Women Can Be Priests
Reply to post

Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue?

Page: < 123 > Showing page 2 of 3 - Powered by APG vNext Trial
Author
Sophie
Moderator
  • Total Posts : 14275
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2007/01/18 01:57:27
  • Status: offline
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 03:10:00 (permalink)
Religion Confronting Women’s Human Rights: The Case of Roman Catholicism
as found in North South. Gendered Views from Norway
Special edition of Kvinneforskning (Journal of Gender Research in Norway) © 2004
by Kari Elisabeth Børresen
Dr. philos, dr. theol. HC, senior professor
Faculty of Theology
University of Oslo

This summary article is based on my research, undertaken since 1961, concerning formative Christian anthropology. Conflicts between normative religion and women’s rights are already well analysed concerning Islam [1], but rather unexplored concerning traditional Christianity. Here the case of Roman Catholicism is highly significant, since the Catholic Church is, according to 2001 Vatican statistics, the world’s largest branch of Christianity, comprising 17.3 % of the global population or 1.050 billion human beings.

The Roman Catholic Church has a privileged status at the United Nations and has been able to wield a corresponding international influence. Since 1964, the non-territorial administrative body of the Catholic Church, the so-called Holy See, enjoys the status of a Non-Member State Permanent Observer [2]. Representing the pope’s spiritual and temporal government through his Roman Curia, the Holy See participates in UN conferences with full voting rights, whereas other religious entities can only operate as non-governmental organizations. In consequence, the Holy See has become a leading actor on the international stage opposing women’s human right to control their own fertility [3].

Acting in accord with Muslim states against female reproductive autonomy at the UN conferences on Human Rights (Vienna 1993), Population (Cairo 1994) and Women (Beijing 1995), the Holy See has invoked a corresponding androcentric sexology, also advocated by so-called evangelical Protestantism [4]. Reproductive autonomy is an indispensable condition for women’s socio-cultural equivalence with men, and therefore a fundamental human right [5]. In order to clarify the rationale of this retrograde alliance, it is essential to analyse traditional Christian doctrine.

Contemporary Catholic theology and anthropology are still based on androcentric paradigms, formulated from the Graeco-Roman Late Antiquity through the European Middle Ages. It follows that institutional Roman Catholicism refuses women’s right to reproductive autonomy (Humanae vitae 1968) and negates women’s cultic capability (Ordinatio sacerdotalis 1994).

Kari Elisabeth Børresen (30.01.2004)

The gender of religion

Following the collapse of Marxism and the enhanced visibility of Islam, the impact of religion as a fundamental socio-cultural factor has become evident. In consequence, sociological gender roles are shaped by theological gender models and vice versa [6]. So-called higher religions define fully human status in terms of possessing a potential cultic capability, that is a capability to mediate between the Godhead and humanity. This prerogative is mostly reserved for men and based on male religious experience. No historically known society has abolished women’s subordinate status by way of recognizing Goddesses and priestesses [7].

Female autonomy is, in fact, alien to all major religious systems. In Hinduism and Buddhism, women are placed between men and beasts through successive reincarnations and the wheel of rebirth. The same ontological gender hierarchy appears in the creation myth of Plato’s Timaeus (41e-42d). Here, immortal souls are initially set in heavenly stars, to be incarnated as human beings in male bodies, then reincarnated as women or animals according to the moral quality of previous existence.

One God and two sexes

In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the monotheistic Godhead is described as manlike or metasexual, human Godlikeness is correspondingly defined as male or asexual. Given the interaction between the concept of divinity and the definition of humanity, this fundamental incompatibility of Godhead and femaleness is negotiated by shifting inculturated exegesis of biblical texts. Traditional Christian anthropology builds on two contrasting axioms: Female subordination is established by God’s creative order and therefore normative in this world. Human equivalence in the sense of women’s parity with men results from Christ’s redemption, to be fully realized only in the coming world [8]. During two millennia of Church history, the resulting incoherence between creational gender hierarchy and eschatological gender equality is gradually overcome by attributing fully human Godlikeness also to women [9]. This doctrinal process is elaborated in three main stages:
  • A. Based on literal exegesis of biblical texts, early Christian anthropology excludes women from being created in God’s image (Gen. 1,26-27a; 2,7; I Cor. 11,7). Nevertheless, women can achieve salvational equality with Godlike men through incorporation into Christ’s perfect maleness (Gal. 3,28; Col. 3,10-11; Eph. 4,13). Consequently, Christian women are “becoming male” by ascetic renunciation of female sexuality [10].
  • B. Based on combined Stoic and Platonic anthropology, ancient Graeco-Roman Church Fathers redefine human Godlikeness in terms of the sexless soul’s rational capacity, which is also found in women. Initiated in the 3rd century by Clement of Alexandria and further elaborated by Augustine (died 430), this new exegesis allows backdating women’s imago Dei from redemption to creation, in spite of non-Godlike femaleness (sexual differentiation in Gen. 1,27b disconnected from fertility blessing in 1,28 and linked to image-text in 1,26-27a). The second stage became normative in medieval theology, whereas the first stage persisted in medieval Canon Law.
  • C. Anticipated by medieval Northern European Church Mothers, like Hildegard von Bingen (died 1179) and Julian of Norwich (died after 1416), who used female metaphors describing God, the third doctrinal stage considers both women and men to be created in God’s image qua male or female human beings [11]. This holistic definition was explicitly formulated by 19th-century feminist exegesis, first by the Norwegian Aasta Hansteen in 1878 [12]. Superseding traditional concepts of male or sexless Godlikeness, inclusive imago Dei became normative in 20th-century Western Christianity. Soon adopted by Protestant exegetes and endorsed in Catholic anthropology after the II Vatican Council (1962-65), it is of note that the second stage persists in Eastern Orthodox doctrine.

In conclusion, the recently inculturated concept of holistic Godlikeness, now accepted by Catholic theology, provides the necessary doctrinal foundation for promoting the rights of women as fully autonomous human beings.

Traditional sexology

Despite the current updating of theological anthropology, institutional Roman Catholicism opposes women’s reproductive autonomy. In order to explain the doctrinal rationale of this Vatican obstruction, it is necessary to outline the main themes of traditional sexology. In ancient Christianity, the two basic human drives of religiosity and sexuality are axiomatically considered to be antagonistic. In consequence, the perfect human prototype is defined as male or pre-sexual, so that sexual differentiation or more precisely, femaleness, is interpreted as a cause or a consequence of primeval sin. This theme appears already in Hesiod’s Works and Days (around 700 B.C.), where the female prototype Pandora is created as a curse for mankind, by bringing sexuality and death into the world.

Therefore, ascetic Christian movements practiced sexual abstinence in order to restore humanity’s pristine immortality. In this context of dualistic anthropology, where bodily death is caused by the original fall, the leading Greek Church Fathers Origen (died ca. 254) and Gregory of Nyssa (died ca. 395) elaborate a twofold scheme of creation: First, a purely spiritual human prototype is created in God’s image. Secondly, God introduces male and female physicality in order to counteract death by sexual fertility [13].

The leading Latin Church Father, Augustine, contests this double creation, where gender differentiation is linked to humanity’s loss of immortality. He strongly insists that female humanity is established by God’s unique creation. Consequently, Augustine refutes the early Christian belief that women will resurrect in male or genderfree perfection, boldly stating that women will be restored as human females [14].

It is important to note that liberal Church Fathers, like Clement of Alexandria, invoked Stoic sexology against extreme ascetic rejection of sexual activity for all Christians. Still praising virginity as a most Godlike way of life for the Christian elite, they considered married sexuality to be legitimate for the common multitude, but only if practiced as a means of procreation.

Unfortunately, Augustine’s androcentric explanation of original sin, where humanity’s collective guilt is propagated from Adam via paternal seed, enforced the traditional connection of death and sexual activity. His ambivalent moral rule is succinctly expressed as bene uti malo, to neutralize bad orgasm by good fertility. Augustine also tolerated marital intercourse as a remedy for concupiscence, thereby mitigating the Stoic prohibition of coitus with pregnant, nursing or menopausal women.

Nevertheless, he condemned contraceptive avoidance of female fertile periods, as a method used by Manichees to impede the imprisonment of divine sparks in material bodies. It is noteworthy that Augustine had embraced dualistic Manichaeism for at least ten years and that his concubine bore only one child during more than fifteen years of cohabitation.

