Women Can Be Priests
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2007/04/26 03:12:15 (permalink)

Peter Kreeft

Please listen to the following. If you do not, please do not partake in this conversation, because you will have no idea what we are talking about.

http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/09_priestesses.htm

This is Peter Kreeft. It is a talk about why the Church teaches that women should not be priests.

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    Sophie
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/26 03:36:19 (permalink)
     
     


    Dear friend,

    Welcome to our website.  I know that someone has previously contributed articles by Peter Kreeft.  Since discussion and dialogue are important to us,  I am curious about Peter Kreeft.  Please tell us about him. Why do you think his contributions are important to a discussion about women priests?  

    Christ calls us to be peacemakers.  We know that it is through dialogue that we foster stronger friendship and appreciation for our community as Church.  As Christ teaches, we know that where two or more gather, He is here with us.

    I encourage you to explore some of our dialogue threads.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

    With love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
    Sophie
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/26 03:46:04 (permalink)
     



    Dear friends,
    It is Sophie here...merging in a related post from a Guest in another thread.  Thanks for your patience.  Here goes!
    ~s~

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Some opponents of ordination of women (e.g. Peter Kreeft) claim the God is neither male nor female but God is masculine. This does not make sense to me.

    If God is masculine only, how can a woman be created in God’s image?  
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/26 15:34:17 (permalink)
    i'd like to listen but won't get time until the weekend. will do!
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/26 20:10:29 (permalink)
    From Peter Kreeft:
    “First, the masculinity of God is not part of the shell, but part of the nut. It is not like Hebrew grammar, a translatable and replaceable medium. Something as deliberate and distinctive and as all-pervasive in Scripture as God's he-ness is no mere accident.“
     
    “Behind the idea of the need for divine revelation is the idea of Original Sin—another traditional notion which most priestess-advocates deny, ignore, or at least are very embarrassed at. We are not good and wise and trustable, but sinful and foolish and in need of correction, so we should expect to be surprised and even offended by God's revelation; otherwise, we wouldn't need it.”
     
     
    My understanding of Peter Kreeft’s argument is that he believes there are masculine spirits and feminine spirits and that God is a masculine spirit. Therefore women are created less in the image of God than men. This is one reason only men should be priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
     
    He also seems to be saying that because of Original Sin, women are not good and wise and trustable, but sinful and foolish and in need of correction.
     
    Is this interpretation of his position correct? If not please explain.
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/26 21:55:32 (permalink)
      Peter Kreeft  is promoting old ideas full of contempt for women.
     
    This is the same contempt that led to the genocide of women during the long Inquisition time, from 1200 to 1800. 
     
     Jesus shows us both men and women are capable of love and of sin. 
     
     Jesus did not promote the idea that we should be contemptous of women, but celebrate their gifts of  ministry, anointing, preaching, missionary work,  leading churches, doing all ministry that the men do .  The voice of Jesus is not found in the voice of these ideas.
     
      Love your neighbour as yourself.  Help one another, feed one another.  A community of inclusion and authentic love of the other, not teaching exclusion, contempt and hatred of the other, in this case, the other is women. That is God and Jesus.
    Original blessing is the new life we find in Jesus. Witness one of his first miracles is to SAVE THE LIFE OF THE ADULTRESS
    and thus shows us women are new Eves full of worth and dignity and not sinful disgusting creatures to be mistreated.
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/27 04:38:34 (permalink)
    Actually, when we say we are created in the image and likeness of our Lord and God, we refer to the fact that we are spiritual beings, just as He is spirit; this is, that we have an spiritual soul (endowed with reason to know and will to love).

    I recommend Frank Sheed's "Theology and Sanity" for a very understandable explanation of the Faith about these matters.
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/27 04:43:12 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest

    Actually, when we say we are created in the image and likeness of our Lord and God, we refer to the fact that we are spiritual beings, just as He is spirit; this is, that we have an spiritual soul (endowed with reason to know and will to love).

    I recommend Frank Sheed's "Theology and Sanity" for a very understandable explanation of the Faith about these matters.


     
     
    Do you believe that there are masculine spirits and feminine spirits and that God is a masculine spirit? Yes or No.
    Therese
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/27 04:45:57 (permalink)
     
     
     
     
     
    I don't believe God is a masculine spirit.
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/27 04:49:25 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest

    i'd like to listen but won't get time until the weekend. will do!

     
     
    ditto!
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/27 05:17:57 (permalink)
    I was making that remark to show you that discussion about God being a masculine spirit (and that, consequently, women were "less" image of God than man) was fruitless. Being created in the image and likeness of God means what I explained before, you can go check it out in the book I recommended you, or another good book. Seems you missed the point.   


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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/27 05:37:12 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest

    I was making that remark to show you that discussion about God being a masculine spirit (and that, consequently, women were "less" image of God than man) was fruitless. Being created in the image and likeness of God means what I explained before, you can go check it out in the book I recommended you, or another good book. Seems you missed the point.   




     
     
    Sorry, it wasn’t clear to me whether or not you agreed with Peter Kreeft. It appears not.
    Thanks.
    Therese
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/27 14:38:47 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest

    I was making that remark to show you that discussion about God being a masculine spirit (and that, consequently, women were "less" image of God than man) was fruitless. Being created in the image and likeness of God means what I explained before, you can go check it out in the book I recommended you, or another good book. Seems you missed the point.   

