures and times. They account for the rich diversity of faith expressions in the universal church.  These traditions are important to us and they are good so long as they help us live out the teaching of Jesus embodied in the Scriptures and Tradition.  But Jesus condemns the exaggerated importance of small-t traditions when they present obstacles to living God's revealed commandments. (Mark 7:1-15)

We also keep in mind, "Guided by the Spirit and after time, testing, and consensus, the Christian community can embrace a development in its faith as a Tradition -- with a capital T.  Such Tradition, developing biblical revelation through contemporary experience reflects  that Christian faith is an ongoing journey into divine truth...Without the developments represented by Tradition, Christian faith would become a stagnant pool instead of a great river of flowing waters.*... A deep Catholic conviction is that God's revelation did not end with the Apostolic era and is not limited to the Bible's pages.  Rather, by the presence of God's spirit, revelation continues to unfold throughout human experience -- history."*  With some of this in mind, it is timely that we look at 'Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition.'

In overview, I offer two documents from our internet library for your consideration.  The first is a 'walk through summary' covering key points countering 'traditionalists.'  You will reach this document through this link:

http://www.womenpriests.org/pdebate.asp

The second provides a comparative summary of The Arguments from Tradition --Rome on Tradition v Counter-arguments on Tradition. You will reach this document through this link:

http://www.womenpriests.org/trad_ac.asp

Two notes:
  • Throughout the documents, the author uses the term 'Rome' to indicate both the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Holy Father.
  • Watch for other links within the articles themselve.  Each document contains other links that will connect you to many other articles found in our womenpriests.org online library. When you drag cursor over the words, the links pop out with a line underneath them.  Click on the link and you'll be connected to related articles (which also may contain more links to look for!)

I know you will find this exploration enlightening. So I invite you: unpack your bags and stay awhile.  And please enjoy!  I will share more as we move along.  Any questions, please sing out!
 
With love and blessings,
~Sophie~

* Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) called this "the dynamic identity" of Christianity.  He meant that it should be ever developing for changing circumstances and yet always in continuity with its biblical roots.
** Thomas Groome, What Makes Us Catholic:Eight Gifts for Life (New York: HarperCollins, 2002) p 148.
*** "If we approach either Scripture or Tradition in a closed-minded way, as if they are static heirlooms, they could become deadening to Christian faith.  While Protestant fundamentalism emerges around the Bible, Catholic fundamentalism is more apt to attach to Tradition, making it appear fixed and finished, as if the past is "a dead letter" rather than a source of new life for the present and the future."
- ibid, p148.

134 Replies Related Threads

    Guest
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/02/10 20:47:34 (permalink)
    There is no doubt about the traditional practice of excluding women from the priesthood and episcopate, or about the traditional conviction that women were unsuited for such offices in the Church. Obviously, such long-standing traditions must not be lightly changed or dismissed. Yet, as Joseph Ratzinger [who is now Pope Benedict XVI] noted in his commentary on Dei Verbum, "Not everything that exists in the Church must for that reason be also a legitimate tadition; in other words, not every tradition that arises in the Church is a true celebration and keeping present of the mystery of Christ. There is a distorting, as well as a legitimate, tradition.... Consequently, tradition must not be considered only affirmatively, but also critically" (Ratzinger, 185). A traditional practice that seemed appropriate in the past may no longer be appropriate in a new cultural context. A traditional conviction, when subjected to critical examination, may be recognized as based on cultural attitudes rather than on divine revelation. It may become clear that it was not really a tradition of authentic Christian faith. The Church has never taken antiquity to be the sole criterion of an authoritative Tradition.
    Sophie
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/02/14 04:06:53 (permalink)
    The Holy Spirit at work 'from below'???
     
    Curious? Find out more through this link: http://www.womenpriests.org/classic/han_intr.asp
     
    With love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/02/14 05:29:33 (permalink)
    The "received" tradition in the church of women as inferior has excluded them from the sacramental role of priesthood and from other decision-making roles. St. Thomas Aquinas' opinion that "woman is by nature in subjection (to men), but a slave is not (by nature in subjection)" seems to be shared by today's hierarchy.
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/02/14 22:10:27 (permalink)
    The tradition is that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood. Nothing about "inferior" or "superior" (how do you measure a person?). Men aren't superior to women because they can be ordained, the same way water isn't superior to wine because you can only use water in Baptism.
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/02/14 22:23:05 (permalink)
    yeah...I wunder what Pope Benedict meant when he said women are superior?
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/02/14 23:00:39 (permalink)
       How sincere was Pope Benedict's "women are superior" statement if he will not let them be priests?
       He argues for equal treatment in legal and family community  matters, but will not allow the family community of the Church to be equal for women.
     
        He practises a very destructive HYPOCRACY in his denial of priesthood to the "superior" women.
     
        This is the same insincere nonsense women were told before that they were too superior to be bothered wioth having the right to vote. Such delicate creatures like women should not be bothered with dealing with civil matters and voting. That was hypocritical nonsense too used as an exclusion of women argument.
     
       
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/02/14 23:07:36 (permalink)
       Yes if the Pope considers women to be spiritually Superior to men, then he should be immediately setting about getting lots of women ordained as priests .
     
        The Pope is claiming God has made women  superior spiritually, then they must be extremely well suited to be priests.
      
          If this is an insincere tactic used to exclude women from priesthood, then the Pope is committing a sin of deception and hypocracy.  I pray the Pope will seek forgiveness and actually treat women as Jesus does and allow women's ordination to priesthood.
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/02/14 23:15:54 (permalink)
    Yes....that's the big question...'if?'