As a converted Manichee, Augustine insists that fertility belongs to God’s creation. In this perspective, Eve’s formation from Adam’s rib (Gen. 2,18, 21-23) is interpreted in terms of derived femaleness, created to serve as instrument for men’s procreation. It follows that women’s specific raison d’être is motherhood, defined according to androcentric biology, to receive and nourish the potential embryo contained in the male seed [15]. In fact, Augustine’s sexology, reshaped by Thomas Aquinas’ (died 1274) Aristotelian finality of male generative power, survives in the Vatican’s current ban on contraception [16].

Vatican sexology

Efficient fertility control, introduced by 20th-century medical technology, represents a revolution in human history. In pre-modern societies, population growth was mainly determined by extensive infant mortality. Contraceptive means were inefficient, provoked abortions were dangerous, so birth control was often practiced by coitus interruptus. Before the discovery of the female ovum in 1827 by Karl Ernst von Baer, dispersion of male seed was condemned as destroying potential embryos, and therefore confused with abortion in traditional sexology.

It is significant that this biological shift was first negotiated in a Protestant context, by approval of contraception as legitimate in marriage, cf. the 1930 Lambeth Conference of the Anglican communion. Pius XI reacted against this novelty with a rehearsal of traditional doctrine in the encyclical Casti connubii (1930).

Challenged by the growing debate within the Catholic Church, John XXIII in 1963 nominated a pontifical commission of theologians and lay experts to examine the validity of current teaching. The global demographic explosion was taken into account, but without focus on female reproductive autonomy. Among progressive members were the leading moral theologians Bernhard Häring and Josef Fuchs, who in the 1950s had introduced a positive evaluation of sexual activity in marriage as expressing love [17]. This holistic approach represents a major reform of Christian anthropology. Traditional doctrine considers married intercourse and marital love to be antagonistic. In consequence, ancient Church Fathers regularly exhort pious married couples to actualize their loving union by sexual abstinence. Conservative members were afraid to endanger the Church’s authority by changing established doctrine. Their invocation of traditional sexology apparently ignored the fact that voluntary conception is a new option, resulting from the 20th-century biological revolution, and therefore not addressed in previous moral discourse. To Paul VI’s consternation, the commission’s final reports of 1966, leaked to an American Catholic newspaper in 1967, showed that a strong majority (60 of 67 members) recommended allowing contraception in marriage [18].

It is important to know that the archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla, strongly supported the small minority, encouraging Paul VI to publish the contested encyclical Humanae vitae in 1968 [19]. Based on a pre-modern concept of natural law, this document reaffirms that the biological finality of procreation is normative for each single conjugal act, thereby condemning so-called artificial contraception as intrinsically evil [20].

Insisting on the absolute inviolability of biological functions in every so-called use of marriage, the encyclical affirms that all acts of sexual intercourse must remain open to procreation, whether or not causally responsible at the given moment. In consequence, the only licit method of fertility control is conjugal abstinence during female fertile periods (previously condemned by Augustine!)

Intended to safeguard the pope’s teaching authority concerning faith and morals, the encyclical proved counterproductive by provoking widespread dissent. In their comments on Humanae Vitae, leading Catholic theologians like Karl Rahner and Yves Congar pointed to the historical inculturation of Christian tradition, which has proved viable through reception by the faithful, not by pontifical diktat [21]. It is significant that only 17% of episcopal responses to the encyclical expressed unmitigated acceptance.

In developed countries, where women enjoy full civil rights and contraception is normal, like Scandinavia, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Canada, the bishops expediently referred to the moral judgment of individual conscience [22].

Since cardinal Wojtyla became John Paul II in 1978, he has used every opportunity to reinforce the doctrine of Humanae Vitae. Aptly co-opting the new inculturation of sexual union as an expression of conjugal love, he confirms the biological purposiveness of coitus by transforming procreative purpose into an essential part of love in marriage. The apostolic letter Mulieris dignitatem in 1988 condemns contraception as degrading women from their specific dignity of motherhood [23]. The encyclical Veritatis splendor in 1993 reiterates that every contraceptive act constitutes a violation of the God-given law of nature [24].

Pontifical censure

The Roman Church’s institutional blockage under John Paul II follows from his imposition of assent to Vatican sexology, including the opposition to women’s priestly ordination, as the indispensable prerequisite to become a bishop. An oath of loyalty to the papal magisterium is imposed on teachers of theology at Catholic universities (Professio fidei 1989, Ad tuendam fidem 1998). By virtue of concordats such Vatican control also extends to state universities, as in Germany and Austria. In fact, when the II Vatican Council approved religious freedom (Declaratio de libertate religiosa 1965), this new doctrine primarily envisaged corporate liberty for the Catholic Church in Communist societies. In consequence, the human right to religious freedom for individual Catholics within the institutional Church remains unresolved [25].

Considered in the context of Church history, the current ban on contraception has a privileged position among many fateful errors committed by the Roman papacy. Often concealed by contemporary apologetics and rarely known except by scholars, some mistakes are still operative, as the excommunication of the Greek-Orthodox patriarch in Byzantium in 1054 and the excommunication of Martin Luther in 1520.

Commenting on John Paul II’s recent retraction of the Holy Office’s process against Galileo Galilei (1633), a noted Italian politician, Alberto Ronchey, succinctly states that the Vatican obstruction of fertility control to solve the global demographic crisis, with growth from 3.5 billion in 1968 to 6 billion in 1998, can never be exonerated: la condanna di Galileo sarà coreggibile, sia pure dopo secoli, ma questa no [26].

In conclusion, since the concept of female autonomy remains alien to all global religions, women’s human right to control their own voluntary fertility represents a fundamental challenge to traditional gender models, and not only in Roman Catholicism. Recently forced to admit the socio-economic necessity of so-called responsible paternity (paternitas conscia), the Vatican advocates sexual abstinence or avoidance of female fertile periods as the only licit method of voluntary control of fertility.

Biologically inefficient and harmful to the psycho-physical equilibrium of couples, this clerical solution has proved to be impracticable. Invoking marital love and parental responsibility in order to restrict sexual intercourse, the traditional rejection of orgasmic coitus as sinful is here obfuscated by inverted apologetics. In fact, most Catholics in socially advanced societies no longer respect Vatican sexology, thereby producing a healthy criticism of ecclesiastical theocracy. Unfortunately, the Holy See’s privileged status at the United Nations strengthens its political influence in underdeveloped countries.

Androcentric typology

The 20th-century collapse of androcentrism represents a more fundamental challenge to traditional theology than the previous collapse of geocentrism (Kepler) and anthropocentrism (Darwin). Upheaval of gender hierarchy shakes the core of Catholic and Orthodox doctrinal symbolism, where androcentric gender models are transposed from God’s creation to the order of redemption. Godlike Adam prefigures Christ, who as new Adam and divine Redeemer is incarnated in perfect maleness. Non-Godlike Eve prefigures the Church/Mary, who as new Eve represents dependent and therefore womanlike humanity (Rom. 5,14; Eph. 5,32). Based on the early Christian concept of male Godlikeness, this asymmetrical typology remains fundamental in Catholic and Orthodox Christology, ecclesiology and mariology.

Thus excluding femaleness from description of the Godhead, typological gender models serve as prime obstacle to women’s cultic capability in the non-Protestant majority of Christendom. According to Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura (died 1274), Christlike maleness is an indispensable prerequisite for the sacramental signification of priestly eminence [27]. It is important to observe that this refusal to ordain women as priests and bishops issues from the preservation of a traditional incompatibility of Godhead and femaleness. In medieval Canon Law, women’s cultic impedimentum sexus is explicitly justified by men’s exclusive imago Dei, in accordance with the first stage of Christian anthropology. In line with women’s legal incapacity in civil society, termed infirmitas sexus in Roman Law, this cultic incapability remained unchallenged in all institutional churches until the 20th century [28].

Previously, all mainstream Christian denominations were firmly opposed to women’s civil rights, considered to violate God’s order of creation. Enforced by the socio-cultural consequences of new Western ideals like democracy and citizenship, female suffrage was first accepted in Protestant countries (New Zealand 1893, Australia 1902, Finland 1906, Norway 1913), and several years later in Catholic countries (France, Italy, Spain 1945). A similar Protestant precedence concerns women’s cultic capability to be ordained as priests and bishops, (Lutheran Denmark respectively 1948/1995, Sweden 1958/1997, Norway 1961/1993, Anglican Great Britain 1994).