     
    I have a request.  I admit that sometimes I have a bit of difficulty following conversations because I can't always discern whose posts belong to who -- which makes it more difficult to follow different trains of thought.
     
    If people aren't registered as members, could they identify themselves at the end of their posts with a name or an initial that distinguishes their thoughts from others?  That would be great.
     
    So, on to your comment:  are you the person who posted that masculinity is not part of the shell. It's part of the nut?
     
    Thanks.
    Therese
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/28 05:33:48 (permalink)
    I just finished listening to Peter Kreeft.

    Yours is an excellent idea to post this talk for discussion!  Kreeft is easy to listen to and  has a nice way of organising his thoughts. I enjoyed listening to him. His love and respect the Church are evident, and his point of view is clear: he is opposed to ordination of women. 

    Having said this, I did not warm to everything he said.  For instance: 
    • His portrayal of feminists is not accurate or fair.  His use of the label anti-Christian pagans and pantheists pushing an ‘agenda’ weakens him as a speaker. If one is a feminist, the qualities he lists don't automatically apply. Considering his audience, a tactical smear.
    • His statement that all feminists support abortion simply isn't true. In front of his audience, this came across as a tactical smear.
    • Wanting to equip opponents of women’s priesthood with ‘intellectual weapons’ sounded a bit odd.  Maybe just a turn of phrase but it caused me think:  If we profess that we follow Christ, should we try to resolve disagreement through dialogue and peacemaking or through words like weapons which suggest war.

    Kreeft has my agreement in his of factors which do not decide women’s ordination:
    • positive thinking
    • egalitarianism, affirmative action
    • guilt about male chauvinism
    • a desire for peace

    I agree with him when he says:
    • God picks our priests
    • No one can choose or demand the priesthood. Although Kreeft doesn't say it, it is my view that no one has the right to be a priest.
    • We can’t change the deposit of faith.
    • The Church is not the author or the editor of the deposit of faith

    From my point of view, his next arguments are fatally flawed. He hasn't thought them through completely. (I'll explain why.) His positions here make it clear he hasn't considered all of the evidence there that supports women's ordination. Derailing right in front of him are his arguments about: 
    • sexual symbolism. Given that some still think this point of view is convincing means we need to talk about this some more.
    • the ‘ecclesiastical common good.’  Though Kreeft expresses his argument clearly, it doesn't stand up in the big picture.

    It will be easier to address his key points through separate posts. Shorter posts = easier to read, digest, and respond to. I’d like to reflect a bit more and come back tomorrow to share some perspectives. 

    Until tomorrow,
    oremus pro invicem,

    Therese
    post edited by Therese - 2007/04/28 18:12:49
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/28 20:00:59 (permalink)
    His portrayal of feminists is not accurate or fair. His use of the label anti-Christian pagans and pantheists pushing an ‘agenda’ weakens him as a speaker. If one is a feminist, the qualities he lists don't automatically apply. Considering his audience, a tactical smear.


    What was the phrase that Kreeft used about feminists and women priests?  'Beware.  This is just the camel's nose under the tent.  The whole camel follows if we let the nose in.' 

    Reflecting one something Alegria shared in a conversation we had about a website Fathers for Life, although F for L come across as more extreme than Peter Kreeft, both can be characterised by their extremist views about feminists. When we talked about how or whether to engage in conversation with an extremist, we discussed how to identify an extremist point of view. Alegria pointed out:
    • Extremists are very clever, they find the inequities and imbalances, amplify them, turn them into an evil plot by the other side and launch their now fully brainwashed minions to create havoc.
    • The signs I use to distinguish extremist rhetoric from ordinary political views are the following:
      • The "other side" (OS)  has an "agenda," everything they say, do, think, research, publish, and cite is part of that agenda.  Nothing they say, do, think, research, or cite can ever not be part of that "agenda." Thus we must never listen to anything they say, do, think, research, publish or cite, no matter how reasonable it sounds or how well documented their source material. 
      • OS's agenda is always negative, always.  It doesn't create only destroys.  Its trying to destroy what's good/right/proper in society, [and the Church] for no other reason than its evil and this is what evil does. 
      • OS' agenda always comes from greed/hate/depravity/corruption/lust for power.  
      • OS is always specifically targeting us: they do it through the courts, the schools, the politicians, the universities, the media, they want to make us slaves, they want to take our stuff. 
      • OS has historically mistreated us, while we have always been good to them
      • OS doesn't get it

    A few other qualities she noted that red flag an extremist are his(her) perceptions that:
    • The other side (OS) is at war with us. 
    • OS lies and manipulates facts (agenda, agenda, agenda) 
    • OS is twisted and or confused. Its up to us to teach them why they're wrong 
    • OS is, of course, always, always wrong.  