    If this is a dinasour who is showing some willingness to move along, then I think that's great.
    If on the other hand, if this is a devious tactic thinking it will get the 'women' issue out of his hair, then we best be alert.

    Actions speak much more loudly than words. So far: mostly words and little action. And even in the words: hardly bold steps:

    women can be 'temporarily ministers of eucharist' but only men can be permanently installed as ministers of the eucharist.

    girls can be altar servers, but only if the bishop thinks that's ok, and always, boys should be preferred because altar service is a seed bed for vocations--- as is World Youth Days -- and what kind of vocations -- vocations for boys.
    Sophie
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 02:14:08 (permalink)
    Dear friends,
     
    I have an article about 'Tradition' from our library which I'd like to share.    It is about "Latent" Tradition in the Church.  Dei Verbum, Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, teaches us that:

    What was handed on by the apostles comprises everything that serves to make the People of God live their lives in holiness and increase their faith. In this way the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.

    What does this mean for the ordination of women?
     
    The history of the Church shows we should study the past carefully. Underneath the practice and explicit texts, we may find a valid latent Tradition faithful to the Gospel and transmitted through the centuries without always being explicitly recognised.  
     
    While genuine Tradition may be ‘latent,’  it is preserved by the ‘Gospel in the heart’, the awareness of Jesus’ true mind, and is kept alive by the working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of the community of believers.
     
    In one of his many articles, Dr. Wijngaards helps us to understand more about this and its implications for women's ministries in the Church.  In his straightforward 4 step approach, he looks at:
     
    Step 1, Valid Tradition must not be confused with ‘common teaching’ or ‘common practice’.  Here, he examines 'Valid Tradition' in the context of:
    • the veneration of some saints
    • Biblical studies
    • Confession.

    In Steps 2, 3, and 4, he sheds light on the facts that:

    The article is illuminating.  It is available here:  http://www.womenpriests.org/TRADITIO/latent.asp#common 
     
    Enjoy!
     
    With love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
    Sophie
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 02:39:46 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    One more article I'll share today from the perspective of Tradition. 

    In his article On Not Inventing Doctrine, Nicholas Lash, Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University,  voices alarm and concern about Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (OS) (John Paul II's 1994 Letter allegedly prohibiting the ordination of women on an infallible basis.)  As Lash expresses fear that OS may bring a new crisis of authority within the Church, he astutely makes clear:

    Neither the Pope nor Cardinal Ratzinger can make a teaching to be “founded on the written Word of God” simply by ascertaining that it is so founded. Nor can they by assertion, make it a matter that has been “constantly preserved and applied in the tradition of the Church”. The attempt to use the doctrine of infallibility, a doctrine intended to indicate the grounds and character of Catholic confidence in official teaching, as a blunt instrument to prevent the ripening of a question in the Catholic mind, is a scandalous abuse of power, the most serious consequence of which will be further to undermine the further authority which the Pope seeks to sustain.

    To learn more about Lash's perspective, see here:  http://www.womenpriests.org/teaching/lash.asp
     
    With love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 06:22:25 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest

    The tradition is that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood. Nothing about "inferior" or "superior" (how do you measure a person?). Men aren't superior to women because they can be ordained, the same way water isn't superior to wine because you can only use water in Baptism.

     
    This doesn't make sense to me.  We understand that Christ is Divine.  We also understand that part of the role of the priest is representing Christ to community.  This means men can represent Divinity.  And since women can't represent Christ, women can't represent Divinity. 
     
    Water is basic to wine.  Wine is not basic to water.  Your analogy doesn't work here.  If what you're saying is that Christ is basic to men but not to women, what does Christ mean for women?  What official sacramental significance to women have to our community?  Currently none.
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 06:33:19 (permalink)
    pretty darn simple.  It boils down to sex.
     
    Celibate men ejaculate definitions of Tradition.  Women, the wombs, receive.  No talking back. 
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 06:33:49 (permalink)
    that's offensive.
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 06:34:05 (permalink)
    yep. it sure is.
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 15:23:15 (permalink)
         "The Infinite Goodness has such wide arms that it takes whatever turns to it."
                         Dante Alighieri           Women should be allowed to be Catholic priests too.
     
     
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 15:33:53 (permalink)
    It certainly is offensive. It’s called rape.
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/06 17:09:28 (permalink)
       Our world has been defiled and raped for too long by the denial of having women ordained into priesthood. The tradition of Jesus was to equally use women and men to minister to the people. His sacrament of holy eucharist did not exclude women as women are present at such times.  " For you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that God called out of darkness into his own marvellous light, " 1 Peter 2:1
               Women too should be Catholic priests.  The Light of the World too.
    Sophie
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    RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Tradition 2007/03/07 02:08:15 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    In our Church's experience of her Tradition, it is clear that misunderstandings and misjudgements can be made. During certain periods of Church history,  people were prevented from discerning true Tradition because their reasonings were wrong or their minds were focussed on the wrong reality. In order to legitimately be identified as part of Tradition, a doctrine or practice must be informed. In other words, the carriers of Tradition must understand the question and the issues that are at stake.

    Rome asserts that the prohibition against women priests is part of Tradition.  Yet remarkably, the first time in history that's witnessed focused discussion about women's ministry is now.  Our library includes an article, Tradition must be Informed, which will help deepen our understanding of this aspect of valid Tradition. The article examines:


    The link is here: http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/informed.asp#homos
    If you have any questions, please ask.

    With love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~ 
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