In Roman Catholicism, the recent acceptance of women’s Godlikeness qua female human beings, entails a contradictory mixture of premises discarded and conclusion preserved. Simultaneously upholding the mutually exclusive doctrinal tenets of early androcentric typology and holistic Godlikeness, the institutional Church decrees that Godlike women cannot be ordained as Christlike priests. The Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983 (canon 1024) repeats the formula from the Codex of 1917 (canon 968,1): Sacram ordinationem valide recipit solus vir baptizatus. (Only a baptized male can receive valid ordination).

At the initiative of the bishops’ synod in 1971, Paul VI in 1973 nominated a pontifical commission to study the status of women in society and Church, with 25 members, among them 15 women [29]. It is significant that only one of these, a female medical doctor, had professional expertise in theology, natural or social sciences; such expert knowledge was reserved for the male members. The question of ordaining women was deliberately excluded from their mandate and left to the papal biblical commission, which held male theologians only. According to a secret report from 1975, published in 1976 by so-called indiscretion, the commission unanimously considered that referring to New Testament texts only could not solve the question of ordaining women. In fact, the Church’s clerical hierarchy and monarchic episcopate were structured from the 2nd/3rd centuries onwards. Hence, a majority of 12 exegetes (against 5) found that the Church could ordain women without opposing Christ’s initial intention.

Nevertheless Paul VI in 1977, overruling the majority of experts as he had done in 1968, sanctioned a doctrinal document against women’s ordination, Inter insigniores. The main argument is that the Church’s constant tradition of excluding women from the priesthood is not based on socio-cultural androcentrism, but on the indispensable conformity between Christ’s incarnate maleness and the priest’s male sex. The courageous theologian Karl Rahner’s critique of this Christological rationale is pertinent: “The mere fact that Jesus was of the male sex is no answer here, since it is not clear that a person acting with Christ’s mandate and in that sense (but not otherwise) in persona Christi must at the same time represent Christ precisely in his maleness” [30].

Like Humanae Vitae, this declaration provoked a lively theological debate in the Church, giving rise to growing awareness among Catholic laypeople, especially educated women and nuns, of the untenable arguments invoked to preserve the cultic impediment of femaleness [31]. Incidentally, Communist authorities in Czechoslovakia were conveniently duped by several women who were ordained to the Catholic priesthood before 1988, in spite of their canonical impedimentum sexus. This stratagem served them to perform forbidden pastoral work secretly, for instance to administer the sacraments in prisons [32].

Vatican feminology

In Orthodox Christianity, the question of women priests is still marginal, debated only in Westernized context, as in France and the United States. In Protestant churches, priesthood is not defined in terms of androcentric typology, with axiomatic conformity between Christ’s incarnate manhood and the priest’s Christlike maleness. Christology does therefore not contravene women’s ordination. Inversely, John Paul II invokes the typological gender models of Christ as new Adam, and Mary as new Eve, to justify the cultic incapability of femaleness. Combining women’s Mariotypic motherhood with the new concept of female Godlikeness in Mulieris dignitatem, he mixes the first and the third stage of Christian anthropology, that is: an androcentric typology and an updated imago Dei [33]. When Mary is proposed as the exemplary role model for women, this exhortation tends to obscure that Christ’s mother as the new Eve has an instrumental and subordinate function vis-a-vis the Godhead, incarnated as the new Adam [34].

In fact, the current incoherence between discarded male Godlikeness and upheld female cultic impediment is manifest by John Paul II’s apostolic letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis from 1994, where he refers to Inter insigniores and Mulieris dignitatem, concluding that the Church cannot ordain women because Christ called twelve male apostles and did not ordain his mother Mary. The traditional exclusion of women from the priesthood is therefore in accordance with God’s plan for his Church (congruenter statuit mulierum exclusionem a sacerdotio convenire cum consilio Dei pro sua Ecclesia). Since this invocation of divine androcentrism did not silence the persistent demand for women priests in the Catholic Church, the pope’s doctrinal chieftain, cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in 1995 issued a Responsio, certifying that the disputed apostolic letter pertains to the normative deposit of faith (ad fidei depositum pertinens).

In conclusion, it is certainly not a human right to be ordained a priest or a bishop in the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, it is a fundamental right for all human beings to be attributed a fully Godlike humanity, equally able to mediate between the Godhead and humankind. Preserving the canonical impedimentum sexus of femaleness, the institutional Church decrees that God is impeded from calling women to the priesthood because of their Godgiven cultic deficiency. Since the 20th century, such an attribution of androcentric incapability to the Godhead has become perfectly unconvincing.

Feminism and Christianity

The Vatican’s efforts to counteract the current androcentric collapse have been succinctly described: “The Catholic Church ... is writhing in knots around feminism like a worm impaled on a hook” [35]. It is essential to observe that women’s claim to bio-socio-cultural and religious autonomy results from the epistemological revolution of feminism, where women and men are defined as human beings of equal dignity: “Feminism is concerned with the shift in roles and the question of rights that have been unjustly denied women. But all of that, however important and essential, is secondary. The main event is epistemological. Changes in what we know are normal, changes in how we know are revolutionary. Feminism is a challenge to the way we have gone about knowing. The epistemological terra firma of the recent past is rocking, and, as the event develops, it promises to change the face of the earth” [36].

From an historical perspective, the relationship between feminism and Christianity is radically ambivalent [37]. In Western civilization, the ideal of female autonomy is based on the Christian concept of women’s equivalence with men in the order of salvation. The feminist revolution starts when redemptive inclusiveness is backdated as normative for the present world, thereby superseding creational gender hierarchy. In the European history of ideas, this process coincides with the transformation of human Godlikeness, from exclusively male to equal privilege for both sexes. Women’s gradual achievement of autonomous humanity is realized through the stages of stratified communality in the Middle Ages, religious individualism in the Age of Reform, universal human rights for men in the Enlightenment, and the 20th-century shift from droits de l’homme to inclusive droits humains, when human rights are equally attributed to women [38].

In consequence, this recent Western inculturation represents a fundamental challenge to traditional gender models in Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, where the core doctrine and symbolism are structured by androcentric typology. In conformity with Islam, traditional Christian discourse axiomatically connects creational gender differentiation to the Godgiven division of male and female roles in Church and society. In European perspective, the 18th-century asymmetrical polarity of male and female functions (Rousseau and Kant) is in the 19th and 20th centuries redefined in terms of so-called complementarity of the sexes, where the subordinate character of female roles becomes strategically obscured. It is significant that the Northern European partnership model, where women and men collaborate in all fields of society and Church, precisely because of and not despite their sexual difference, proves to be alien in Mediterranean civilization.

The impact of Scandinavian State feminism and the Scandinavian welfare system, in which a strong participation of women in political government is correlated with a high voluntary birth rate, is striking [39]. In contrast, the lack of feminist welfare policy in Catholic countries, like Spain and Italy, generates feeble participation of women in political government and a voluntarily reduced natality. It is of note that Norway did not join the European Union because of a significant gender gap in the referendum of 1994, in which 62% of the female electorate voted against membership, presumably in large measure to protect the feminist welfare system. From this point of view, it is regrettable that prospective new members from Eastern and Central Europe are not required to fulfil Western juridical norms for equality of the sexes and women’s reproductive autonomy before entering the Union. Enforcement of Canon Law in civil society is especially problematic, as in the case of Malta’s concordat with the Holy See from 1995.

Sex and gender

Feminist epistemology presupposes a 20th-century anthropology, where the human being is defined as a sexually differentiated psycho-physical unity. It is essential to note that this holistic concept is completely different from the Platonized anthropology of Christian tradition, where the human being is defined as a sexless rational soul in a male or female body.