    Peter Kreeft puts himself into some of these categories.  Red flags go up all around.  Despite the fact that I agree with a few things he says, his gross distortions about feminists diminish the strength of any of the arguments he tries to make.  His blanket views about feminists don't help him come across as balanced. Some of the signs of gross distortions come through in the following ways:
    • Though he gets high marks for mentioning the dehumanizing ways that women have been treated throughout history, when he says, 'we shouldn't give in to the intimidation of pushy feminists,' a red flag immediately popped up when it was evident he was setting out feminism as the enemy.
    • He says feminists don't understand God's design
    • He emphasises that feminists want to kill unborn babies.  Two questions I'd ask him:
      • what does abortion have to do with women's ordination?
      • where do I fit in? I support women's ordination but not abortion.

    • My engagement with Kreeft began to fall when he stirred up his audience's dislike for feminists by reinforcing cardboard notions about  them, ie the enemy.
    • He states that the fundamental problem with feminists is in their inability to understand who God is
    • He says feminists radically misunderstand authority.
    • He says feminists do not know who God is.
    • He labels feminists as pagans and pantheists. 
    • He emphasizes several times the need to be wary of feminists.  Watch out for the agenda behind their agenda.  
    • He warns his audience that a danger in priestesses was that by letting the feminists in, more bad things would follow. 'If the camel's nose is under the tent, the rest of the camel will surely follow. After all, it's a one piece camel.'
    • His view:advocates for women priests lust for reproductive freedom
    • He says that feminists demand empowerment.  From his point of view, 'empowerment' is a bad thing. 
    • He articulates that feminists hate their own feminity
    • He points out that feminists are victims of rape and abuse and that therefore, they have a victim mentality. 
    • He says, 'We need to discern what spirit is at work here in them. With your heart open to God, listen to feminists and you will hear anger, rage, self-righteousness...' 
    • He argues that ground of Mary's greatness is too simple for feminists to see
    • He argues that feminism is radically different from Christianity
    • He gets the loudest cheer from his audience when he says:  "Feminists need to go to the cross, unflex the fist, and bow the knee."
    • He repeats: advocates for priestesses are strong advocates for abortion
    • He explains that feminists are launching a demonic attack on the family
    • He says the origins of modern feminism are not Christian
    • He reiterates that feminists are full of hate, hardness and hurt
    • He says feminists are full of anger, rage, self righteousness
    • He points out that feminists are not open to God

    He talks at some length about his collegue, feminist Mary Daly.  From my limited knowledge of Daly,  I might say that she, like Kreeft, is also an extremist.  When he suggests that Mary Daly is representative of all feminists, Mr. Kreeft comes across as having no grasp on the diversity of humanity. To say that Mary Daly is representative of all feminists is wrong.  Alegria captured this when she said: 'Trust me if you put six feminists in a room together you will often get 12 opinions on the same issue, so how there could ever be a feminist conspiracy on anything I'll never understand, but they seem to think there is one.' 

    When listening to Peter Kreeft, I was reminded of something else Alegria shared:

    Extremists are incapable of hearing any voice but their own.  Muslim extremists believe that the west is evil and everything that comes out of the mouth of an American is a lie...Extremists are very clever, they find the inequities and imbalances, amplify them, turn them into an evil plot by the other side and launch their now fully brainwashed minions to create havoc.

    So, my initial comments about Peter Kreeft and his talk about priestesses -
    Pro's: 
    • I applaud his recognition of the injustices women face in the world.
    • I applaud the encouragement he gives his audience to become aware of these injustices and to do something about them.

    Red flags about Kreeft.  For instance:
    • His emphasis on a feminist agenda.  Is he trying to score points based on 'emotional rhetoric' OR is he trying to steer around some of the excellent arguments that support women's ordination.  Kreeft either isn't familiar with all the arguments or he conveniently dodges around his audience's lack of knowledge about them. And, while he fails to address some of those points, he also doesn't miss out a chance to slam feminists and spin fear about them.
    • Whipping up fever against feminists is not very nice. 
    • He categorically lumps all feminists into one neat little box.  Yikes! This shows he doesn't understand feminism or feminists. 
    • He equates feminism with anti-Christianity.  hmmmm:  Jesus was a feminist.  What would Kreeft say to Him? Jesus: you are against what you stand for?

    More observations to share.  My phone is ringing.  I will be back later today.

    Therese
    post edited by Therese - 2007/04/29 07:25:36
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/29 00:02:21 (permalink)
      Very well spoken, Therese.
       Indeed, Peter Kreeft would label Jesus a "feminist" and kick him out of our Roman Catholic Church because he empowered women so much, praising women anointers, women missionaries, women preachers-Samaritan woman, Mary Magdalene, women Apostles- Junia and Mary Magdalene. 
         What Peter Kreeft is doing here is a classic example of Barbara Colorosa's book Extraordinary Evil, A Short Walk from Contempt to Genocide. 
     