This dualistic concept of humanity has shaped theology and philosophy from Late Antiquity until the 19th century. It is therefore paradoxically counterproductive when Gender Studies in the Social Sciences often persist in presupposing an anachronistic dichotomy of sex, as biologically programmed, and gender, as socially constructed. In fact, this division corresponds to traditional androcentric dualism, thereby inadvertently imitating the Church Fathers’ promotion of women to Godlike manhood in sexless intellect and virtue, despite bodily femaleness. The same strategy was repeated in 17th century French salon feminism, with the Cartesian adage: l’âme n’point de sexe, and still echoed by Simone de Beauvoir: On ne naît pas femme, on le devient. Among the humanistic disciplines, Gender Studies in Religion are at the scholarly forefront by applying human, that is male or female “genderedness” as a main analytical category [40]. This holistic approach highlights the connected interaction between psycho-physical sex and socio- cultural gender, which is equally fundamental for women and for men. Applied to the Christian tradition as in feminist theology, human Godlanguage is consequently understood in terms of verbalized male or female experience.

The epistemological clash between Godgiven specific complementarity of the sexes and post-modernist deconstruction of gender was striking in the dialogue des sourds between the Vatican delegation and feminist activists at the 1995 United Nations conference in Beijing [41]. Both parties apparently ignored the historical construction of their respective agendas, in fact equally resulting from millennia of androcentric socio-biology.

Fervently fighting feminist efforts to strengthen women’s human rights, the Holy See tactically abused less sophisticated variants of feminist constructionism. The demagogical confusion of abortion and contraception on both sides proved particularly counterproductive. The practical social reality that abortion of a healthy fetus generally presupposes involuntary conception, makes the Vatican a causal agent of abortion in societies influenced by its ban on contraception. The Holy See’s condemnation of condoms to protect against HIV and AIDS is a scandalous consequence of pontifical bio-theology [42].

When feminists advocate women’s right to safe abortion in case of enforced pregnancy, their undisputed primary goal is to make the biological revolution of efficient contraceptive technology operative in underdeveloped areas. Female reproductive autonomy is first and foremost to be realized by voluntary conception, in order to prevent subsequent abortion [43]. Inversely, the Holy See fiercely opposes women’s control of fertility because the Vatican is fully aware that worldwide feminism presupposes reproductive choice and vice versa.

Discourse and reality

The argumentation of contemporary Vatican discourse on contraception and prevention of HIV/AIDS is clearly vicarious. My present summary of doctrinal construction shows that the historically shifting inculturation of traditional theology and anthropology has been logically coherent. The majority of Church Fathers and scholastic theologians were well-educated aristocrats; the socially mobile Augustine is a significant exception. This thorough knowledge of ancient and medieval learning made their articulation of the Christian tradition meaningful in a given socio-cultural context and therefore viable. In fact, the current doctrinal incoherence between outdated premises and preserved conclusions, which affects the main themes of theological sexology, is a new phenomenon in the history of Christianity, resulting from the recent collapse of androcentric or dualistic axioms. In consequence, no longer able to control Catholics by condemning sexual activity as transmitting original sin, the pontifical castigation of so-called “hedonism” insists on condemning contraception.

Christianity’s traditional conflict between love of God and sexual love is no longer axiomatic, but upheld by the obligation of cultic celibacy. Male priests must keep away from women and femaleness constitutes cultic incapability. According to Vatican statistics as of 2001, the number of nuns in the Catholic Church (801.185) doubles the number of priests (405.178) and non-ordained monks (55.057). This peculiar situation helps explain why the Vatican invokes women’s impedimentum sexus in order to exclude them from participation in the hierarchical government of the Church, reserved for the pope and his Roman Curia of male cardinals.

During the theocratic pontificate of John Paul II, the collegial decision-making of bishops, envisaged by the II Vatican Council, has been reduced to consultative status. In consequence, restoring episcopal collegiality on the model of the ancient Church, and recognizing women's cultic capability, will be urgent tasks for a III Vatican Council [44]. A decisive influence of male and female lay people has to be codified in concordance with recent norms of political democracy. The Catholic Church can no longer be governed on the model of the Roman Empire, with a majority population of illiterate serfs.

As a Nordic Catholic feminist historian of theology, I find it paradoxical that Christian feminism has first been accepted in Protestantism, where the literal Bible is invested with a sacramental function as God’s instrument of revelation, akin to the Islamic concept of the Koran as a divine revelatory medium. In this context, it is interesting to note that contemporary Islamic feminist theology emulates the strategy of previous Protestant feminist theology, by criticizing the subsequent interpretations of sacred texts, not the androcentrism of revelatory Scripture ad litteram [45]. Inversely, I argue that indispensable instruments for a feminist Reformation of Christianity are to be found in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. A dynamic interpretation of incarnate Scripture, that is historically shaped revelation, and an optimistic anthropology, in terms of Christ’s redemptive divinization of humanity, are essential means for this new inculturation [46]. Divested of androcentric typology, the ancient Graeco-Roman Church Fathers’ inculturation, emulated by the medieval Northern-European Church Mothers’ holistic Godlanguage, are exemplary models for reconstructing a viable Roman Catholicism! [47]

Vatican Documents published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Città del Vaticano:
 
Casti connubi = AAS 22, 1930, 539-592.
Humanae vitae = AAS 60, 1968, 481-503.
Inter insigniores = AAS 69, 1977, 98-116.
Mulieris dignitatem = AAS 80, 1988, 1653-1729.
Veritatis splendor = AAS 85, 1993, 1133-1228.
Ordinatio sacerdotalis = AAS 86, 1994, 545-548.
Responsio (Ordinatio sacerdotalis) = AAS 87, 1995, 1114.

Notes:

* Tore Lindholm et al., eds., Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief, The Hague 2002.
8. Ann Elizabeth Mayer, Islam and Human Rights. Tradition and Politics, Oxford 1999. Shaheen Sardar Ali, Gender and Human Rights in Islam and International Law. Equal Before Allah. Unequal Before Man? The Hague, London, Boston 2000. Jonas Svensson, Women’s Human Rights and Islam. A Study of Three Attempts at Accommodation, Lund 2000.
2. The process of entry into the system of international organizations started in 1929 when the Vatican City joined the World Telegraph Union and the Universal Postal Union. Since 1957, the supreme organ of government of the Roman Catholic Church is uniformly termed the Holy See. As a legal entity, the Holy See obtained status as a Non-Member State Permanent Observer at the United Nations in 1964 when the Secretary-General U Thant accepted its self- designation as such. (Switzerland had obtained this status in 1948). Cf. Josef Kunz, The Status of the Holy See in International Law, in American Journal of International Law 46, 1952, 308-314 (arguing the case for sending a US ambassador to the Holy See). The attribution of statehood to the Holy See appears somewhat anachronistic, since the Papal State in central Italy, restored to the Roman pontiff at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, was finally conquered and annexed by Italy in 1870. In 1929, the Lateran treaty, signed by Il Duce Benito Mussolini and cardinal Pietro Gasparri, recognized the papal sovereignty of the Vatican City (0.44 square kilometers or 108.7 acres), in compensation for the loss of the Papal State. Cf. Anika Rahman, Church or State? The Holy See at the United Nations, in Conscience, 20, 2, 1999, 2-5. Report article, The Catholic Church at the United Nations: Church or State?, in ibid., 21:4 20-24.
1213. Female reproductive autonomy was established as a human right in international law by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in force since 1981, as of 16 July 2001 ratified by 168 states. Article 16, para. 1 reads: “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women: … (e): The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights.” The Holy See along with eight Muslim states, has not signed this Convention, nor the 1952 Convention on the Political Rights of Women. The US has signed, but not ratified, the CEDAW, mainly because of political pressure from Protestant fundamentalism.
1415. Elissavet Stamatopolou, Women’s Rights and the United Nations, in Julie Peters, Andrea Wolper, eds., Women’s Rights, Human Rights. International Feminist Perspectives, New York, London, 1995, 36-48. Rebecca J. Cook, International Human Rights and Women’s Reproductive Health, in ibid., 256- 275. Susan D. Rose, Christian Fundamentalism: Patriarchy, Sexuality, and Human Rights, in Courtney W. Howland, ed., Religious Fundamentalisms and the Human Rights of Women, London 1999, 9-20. Ann Elizabeth Mayer, Religious Reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: What Do They Really Mean, in ibid., 105-116.
16. Margaret E. Galey, International Enforcement of Women’s Rights, in Human Rights Quarterly 6, 1984, 463-490. Noreen Burrows, International Law and Human Rights: the Case of Women’s Rights, in Tom Campbell et al., Human Rights. From Rhetoric to Reality, Oxford 1986, 80-98. Kevin Boyle, Stock- taking on Human Rights: The World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna 1993, in Political Studies 43, 1995, 79-95. Katerina Tomaševski, Women’s Rights, in Janusz Symonides, ed., Human Rights: Concepts and Standards, Aldershot, Burlington, Singapore, Sydney 2000, 231-258.
17. Kari Elisabeth Børresen and Kari Vogt, Women’s Studies of the Christian and Islamic Traditions. Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Foremothers, Dordrecht, Boston, London 1993.
18. Cf. the pertinent article by Joan Bamberger, The Myth of Matriarchy: Why Men Rule in Primitive Society, in Michelle Z. Rosaldo and Louise Lamphère, Women, Culture and Society, Stanford CA 1974, 263-280.
2021. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Subordination and Equivalence. The Nature and Role of Woman in Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. A Reprint of a Pioneering Classic, Kampen 1995.
22
23. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, ed., The Image of God. Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition. Minneapolis MN 1995; Italian edition: A Immagine di Dio, Roma 2001.
2425. Kari Vogt, Becoming Male: A Gnostic and Early Christian Metaphor, in Børresen, ed. 1995, 170-186. Elizabeth A. Clark: Ascetic Piety and Women’s Faith, Lewiston NY 1986.
28
29. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Ancient and Medieval Church Mothers, in Børresen and Vogt 1993, 245-275. Julian of Norwich: A Model of Feminist Theology, in ibid. 295-314.
3031. Aasta Hansteen, Kvinden skabt i Guds Billede (Woman created in God’s image), Christiania 1878, 2nd expanded edition Christiania 1903.
32
33. Giulia Sfameni Gasparri, Image of God and Sexual Differentiation in the Tradition of Enkrateia, in Børresen, ed., 1995, 134-169.
3435. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Patristic “Feminism”: The Case of Augustine, in Augustinian Studies 25, 1994, 139-152.
36
37. Erna Lesky, Die Zeugungs- und Vererbungslehren der Antike und ihr Nachwirken, Mainz 1950. Aline Rousselle, Porneia. On Desire and the Body in Antiquity, New York 1988.
3839. John T. Noonan, Jr., Contraception. A History of its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, Cambridge MA 1986.
40
41. Ambrogio Valsecchi, Controversy. The birth control debate 1958-1968, London 1968.
4243. The Majority Papal Commission Report is reprinted in Daniel Callahan, ed., The Catholic Case for Contraception, London, 1969, 149-173; where the core rationale is spelled out at page 161: “The reasons in favor of this affirmation are of several kinds: social changes in matrimony and the family, especially in the role of the woman; lowering of the infant mortality rate, new bodies of knowledge in biology, psychology, sexuality and demography; a changed estimation of the value and meaning of human sexuality and of conjugal relations; and most of all, a better grasp of the duty of man to humanize and to bring to greater perfection for the life of man what is given in nature.” The Minority Report, in ibid., 174-211, is a pathetic example of male celibate isolation from human reality.
44
45. Jan Grootaers, Humanae Vitae, encyclique de Paul VI, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques 25, Paris 1994, 328-334. Wojtyla’s conservative stance favored his papal election in 1978.
4647. Charles E. Curran, Natural Law and Contemporary Moral Theology, in Charles E. Curran, ed., Contraception. Authority and Dissent, New York, 1969, 151-175. Cf. Charles E. Curran, Richard A. McCormick, eds., Dialogue about Catholic Sexual Teachings, New York 1993. Charles E. Curran, The Catholic Moral Tradition Today. A Synthesis, Washington DC 1999.
48
49. Karl Rahner, On the Encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’, in Theological Investigations XI. New York 1974, 263-287. Yves Congar, Reception as an Ecclesiological Reality, in Concilium 77, 1972, 43-68.
5051. John Maloney, The impact of Humanae Vitae, in The Making of Moral Theology. A Study of the Roman Catholic Tradition. Oxford 1987, 259-301. William H. Shannon, The Bishops and the Encyclical, in The Lively Debate. Response to Humanae Vitae, New York 1970, 117 146.
52
53. The definition of motherhood as women’s specific dignity corresponds to Islamic sexology, see Kari Vogt, Catholicisme et Islam: Une rhétorique apologétique commune à propos de la femme, in Børresen and Vogt 1993, 359-365.
5455. Joseph A. Selling, Jan Jans, eds., The Splendor of Accuracy. An Examination of the Assertions Made by Veritatis splendor, Grand Rapids MI, Kampen, 1995. Cf. Charles E. Curran, Richard A. McCormick, eds., John Paul II and Moral Theology. New York, 1998. For a pertinent critique of the papal concept of God as a super-impregnator, who creates new life through the biological finality of human sexual organs, contradicting human autonomy as being created to God’s image, see Christian Duquoc, Procréation et dogme de la création, in Lumière et Vie 187, 1988, 51-65.
56
57. James H. Provost, Freedom of Conscience and Religion. Human Rights in the Church, in Michel J. Verwilghen ed., Culture Chrétienne et Droits de l'Homme, Bruxelles, 1991, 35-61. William Johnson Everett, Human Rights in the Church, in John Witte, Jr., Johan D. van der Vyver, eds., Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective. Religious Perspectives, The Hague, Boston, London 1996, 121-141.
5859. The condemnation of Galileo could be corrected, if only after centuries, but not this one (i.e. not the Vatican’s obstruction of fertility control). In sei milliardi stretti e caldi, in Corriere della Sera 270, Milano 14 November 1998, 1.
60
61. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, The Ordination of Women: To Nurture Tradition by Continuing Inculturation, in Studia Theologica 46, 1992, 3-13.
6263. Haye van der Meer, Women Priests in the Catholic Church? A Theological-Historical Investigation, Philadelphia PA, 1973. Roger Gryson, The Ministry of Women in the Early Church, Collegeville MI 1976. Ida Raming, The Exclusion of Women from the Priesthood, Divine Law or Sex Discrimination? Metuchen NJ 1976. Priesteramt der Frau – Geschenk Gottes für eine erneuerte Kirche, Münster, Hamburg 2001.
29. In 1974, 5 women members were refused to present their minority report, which contested the commission’s submissive final document. They did not dare to publish this report before several years later, see Maria del Pilar Bellosillo et al., Women Appeal to the Pastors of the Church, in Pro Mundi Vita Bulletin 108, 1987, 1-36.
6465. Karl Rahner, Women and the Priesthood, in Theological Investigations XX, New York 1981, 35-47, cit. 43.
66
67. Walter Gross, ed., Frauenordination. Stand der Diskussion in der katholischen Kirche, München 1996.
7071. The Vatican prefers to keep these women priests underground, but they appear in Hans Jacob Stehle, Geheimdiplomatie im Vatikan. Die Päpste und die Kommunisten, Zurich 1993, 20, 428.
72
73. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Image ajustée, typologie arrêtée: Analyse critique de Mulieris dignitatem, in Børresen and Vogt 1993, 343-357.
7475. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Anthropologie mediévale et théologie mariale, Oslo 1971. Mary in Catholic Theology, in Concilium 19, Edinburgh, 1983, 48-56.
76
77. Andrew Brown, The future of the papacy, in The Spectator, London 25 April 1998, 13-14.
7879. Daniel C. Maguire, The Moral Revolution. A Christian Humanist Vision, San Francisco, CA 1986, 122.
80
81. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Christianisme et féminisme, in Fiorenza Taricone, ed., Maschio e femmina li creò. Verona, 1998, 83-99.
8485. Cf. Jerome J. Shestack, The Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, in Symonides, ed., 2000, 31-66. Arvonne S. Fraser, Becoming Human: The Origins and Development of Women’s Human Rights, in Human Rights Quarterly 21, 1999, 853-906.
86
87. One indication is the differential total fertility rates 1995-1999 for Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden compared to Italy and Spain: Norway 1.85, Denmark 1.72, Finland 1.73, Sweden 1.57, Italy 1.20, Spain 1.15.
8889. Ursula King, Gender and the Study of Religion, in King, ed., Religion and Gender, Oxford 1995, 1-38.
90
91. Doris E. Buss, Robes, Relics and Rights: The Vatican and the Beijing Conference on Women, in Social & Legal Studies 7, 1998, 339-363.
9293. Cf. the statement of the Holy See concerning the Declaration and Platform for Action of the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing 1995: “The Holy See in no way endorses contraception or the use of condoms, either as a family planning measure or in HIV/AIDS prevention programmes.”
94
95. It is important to note that the widespread selective abortion of female fetuses in Asia mainly results from the axiomatic inferiority of femaleness. This discrimination is in Hinduism and Buddhism explained by the ontological hierarchy of reincarnation and rebirth, placing women between men and animals. The current euphemism of blaming cultural relativism instead of androcentric religion is here especially fallacious. Cf. the widespread practice of direct or indirect female infanticide, well documented from classical Antiquity to early Modern Europe.
9697. It is of note that a majority of leading feminist theologians are Catholics. Their contribution as experts will be important in a III Vatican Council. Influential scholars are in Europe: Elisabeth Gössmann (München), Anne Jensen (Graz), Ursula King (Bristol), Cettina Militello (Roma), Janet M. Soskice (Cambridge). In the U.S.A. (significantly all nuns): Anne E. Carr (Chicago), Margaret A. Farley (Yale), Elizabeth A. Johnson (New York), Sandra M. Schneiders (Berkeley).
98
99. Examples of similar approaches, with a significant time lag, are: Letty M. Russell, ed., Feminist Interpretation of the Bible, Philadelphia 1985, and Amina Wadud-Muhsin: Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective, Oxford 1999.
100101. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Donne e Teologia dopo il 1960: L’esperienza di una protagonista, in Cettina Militello, ed., Donne e Teologia. Bilancio di un secolo, Bologna 2002. Cf. Christine Amadou, An interview with Kari Elisabeth Børresen, in Børresen 1995, XXII-XXIX. Rosemary R. Ruether, Women and Redemption. A Theological History, Minneapolis MA 1998, 190-193, 338.
102
103. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Religious Feminism and Female Godlanguage: From Hildegard von Bingen to Thérèse de Lisieux, in Marie-Louise Rodén, ed., Ab Aquilone. Nordic Studies in Honour and Memory of Leonard E. Boyle. O.P., Suecoromana VI, Stockholm 2000, 197-222.