           1. Sense of Entitlement:  demean, belittle the other--as lesser--
    only men, not unworthy women, can be priests
      
            2.  Exclude, Belittle, Demean the Other-> here it is women,> with a propagada that women are unworthy creatures inferior to men, and women who disagree are evil feminists  when the evil here is  really  exclusion, slander and devaluing women, that is very harmful to our church and community and to men, women and children
     
              3.  Denounce, Silence, Banish any supporters of the discriminated against, belittled, excluded "other" -  in  this case, women and supporters like "feminists"
     
          His speech and points are classic examples of contemptous,
     "hate women ' propaganda. and have no place on a Roman Catholic or Christian site or anywhere else.  These ideas denounce the teachings and actions  of our Lord Jesus who admired and respected women as fully worthy of carrying out all duties and tasks and responsibilities of his ministry.
         They are  very harmful because they promote hatred and contempt of women.
          We must recognize what is what here and not be naive.   from  Tony
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/29 04:06:27 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    For anyone who might not have access to streaming on their computers, part of Peter Kreeft's lecture is available here in text format.  This portion of the lecture deals with his arguments about sexual symbolism.

    With love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Reason Number Two: Sexual Symbolism

    The first two things we learn about sex from God, right from the beginning, are that God designed it, not man or society, and that it is very good. The first command was, "Be fruitful and multiply." I do not think God had in mind growing oranges and memorizing times tables. It is significant that most advocates of priestesses do not seem to believe or care much about this. Feminists usually see sexuality as a social, human, conventional, changeable thing, and radical feminists usually see it as a problem, an obstacle, or even an enemy, when they rail against the "prison" of having wombs. The next step is natural: glorifying the act of breaking out of this "prison" by killing their unborn babies. If they see their bodies and their sexuality as theirs and not God's, it is quite natural that they should proceed to the next step of seeing their babies as theirs and not God's.
    Advocates of women's ordination usually misunderstand sexual symbolism because they misunderstand symbolism itself as radically as they misunderstand authority. They think of symbols as man-made and artificial. They do not see that there are profound and unchangeable natural symbols, that things can be signs. Saint Thomas Aquinas based his multiple method of scriptural exegesis on this eminently sound but tragically forgotten principle. He writes: "The author of Holy Writ is God, in whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only (as man also can do) but also by things themselves. So whereas in every other science things are signified by words, this science [sacred science] has the property that the things signified by the words [of Scripture] have themselves a signification. Therefore that first signification, whereby words signify things, belongs to the first sense, the historical or literal. That signification whereby things signified by words have themselves a signification is called the spiritual sense, which is based on the literal and presupposes it."

    In other words, God writes history (and nature) as man writes words. Behind St. Thomas's hermeneutic is a metaphysics—the sacramental view of nature and history. Thomas Howard has brilliantly pinpointed the difference between the ancient world-view, in which everything means something, and the reductionistic modem world-view, in which nothing means anything, in Chance or the Dance? If every thing in nature means something, then the big things in nature mean something big. And sex is a Big Thing. What it means is so big that we will never exhaust it, only discover more facets of its diamond. But it is there, a massive fact of nature, not a clever human idea.

    Every good poet knows that natural symbols are like the essential structures of language itself, unchangeable. The sky is, always was, and always will be a natural symbol for heaven; dirt is not. The eye's seeing is a natural symbol for the mind's understanding; the gut's groaning is not. We all know and recognize this unconsciously. That is why our language has evolved as it has. We use "see" to mean both literal, physical seeing and symbolic seeing or understanding. Ascending, light notes in a major key somehow have to mean hope and joy; descending, heavy notes in a minor key inevitably mean something grave. Words like "grave" and "gravity" have multiple meanings glued with inextricable mental epoxy. Everything is connected, and everything points beyond itself—especially sex. God, who deliberately designed sexuality, also deliberately designed to incarnate himself as a male. Jesus Christ is still a male. He still has his human body in heaven. It is and forever will be a male body. This is not ideology or theology or interpretation this is fact, this is data.

    What follows is my attempt to explain the Church's "no" to priestesses in light of this data. My explanation can be summarized in two propositions. First, priests of Christ who are Christ's mouths through which he himself says, "This is my Body," must be men because Christ is a man. Second, Christ, the perfect human image of the Father, is male because God is Father. To deny my first proposition is to deny the Eucharist, and thus Catholicism. To deny my second proposition is to deny the authority of Christ, and thus Christianity.

    C. S. Lewis—not a Catholic himself—saw point one better than most Catholics do:



    Why should a woman not in this [priestly] sense represent God?... Suppose the reformer stops saying that a good woman may be like God and begins saying that God is like a good woman. Suppose he says that we might just as well pray to 'Our Mother which art in Heaven' as to 'Our Father'. Suppose he suggests that the Incarnation might just as well have taken a female as a male form, and the Second Person of the Trinity be as well called the Daughter as the Son. Suppose, finally, that the mystical marriage were reversed, that the Church were the Bridegroom and Christ the Bride. All this, as it seems to me, is involved in the claim that a woman can represent God as a priest does.... ...Christians think that God Himself has taught us how to speak of Him. To say that it does not matter is to say... that all the masculine imagery is not inspired, is merely human in origin... And this is surely intolerable: or, if tolerable, it is an argument not in favour of Christian priestesses but against Christianity.... It is also surely based on a shallow view of imagery.... ...One of the ends for which sex was created was to symbolize to us the hidden things of God. One of the functions of human marriage is to express the nature of the union between Christ and the Church.

    The priesthood does not mean merely ministry. The new ICEL mistranslations of the liturgy which substitute "minister" for "priest" are blind to the blindingly obvious fact that a priest is not just a minister. Ministries like lector, eucharistic minister, teacher, psychologist, counselor, social worker, and political activist—and even prophet—are indifferent to sex. Women can and do perform them. But priesthood is different. Only a priest can consecrate. A Catholic priest is not just a symbol of Christ (even that would form a strong argument against priestesses) but is sacramentally in persona Christi. When he says, "This is my body," we hear Jesus Christ speaking. Father Murphy does not mean "This is Father Murphy's body"! The priest is not merely remembering and repeating Christ's words here; he is really "channeling" them. The ICEL-proposed revisions of the Roman Missal, rejected by the bishops in November 1993, substituted "presbyter" (elder) and "presider" for "priest"; and eliminated references to God as "Father." Christ's priests are men because Christ is a man.

    But why is Christ's maleness essential? Because he is the revelation of the Father, and the Father's masculinity is essential. This is the second half of our equation.

    To understand this second proposition, we must distinguish "male" from "masculine." Male and female are biological genders. Masculine and feminine, or yang and yin, are universal, cosmic principles, extending to all reality, including spirit.

    All pre-modern civilizations knew this. English is almost the only language that does not have masculine and feminine nouns. So it is easy for us who speak English to believe that the ancients merely projected their own biological gender out onto nature in calling heaven masculine and earth feminine, day masculine and night feminine, sun masculine and moon feminine, land masculine and sea feminine. In the Hindu marriage ceremony the bridegroom says to the bride, "I am heaven, you are earth." The bride replies, "I am earth, you are heaven." Not only is cosmic sexuality universal, its patterns are suspiciously consistent. Most cultures saw the sun, day, land, light, and sky as male; moon, night, sea, darkness, and earth as female. Is it not incredibly provincial and culturally arrogant for us to assume, without a shred of proof, that this universal and fairly consistent human instinct is mere projection, myth, fantasy, and illusion rather than insight into a cosmic principle that is really there?

    Once we look, we find abundant analogical evidence for it from the bottom of the cosmic hierarchy to the top, from the electromagnetic attraction between electrons and protons to the circumincession of divine Persons in the Trinity. Male and female are only the biological version of cosmic masculine and feminine. God is masculine to everything, from angels to prime matter. That is the ultimate reason why priests, who represent God to us, must be male.

    There is striking historical evidence for this in the Jews, God's chosen people, the people to whom God revealed himself (and if we do not believe that, we do not believe in that God, for that is the only place we find that God).

    The Jews, and the Christians and the Muslims and the philosophical theists who learned from them, were radically different from all the others in their concept of God in five related ways.
    • First, they worshipped no goddesses, and no bisexual or neuter gods. The Jews' only God was always He, never She or It.
    • Second, they had no priestesses.
    • Third, the Jewish God was utterly transcendent to the universe, for he created it out of nothing. There is even a word in Hebrew that is not in any other ancient language: bara', "to create." Only God can do it, not man. This God was not a part of the universe, as in polytheism, or the whole or the soul of the universe, as in pantheism.
    • Fourth, God spoke. He revealed himself in prophetic words and miraculous deeds. He came out of hiding and acted. All other religions were man's search for God. Judaism (and Christianity, its fulfillment) was God's search for man. Therefore, religious experience for a Jew was fundamentally response, not initiative. There were no yoga methods, no ways to push God's buttons. God initiated, man responded.
    • Fifth, the Law was the primary link with God, who revealed his will in Thou Shalts and Thou Shalt Nots. The god of pantheism may have a consciousness, but not a will; and the gods of polytheism have conflicting and sometimes evil wills. Only in Judaism is there a full union of religion and morality. Only the Jews united mankind's two primary spiritual instincts the instinct to worship and the instinct of conscience. Only the Jews identified the object and end of worship with the Author of conscience and morality.


    These five remarkably distinct features of ancient Judaism are clearly connected. As a man comes into a woman's body from without to impregnate her, God creates the universe from without and performs miracles in it from without. He also calls to man, reveals himself and his law to man from without. He is not The Force but The Face; not Earthspirit rising but Heavenly Father descending: not the ideal construct of man's mind but the Hound of Heaven. To speak of "religion" as "man's search for God," if we speak of this God, is like speaking of the mouse's search for the cat (to steal an image from C. S. Lewis).

    This issue is absolutely central, and therefore I beg your indulgence while I quote a long paragraph from Lewis, which I believe is the best single paragraph ever written on the difference between Christianity and man-made religions:


    Men are reluctant to pass over from the notion of an abstract... deity to the living God. I do not wonder. Here lies the deepest tap-root of Pantheism and of the objection to traditional imagery.... The Pantheist's God does nothing, demands nothing. He is there if you wish for Him, like a book on a shelf. He will not pursue you. There is no danger that at any time heaven and earth should flee away at His glance. If He were the truth, then we could really say that all the Christian images of kingship were a historical accident of which our religion ought to be cleansed. It is with a shock that we discover them to be indispensable. You have had a shock like that before, in connection with smaller matters—when the fishing line pulls at your hand, when something breathes beside you in the darkness. So here; the shock comes at the precise moment when the thrill of life is communicated to us along the clue we have been following. It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. 'Look out!' we cry, 'it's alive'! And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back—I would have done so myself if I could—and proceed no further with Christianity. An 'impersonal God'—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads—better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap—best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion ('Man's search for God'!) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?