 
© 2004 North South. Gendered Views from Norway. Special edition of Kvinneforskning (Journal of Gender Research in Norway). Article published January 30, 2004
 
http://kilden.forskningsradet.no/c18372/artikkel/vis.html?tid=18287

 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Kari Elisabeth Børresen



Senior Professor
Faculty of Theology
University of Oslo

Short biography

Kari Elisabeth Børresen is Senior Professor (emerita) at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. International pioneer of Gender Studies in Religion, she started her research already in 1961. She is a specialist in historical Western theology from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance and has analysed the interaction of androcentric anthropology and Godlanguage in the formation of Christian doctrine
.
post edited by Sophie - 2008/08/10 03:20:53
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 03:17:07 (permalink)
Androcentrism      Godlike Adam  Perfect Maleness  New Adam  Christ
                         NonGodlike Eve   Dependent Mary  Humanity  Church   Exclude females from description of God      Yeesh  Sick   Shocking  Wrong
 
This is an evil  and dreadful ideology not at all like what Jesus taught or behaved like in the New Testament!
 
We as women and men are to serve each other in love and humility   rule over no-one  serve one another humbly.  One in Christ  male or female.  Unity  One in Christ  Whole
 
To claim God is exclusively male and Adam as male is God  is so wrong!    Only Males are God??   No !!  Abba and Amma     God is female and male, 
 
 God created woman and man in the image of God, both genders.
Sophie
Moderator
  • Total Posts : 14275
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2007/01/18 01:57:27
  • Status: offline
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 03:48:42 (permalink)

 
At the initiative of the bishops’ synod in 1971, Paul VI in 1973 nominated a pontifical commission to study the status of women in society and Church, with 25 members, among them 15 women [29]. It is significant that only one of these, a female medical doctor, had professional expertise in theology, natural or social sciences; such expert knowledge was reserved for the male members. The question of ordaining women was deliberately excluded from their mandate and left to the papal biblical commission, which held male theologians only. According to a secret report from 1975, published in 1976 by so-called indiscretion, the commission unanimously considered that referring to New Testament texts only could not solve the question of ordaining women. In fact, the Church’s clerical hierarchy and monarchic episcopate were structured from the 2nd/3rd centuries onwards. Hence, a majority of 12 exegetes (against 5) found that the Church could ordain women without opposing Christ’s initial intention.

Nevertheless Paul VI in 1977, overruling the majority of experts as he had done in 1968, sanctioned a doctrinal document against women’s ordination, Inter insigniores. The main argument is that the Church’s constant tradition of excluding women from the priesthood is not based on socio-cultural androcentrism, but on the indispensable conformity between Christ’s incarnate maleness and the priest’s male sex. The courageous theologian Karl Rahner’s critique of this Christological rationale is pertinent: “The mere fact that Jesus was of the male sex is no answer here, since it is not clear that a person acting with Christ’s mandate and in that sense (but not otherwise) in persona Christi must at the same time represent Christ precisely in his maleness” [30].

Like Humanae Vitae, this declaration provoked a lively theological debate in the Church, giving rise to growing awareness among Catholic laypeople, especially educated women and nuns, of the untenable arguments invoked to preserve the cultic impediment of femaleness [31]. Incidentally, Communist authorities in Czechoslovakia were conveniently duped by several women who were ordained to the Catholic priesthood before 1988, in spite of their canonical impedimentum sexus. This stratagem served them to perform forbidden pastoral work secretly, for instance to administer the sacraments in prisons [32].



 
For more about Pope Paul VI's commission on the status of women in society and in the Church -- and why we haven't heard much about it --click here: http://www.womenpriests.org/circles/fb.asp?m=23569
Sophie
Moderator
  • Total Posts : 14275
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2007/01/18 01:57:27
  • Status: offline
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 03:54:47 (permalink)

 
In Orthodox Christianity, the question of women priests is still marginal, debated only in Westernized context, as in France and the United States. In Protestant churches, priesthood is not defined in terms of androcentric typology, with axiomatic conformity between Christ’s incarnate manhood and the priest’s Christlike maleness. Christology does therefore not contravene women’s ordination. Inversely, John Paul II invokes the typological gender models of Christ as new Adam, and Mary as new Eve, to justify the cultic incapability of femaleness. Combining women’s Mariotypic motherhood with the new concept of female Godlikeness in Mulieris dignitatem, he mixes the first and the third stage of Christian anthropology, that is: an androcentric typology and an updated imago Dei [33]. When Mary is proposed as the exemplary role model for women, this exhortation tends to obscure that Christ’s mother as the new Eve has an instrumental and subordinate function vis-a-vis the Godhead, incarnated as the new Adam [34].

In fact, the current incoherence between discarded male Godlikeness and upheld female cultic impediment is manifest by John Paul II’s apostolic letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis from 1994, where he refers to Inter insigniores and Mulieris dignitatem, concluding that the Church cannot ordain women because Christ called twelve male apostles and did not ordain his mother Mary. The traditional exclusion of women from the priesthood is therefore in accordance with God’s plan for his Church (congruenter statuit mulierum exclusionem a sacerdotio convenire cum consilio Dei pro sua Ecclesia). Since this invocation of divine androcentrism did not silence the persistent demand for women priests in the Catholic Church, the pope’s doctrinal chieftain, cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in 1995 issued a Responsio, certifying that the disputed apostolic letter pertains to the normative deposit of faith (ad fidei depositum pertinens).


 

 
 
For more about Mulieris Dignitatem, Pope John Paul II's September 30, 1988 Encyclical on ‘the Dignity and Vocation of Women’ (this year, 2008 marks its twentieth anniversary!), join us in our ongoing Congress found here: http://www.womenpriests.org/church/mul_cong.asp
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 03:59:21 (permalink)
Sophie  Thanks this is an interesting quote.  It  mentions women in Czechoslavakia being ordained prior to 1988 to serve in prisons.  It calls the women ordained ,  It says these women "duped" others.  Not very charitable to criticize such courageous and sincere women priestds who risked their lives to keep the religion going in the Communist repressive regime.  Does it mean to say this really about the women?
 