    The fundamental problem with most advocates of priestesses is as radical as this: they do not know who God is. Most would register strong discomfort or puzzlement at the description Lewis gives of God—i.e., the Bible's God. Now, if the reply is that this ancient biblical picture of the hunter-king-husband God is historically relative, and that we should throw away the accidental shell and keep the essential, timeless meat of the nut, I reply:

    First, the masculinity of God is not part of the shell, but part of the nut. It is not like Hebrew grammar, a translatable and replaceable medium. Something as deliberate and distinctive and as all-pervasive in Scripture as God's he-ness is no mere accident, especially when so obviously connected with the other four points of the five-point complex noted above.

    Second, if it is a residue of the sin of sexism, then God has revealed himself sinfully. This really denies the existence of divine revelation. Or it judges the divine revelation by human ideology and opinion rather than vice versa, thus frustrating the very purpose, the essential purpose, of revelation, which is to reveal something that we could not have come up with from our own opinions or ideologies, to correct them.

    Behind the idea of the need for divine revelation is the idea of Original Sin—another traditional notion which most priestess-advocates deny, ignore, or at least are very embarrassed at. We are not good and wise and trustable, but sinful and foolish and in need of correction, so we should expect to be surprised and even offended by God's revelation; otherwise, we wouldn't need it.

    Third, there is the "camel's nose under the tent" argument. Once you start monkeying with your data, where do you stop? Why stop, ever, at all? If you can subtract the divine masculinity from Scripture when it offends you, why can't you subtract the divine compassion when that offends you? If you read your Marxism into Scripture today, why not your fascism tomorrow? If you can change God's masculinity, why not change his morality? Why not his very being? If you can twist the pronoun, why not the noun? If you revise his "I," why not his "AM"? Priestesses are merely the camel's nose under the tent. If it is admitted, the rest of the camel will follow, because it is a one-piece camel.

    ......

    My previous point concerned the masculinity of God. The other half of the case against priestesses based on sexual symbolism is the femininity of the Church.
    The Church is God's Bride. All the saints and mystics say the ultimate purpose of human life, the highest end for which we were made, is the Spiritual Marriage. This is not socially relative; itls eternal. And in it, the soul is spiritually impregnated by God, not vice versa. That is the ultimate reason why God must always be he to us, never she. Religion is essentially heterosexual and therefore fruitful.

    The new birth—our salvation—comes from above, from without, from transcendence. We do not spiritually impregnate ourselves with salvation or divine life any more than we physically impregnate ourselves. Modernism, humanism, and naturalism amount to spiritual auto-eroticism, spiritual masturbation.

    The Church can no more be fruitful without being impregnated by her Divine Husband than a woman can be impregnated with new life without a man. Feminists who resent thisfact, resent this fact, and thus tend to resent facts as such, including their own nature as feminine.

    The issue of priestesses is ultimately an issue of God. There have been three basic theological options, historically: the single transcendent Divine Husband (theism), many imminent gods and goddesses (paganism), or the pantheistic Divine Neuter or Hermaphrodite. Priestesses have always served the latter two gods, never the former. Deny God's transcendence, which is the condition for his revelation, and you get a lesbian Church, declaring independence from God as The Other, God as transcendent, God as masculine, believing herself to be already innately in possession of divine life, that is, denying Original Sin, or trying to impregnate herself horizontally by a kind of perverse auto-eroticism, narcissism, and self-idolatry. Lesbians, like gays, simply cannot make life, and the lesbian spirit of Womynchurch will never be able to make life without God the Father. The Christian saints and mystics have constantly used the scriptural and authoritative heterosexual metaphor of God as Husband to the Church and to the soul.

    God made the Jews different and was extremely ornery and cantankerous about them remaining different, even to the extent of demanding the wholesale slaughter of pagan populations in the Promised Land to prevent them from corrupting his pure revelation to the Jews. Is this true? Is this divine revelation? Is this data? There it is, right in the very politically incorrect Bible. If God did not invent the Jews, then the Jews invented God. In that case, let's all be honest and cease to be Christians, or even theists, and become atheists, pagans, or pantheists, as many radical feminists have already done. Their spiritual gravity toward these three false religions is natural. And it is the agenda behind priestesses.