Where please does this quote come from?  It does sound kind of frank about Paul VI's proclamations.  It is an interesting article.  Please who wrote it, and what is its source.  I like what it says about the theologian Karl Rahner.  Thank you.
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 04:05:20 (permalink)
Oh dear I do not get post 24 quote.  The mixed metaphors. What is Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict,  really doing and what effect does he mean?  What does no women as priest stem from now through what they have come up with?  It is hard to follow this article  maybe there is no reasoning there really and that is why I am struggling to figure it out?
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 05:24:18 (permalink)

 
Conservative members were afraid to endanger the Church’s authority by changing established doctrine.
 

 
Dr.Børresen captures something here in a nutshell. The Vatican is afraid to change because of what it tells the world about them.
 
They 'claim' to have a hotline into God and to speak on "His" behalf.  This is what their authority is based on. When facts prove that they have been wrong, of course it undermines their authority.  With some remedial course work on and implementation of servant leadership and humility in leadership, they might begin to understand how Christ turns things on their heads.  His power is not about domination.
 
Most people recognize the need for leadership.  The papacy, if it operated at its best, has the potential to serve as a beautiful symbol of Christian unity. Instead, it is sadly and often justifiably so, viewed as a tyrannical, power mongering theocratic dominating and oppressive body that shows little responsibility in leadership and discriminates not only against women but many other groups of people, too.
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 11:20:56 (permalink)
I appreciate  your ideas.  You bring up servant leadership and humility necessity.  This is what is glaringly lacking now in Rome (and before.) 
 
 The Pope misses the central teaching of Christ.  You recognize this right away and see through the deceptive confabulation of what Rome puts out to 'uphold' its errors.
 
The clergy is to serve God and people,  serve each other in love and humility.
 
The clergy is NOT God and NOT Christ, it is SERVANT of God and Humble Servant of the laity. 
 
 Adam is NOT Jesus and is NOT God and Women are not Church, as Men too and "Adam" and children are Church too.
 
The Clergy and the Pope are CHURCH too and are NOT GOD and NOT Jesus  however they are SERVANTS of God and the laity and EACH OTHER.
 
If the Pope would only just READ THE NEW TESTAMENT as Jesus asks us to RULE over NO-ONE and SERVE EACH OTHER in LOVE and HUMILITY.
 
The clergy and the Pope too must discard these wrong notions and doctrines and be Church too and be Humble Servants of God and the Community and World.
 
THANK YOU for seeing through the twisted deceptive writings that the Vatican come up with and foist on us!
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 11:30:50 (permalink)
The Pope and the clergy and men, children and women are all Church.
 
The Pope and the clergy are not God or Jesus and are servants of God, not God and are also Church. .
 
Adam is not God or Jesus and is a member of the Church just as the clergy, women and men and children are members of the church.
 
Jesus came for us all and is not just the new Adam .   Jesus is also the new Eve. In Jesus there is neither male or Female but ONENESS, WHOLENESS.
 
Women are NOT left out, are NOT  left behind , NOT  still unredeemed and  NOT  'unclean' and 'ungodlike' which is still how the Pope sees women.
 
How else to explain why the Pope falsely excludes women from holy orders and claims women  alone are 'perpetual "church" and never "Jesus" but "Adam" men are!
Sophie
Moderator
  • Total Posts : 14275
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2007/01/18 01:57:27
  • Status: offline
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 22:25:23 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

Sophie  Thanks this is an interesting quote.  It  mentions women in Czechoslavakia being ordained prior to 1988 to serve in prisons.  It calls the women ordained ,  It says these women "duped" others.  Not very charitable to criticize such courageous and sincere women priestds who risked their lives to keep the religion going in the Communist repressive regime.  Does it mean to say this really about the women?

Where please does this quote come from?  It does sound kind of frank about Paul VI's proclamations.  It is an interesting article.  Please who wrote it, and what is its source.  I like what it says about the theologian Karl Rahner.  Thank you.


Dear friend,

Thank you for your observations and questions.

The article is written by Kari Elisabeth Børresen, Dr. Philos, Dr. Theol. HC, Senior Professor at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo in Norway.

When Dr. Børresen uses the word 'duped,' she does not use it uncharitably.  Her reference is to courageous women (and married men) who were secretly ordained to serve in the underground Church in Communist oppressed Czechoslovakia during the mid twentieth century.  With wikipedia's help, we learn of circumstances for Catholics during that regime:
  • in 1948 (the time of the take over)there were at least nine Christian traditions reported in the country's census.  Among these were Catholics of both the Roman and Byzantine (Greek Catholic - preserving the Eastern rite and discipline but in union with papal authority) rites. Two out of every three people were Catholic.
  • During the Stalinist trials in the 1950s, more than 6,000 religious people (some old and sick) received prison sentences averaging more than five years apiece. Between 1948 and 1968, the number of priests declined by half, and half the remaining clergy were over sixty years of age. It was a dangerous time to be a priest because of religious persecution.
  • Between 1950 and 1968, the Uniate Church (Greek Catholic) was prohibited. Uniates had close historic ties to both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches. The Communist regime sought to 'Russify' whatever it could and followed a longstanding Russian policy of opposing the Uniate Church. Soon after coming to power, the party forcibly repressed the Uniate Church (following the earlier example of the Soviet Union) in favor of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Orthodox had been a distinct minority in Czechoslovakia, but Orthodox priests took over parishes as the Uniate clergy were imprisoned or sent to work on farms in the Czech lands. The shortage of priests was so extreme that the party gave a crash course in Orthodox doctrine to "politically mature" teachers in the region and sent them into Uniate churches as replacements. Catholics responded with various forms of resistance, ranging from simply leaving church whenever an Orthodox priest arrived to holding services among themselves (ie, the Church went 'underground' because of state oppression.)
  • In the 1970s, the situation of religious groups in Czechoslovakia again deteriorated. The Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of František Cardinal Tomášek, archbishop of Prague, was once more the principal target. Throughout the 1970s, the regime arrested clergy and lay people for distributing religious samizdat literature. Protestant and Jewish groups were also harassed, but the Orthodox churches and the Czechoslovak National Church were generally spared. The regime showed a willingness to permit religious groups to practice their creeds as long as the clergy and the faithful did not bring religion into public life. The complication was that the regime counted almost anything as public life and so, for example, disallowed sermons on the high divorce rate or neglected children. Because the state licensed all clergy, it could weed out anyone deemed unresponsive to state requirements. Thus the clergy, who needed state approval to minister at all, were in a vulnerable position. By mid-1986 the regime had prohibited some 400 (of an approximate 3,200) Roman Catholic priests from ministering.
  • In 1986, out of thirteen church offices, nine bishoprics were vacant and two archbishoprics (Olomouc and Trnava) had only bishops holding office.
  • If normalization after 1968 took a higher toll on the Czechs, the Slovaks have more recently borne the brunt of religious persecution. Slovakia's traditional adherence to the Roman Catholic faith and an upsurge in belief and practices in the mid-1980s brought on sustained harassment and atheistic propaganda in Slovakia to a greater degree than in the Czech lands. Although methods differed, religious persecution in Slovakia equaled that suffered by the Charter 77 human rights activists and proscribed writers in the Czech lands.
  • In the 1980s, official policy toward religious groups iwas consistent with that of the early socialist era, when a series of measures sought to bring organized religion to heel. The state exercised substantial control over clerical appointments, religious instruction, preaching, and proselytization. Roman Catholics and Uniates were the major targets. The government closed convents and monasteries and strictly limited admissions to the two remaining seminaries.
  • All during this time, the faithful quietly and secretly continued practicing their faith -- in stealth -- in the 'underground church.' Priests were secretly ordained to provide sacramental ministry.
  • The official media were particularly critical of the "secret church," which the Vatican described as "not only the secretly ordained priests and bishops, secret convents and secret printing establishments in the country, but also the existing Catholic organizations and spiritual underground movements, as well as all priests and believers who are working illegally in the sphere of the church." These, however, were not organized into a single network. The underground church was believed to be particularly strong in Slovakia.


In other words, it was a dangerous time for people of faith and especially priests. With Vatican approval, a courageous man, Felix Davidek -- brilliant scholar, linguist and medical doctor -- was consecrated as Bishop to serve the underground church. When a need for sacramental ministry for women in prison emerged as a serious concern, it was clear that a male priesthood could not answer simply because they were male. Davidek called a secret Synod composed of bishops, priests and laity to consider the ordination of women. On December 28, 1970, he ordained Ludmila Javorova to the priesthood.  She served as Vicar General of an underground diocese for 20 years. In 1991, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk of Prague confirmed that up to five or six women were ordained.  To date, only Ludmila has come forward. 