    The obvious and ubiquitous objection to this view is that it is male chauvinism. To quote my colleague Mary Daly, "If God is male, then the male is God." Besides the logical fallacy of the illicit conversion of an A proposition, I see five other mistakes in this argument
    • The first and most obvious of which is her claim that Judaeo-Christian tradition claims that God is male. It does not. God is masculine, not male. Women as much as men represent the image of God (cf. Gn 5.1-2). But at the heart of divine revelation is the simple fact that the First Person of the Trinity has chosen to reveal himself to us as Father. This is a category which transcends human biology (male and female), and of which human fatherhood is a shadow (cf. Eph 3.14).
    • Second, another essential part of the Christian data is the fact that the Eternal Word chose to incarnate and reveal himself as the Son of the Father and Bridegroom of God's People. In order for a human to be a son or a bridegroom, he must be male. Jesus Christ is male because he is Son, not vice versa, as feminists assume. His choice does not constitute an insult to women, nor does it imply "an alleged natural superiority of man over woman," yet it "cannot be disassociated from the economy of salvation." For it was part of the divine plan from the beginning for God to covenant himself to a people as a groom covenants himself to a bride. Christ is the Bridegroom, the Church is his Bride. This makes us all feminine in relation to God. Women need not become like men when they approach God, but men must become like women, spiritually. All souls are Christ's brides.
    • Third, Julie Loesch Wiley argues that if Jesus had been born a woman in the male-dominated world of the first century, his life and teaching of unselfish love for others would not have been as arresting and as instructively scandalous as it was. For women, in all times and places and cultures until modern feminism, have always been in general more altruistic, less power-greedy, less violence-prone, more self-emptying, and more naturally religious than men. (You still see more women than men in church.) In becoming a man, Jesus in a sense let women be and went after men to transform them—not into women, and certainly not into wimps, but into men like himself. He redefined manliness and power as the courage to suffer instead of the lust to dominate; giving instead of taking. Women were a little less in need of that lesson. Christianity seems closer to female chauvinism than to male.
    • The Incarnation was the kenosis, the "emptying." The Son of God came down to the lowest place, a crucified criminal in a Roman-occupied hick town—not an angel or an emperor, and not a woman. The Incarnation was not into privilege and power, but into suffering and service, and it was into a male. It is the modern feminists who are the real male chauvinists, lusting for reproductive freedom (sexual irresponsibility) like playboys and demanding empowerment, that is, envying and imitating not only males, but male fools, judging inner worth by outer performance, sacrificing being for doing, finding their identity in their worldly careers, not in their inner essence, in their physical and spiritual wombs and motherhoods. This is what Karl Stern called "the flight from woman." It is a strange and sad phenomenon. Genuinely hurt women often become radical feminists, hating their own femininity and hating ordinary women who love and enjoy their ordinary femininity. How often have you heard radical feminists praise midwestern housewives?
    • Fourth, women priests would demean and insult women, for it would be like asking them to be cross-dressers or to wear male sex organs. It would remove the distinctive dignity of women qua women as symbols of the Church, whom Christ, symbolized by the priest, marries. A symbol or sign is to be looked along, not looked at. What would priestesses mean, what would they symbolize? They would signify to all women that they are spiritual lesbians instead of brides.
    • Fifth, Christ's maleness is not chauvinistic because he had a mother (but no earthly father). Mary is the definitive refutation of the charge of chauvinism. No merely human being was ever nearly as great as this woman, according to the distinctive teachings of this "chauvinistic" Church. Mary is "our tainted nature's solitary boast."


    "Mother of God" is hardly a title to sneer at! Mother of anyone is hardly a title to sneer at. A boy and girl were arguing about who would play captain in a game of pirates. The boy insisted on being captain; the girl won the argument by agreeing: "Okay, you can be the captain. But I'm the mother of the captain!"

    The ground of Mary's greatness is the thing so simple and innocent that it is too simple and innocent for the feminists to see. The reason she is crowned Queen of Heaven, the reason for her great glory and power is her total submission to God-her sacrifice, her suffering, her service. Muslims see it, but so-called "Christian" feminists do not. It is islam, the total surrender, the fiat, and the peace, the shalom, that are the secret treasures hidden in this submission, the delicious fruit of this thorny plant. Modem feminist "Christianity" becomes radically different from Christianity (or Judaism or Islam) when it drifts into a radically different ideal of sanctity, of the summum bonum, the greatest good, meaning of life, and purpose of all faith. Feminists need most fundamentally what we all need most fundamentally: to go to the cross, unclench the fist, and bow the knee.
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/29 05:17:37 (permalink)
       Jesus says to us in John 4  that God is Spirit and there is no male or female, all are one in Christ. 
         God is not masculine. 
          As Michael Cahill states in the World Before and After Jesus,  "Jesus and Paul gives us one of the first clarion calls in antiquity of the resounding EQUALITY of women to men.  The cultural constrictions later stated by Paul are qualified by Paul as being recommended by him and not stated by Jesus or God, but only from Paul." 
           The arguments against women ordination and the proposing that women are radical demonized feminists are not of the Christian religion, but a false abherration.
            There is no valid reason to keep on excluding women from being ordained priests.  There is no need to call them priestesses either as we do not call doctors doctoresses or ministers minstresses or preachers preacheresses.  A priests is a priest, man or woman, all are one in God and Jesus.    God bless  from   Leonard
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/29 11:26:43 (permalink)
      This Kreeft  is the same sickening homo-erotic drivel as Van Balthasar and Jean Bouyer .  He claims a male priest is needed because  "the soul is spritually impregnated  by God"-   even men, women, children, claims Jesus is masturbating , giving over his semen during Eucharist, that Eucharist is some kind of sex act, sexual intercourse.  This is a disgusting corruption of the Eucharist and not based on Jesus's and God's teachings or the New Testament.  "This is my body which is given up for you. A death freely accepted. This is my blood which is shed for you. Do this in memory of me" is not a sex act.  This is a terrible twisting and distortion just to wrongly push a male only priesthood.   Jesus as bridegroom is only one of several metaphors given by Jesus. Jesus tells us also  Jesus is a Mother Hen Gathering his Chicks
                                   Jesus is a Good Shepherd saving even his lost sheep
                                   Jesus is the vine, we are the branches
                                    Jesus is the bakerwoman giving yeast to the bread of life
     
                  Mother Hen    Good Shepherd  Bakerwoman  Vine
        Jesus has no sexual act eucharist obsession but Kreeft does, Van Balthasar does, Jean Bouyer does.  This is harmful, disgusting, anti-Catholic, anti-Christian nonsense that sickeningly promotes homo-erotic self-giving male only sex act eucharist false ideas.
              I am a happily married "feminist" who has four children and a husband I all love dearly, I love my womb, my feminist friends love their wombs, their husbands and children, we are against abortion.  We are against this horrible priests have self-giving orgasm during mass, during Eucharist nonsense that Kreeft pushes on us to falsely spread his disgusting reasons for male only priests.  No wonder our church is full of pedophiles and homosexual priests if they claim Eucharist is a homo-erotic sex act.  Good grief, our Roman Catholic Church needs help to rid itself of this destructive, disgusting notions that are certainly not of God or of Jesus.  We are sickened by what Kreeft is promoting here.  It has no place in our Catholic doctrine or our Church.
        Deborah and Bradley Patterson
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    RE: Peter Kreeft 2007/04/29 17:08:29 (permalink)
    Hello,

    I am back to start showing how Kreeft's case falls apart. He bases his case for no women priests on three arguments:
    1. authority
    2. sexual symbolism
    3. ecclesiastical common good

    When he argues authority, he neatly organises this part of his case into a three pronged approach:
    1. God's authority says no women priests
    2. Christ's authority says no women priests 
    3. the Church's authority says no women priests


    Here is how his arguments about authority fall apart.

    God's Authority
     
    Actually, nothing falls apart for me here. I have no problems with what he says about God.  He says: 
    • God invented the priesthood.
    • the Church received the priesthood.
    • the Church can't change the deposit of faith
    • the Church is not author or editor of the deposit of faith
    • God picks the priests
    • no one can choose or demand the priesthood 
    • the Catholic priesthood was not the first priesthood

    Christ' Authority
     
    This is where problems begin.  Kreeft's case starts to crumble almost from the word go.  He says:
    • Christ established the priesthood of the New Covenant: no problem here
    • Christ set conditions for Holy Orders: I am not challenging anything here
    • Christ chose only men as apostles:  ---whoah!  Big problems here.

    I won't argue against Christ's authority but when Kreeft says that Christ's choice of men for the 12 male apostles is determinative, he has got some big potholes to deal with.  His wagon won't roll over these. Glaring is Kreeft's failure to mention let alone explain:
    • the 1975 Report of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC) which said there is nothing in Scripture that rules out women priests.  Commissioned by Pope Paul VI,  this gathering of international Catholic Scripture scholars concluded that the ordination of women could NOT be excluded on the basis of Scripture.  The PBC's ruling: 12 male apostles = non determinative
    • Kreeft only mentions the 'twelve.' What about all the other apostles?  The Samaritan woman at the well, Mary Magdalene, Paul, Junia, Andronicus, the man healed of the legion of demons,  James, Apollos, Barnabas, Epaphroditus, Silvanus, Timothy....  How does Kreeft explain away these apostles away?  He doesn't even try.  He conveniently avoids making mention of any of them!

    Conclusion:  Kreeft's argument based on Christ's authority is fatally flawed. It takes a nose dive. Or I could say: This tire on his wagon is completely flat.  Kreeft's failure to mention the PBC Report gives rise to questions about him:
    • does he know about the PBC Report?
    • if he is an 'authority'  then he should know about the PBC Report. Has he done his homework?  Is he really an authority?
    • if he does know about the Report, why doesn't he address it?  Is he trying to avoid it?  Or does he think his audience is so poorly informed that he doesn't need to bother addressing it?
    • is he deliberately avoiding it because he knows it is damning to his case?
    • is he deliberately avoiding it because of academic arrogance? If 'I, Peter Kreeft' say it doesn't matter, it doesn't?

    The Church's authority 

    Kreeft is completely unconvincing here. He argues that when Jesus lived, there were pagan practices all around that  honoured women priests.  Kreeft is definitely wrong when he says that:
    • the Jewish faith and the Christian faith were distinguished by their male only priests.

    He also argues:
    • for Christianity to permit women priests would be an act of synchretism since it would be imitating pagan practices. 

    What?????  Including women = synchretism???? Christian women priests is not an act of synchretism.  It is not an imitation of paganism.  Is this Kreeft stretching himself for the sake of filling in 4 minutes of time on the stage?  Does he really think his audience will buy that piece of tripe? Another flat tire on his wagon. As an audience member, I would ask:
    • why, from your point of view Mr. Kreeft, was it ok for Christianity to adopt the heirarchical structure of the secular Roman empire into its (the Church's) clerical structure but not ok to have women priests?

    In a nutshell,  this portion of the 'nut' of Kreeft's argument is easily 'dismissed.' More to follow.

    Therese
    post edited by Therese - 2007/04/29 17:47:39
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