Ludmila is only one example of women and also married men who were secretly ordained to serve as priests to their people during times of incredible danger.  Dupe other people? She did 'dupe' the authorities so that her people could receive sacramental ministry.  Besides being able to serve in women's prisons, as a woman, she drew less suspicion from the authorities than would a celibate male priest.

Her story and that of her community is one of people being church under the most oppressive conditions. Felix Davidek, ordained a priest in 1946, was a man who recognized the danger of the communist takeover to people's spiritual, intellectual and physical lives. He acted immediately, organizing an underground university and seminary. When discovered, he was imprisoned in 1950 for fourteen years. Ludimila said that the very day he was released from prison, Davidek was busy rebuilding the system he had begun.  A family friend since childhood, Ludmila was asked to help make the necessary contacts and to assist in the rebirth of the persecuted church. 


Ludmila Javorova

Although the Vatican has since normalised the ordinations of some of the married men who served as priests, to date its administration refuses to acknowledge Ludmila's sacramental priesthood -- simply because she is a woman

Work is currently being done to right this wrong.

If you are interested in learning more about Ludmila and Bishop Davidek, this link will connect you to more articles about them: http://www.womenpriests.org/circles/fb.asp?m=23547

I hope this helps.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
post edited by Sophie - 2008/08/11 08:55:59
Sophie
Moderator
  • Total Posts : 14275
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2007/01/18 01:57:27
  • Status: offline
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 22:29:01 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

Oh dear I do not get post 24 quote.  The mixed metaphors. What is Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict,  really doing and what effect does he mean?  What does no women as priest stem from now through what they have come up with?  It is hard to follow this article  maybe there is no reasoning there really and that is why I am struggling to figure it out?

 
Dear friend,
 
I want to acknowledge your question! I am only popping in for a moment just of now and will be back later today to provide clarification for your question.
 
with love and blessings,
 
~Sophie~
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/10 23:57:51 (permalink)
Bishop Paul Gojdich 1888 - 1960. Consecrated bishop of Preshov in 1927. When the Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia in 1948, Bishop Gojdich was denounced as a traitor and enemy of the people. He was imprisoned in 1950 for resisting the liquidation of the Greek Catholic Church. Rejecting the state's offer of rehabilitation, he died in prison in 1960.   He is considered a martyr for the faith.
 
The Greek Catholic Church was simply outlawed and its churches, seminaries, convents, monasteries and schools, were secularized or turned over to the Orthodox. Those who resisted were arrested and imprisoned or exiled or tortured and murdered.
Sophie
Moderator
  • Total Posts : 14275
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2007/01/18 01:57:27
  • Status: offline
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/12 02:30:45 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

Oh dear I do not get post 24 quote.  The mixed metaphors. What is Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict,  really doing and what effect does he mean?  What does no women as priest stem from now through what they have come up with?  It is hard to follow this article  maybe there is no reasoning there really and that is why I am struggling to figure it out?

 
Hello dear friend,

I am back to answer your question but first I seek some clarification.  Since the quote in post 24 does not mention Cardinal Ratziner, I think that you might have meant post 25 instead.  If I am mistaken, please let me know.  The quote in post 25 quote reads as follows:

In Orthodox Christianity, the question of women priests is still marginal, debated only in Westernized context, as in France and the United States. In Protestant churches, priesthood is not defined in terms of androcentric typology, with axiomatic conformity between Christ’s incarnate manhood and the priest’s Christlike maleness. Christology does therefore not contravene women’s ordination. Inversely, John Paul II invokes the typological gender models of Christ as new Adam, and Mary as new Eve, to justify the cultic incapability of femaleness. Combining women’s Mariotypic motherhood with the new concept of female Godlikeness in Mulieris dignitatem, he mixes the first and the third stage of Christian anthropology, that is: an androcentric typology and an updated imago Dei [33]. When Mary is proposed as the exemplary role model for women, this exhortation tends to obscure that Christ’s mother as the new Eve has an instrumental and subordinate function vis-a-vis the Godhead, incarnated as the new Adam [34].

In fact, the current incoherence between discarded male Godlikeness and upheld female cultic impediment is manifest by John Paul II’s apostolic letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis from 1994, where he refers to Inter insigniores and Mulieris dignitatem, concluding that the Church cannot ordain women because Christ called twelve male apostles and did not ordain his mother Mary. The traditional exclusion of women from the priesthood is therefore in accordance with God’s plan for his Church (congruenter statuit mulierum exclusionem a sacerdotio convenire cum consilio Dei pro sua Ecclesia). Since this invocation of divine androcentrism did not silence the persistent demand for women priests in the Catholic Church, the pope’s doctrinal chieftain, cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in 1995 issued a Responsio, certifying that the disputed apostolic letter pertains to the normative deposit of faith (ad fidei depositum pertinens).

In your questions, I understand you are asking:
  • How does the Vatican rationalise its ban against women's ordination today if the 'old' reasons have changed?
  • What was Cardinal Ratzinger doing when the author refers to the 1995 Responsio to Ordination Sacerdotalis?

Before I go further, am I on the right track?  I look forward to hearing from you!
 
with love and blessings,
 
~Sophie~
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/12 02:50:41 (permalink)
Hi In 1995 it says Ratzinger issued a Responso.  I know Ratzinger had great influence too and must have advised or agreed with Pope John Paul II a lot perhaps as he was head of Doctrine of Faith Congregation, right? Chief Prefect of it?  Was he part of the steering committee on banning women for the last 30 or more years really as he has been around Rome and the different popes a long long time I understand, and seems ultra conservative, bides his time, reintroduces ban on girl altar servers etc, no women wash or touch chalice etc. Tridentine mass approval, issues insult to Jews etc.  These are his 'handiwork', I suppose.
 
Thank you so much for your help as I find the article and Vatican doctrine re women so illogical and so untheological and confusing to me , I can not figure it out.  Steill to me shows no valid reason to ban women. Thank you for helping me, and I am sure many others too.
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/12 05:49:27 (permalink)
1950 Action on the Greek Catholic Church



On April 28, 1950, the communist government of Czechoslovakia instituted the "Sobor of Presov", which shuttered the Greek Catholic Church.  It transferred their parishes to the Russian Orthodox church.  Most of the priests, seminarians, nuns and monks who would not embrace Orthodoxy, or were considered conspiratorial were quickly jailed on unsubstantiated charges of treason against the state.  The Pope was declared an enemy of the state.  Certain other clergy were murdered if they resisted.  Church records ostensibly were transferred to the local village offices.  The same treatment applied to the Roman Catholic church.

Not all Greek Catholic records from 1895 to 1950 were preserved.  Some were transferred to the state archive, some kept by the Orthodox church and still others were lost or destroyed.  Needless to say, no "official" church records for the period 1950 to 1990 exist, though we do know that various "underground" churches operated. [For 1895 forward, Civil birth/marriage/death records are kept by the village or regional government office.]   In 1968, Slovak Ministry of Culture allowed restoration of the Greek Catholic Church. While some buildings were returned, it was only in 1990 when the church regained its strength and freely operate that record keeping resumed.    Whether pre-1990 records exist in the village church depends on the individual circumstances of the village church.  An example is the records of Velike Lucky which were reported destroyed by Soviet secret police.


http://www.iabsi.com/gen/public/churches.htm
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/12 05:52:21 (permalink)
The Greek Catholic church was singled out by the Marxist ideologues as a Rome conspiricy to undermine the Russian Orthodox.  This attitude was held since the Union of Brest and Uzghorod in the 1500s.  While other faiths were constrained and directly controlled under Communism, they continued to operate.  Only the Greek Catholic Church was singled out for liquidation.
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/13 03:29:37 (permalink)
All over the world people not only struggle to practice their faith, they struggle to feed their children and keep shelter over their heads. The Church provides them with a tremendous source of community.
 
There is a call to help bring an end the world's poverty and violence.
Many look to the Church as a place for community and belonging. May our community be healed so that we can truly and humbly serve Christ and nurture the Body of Christ.
 
Repair of the world. Care for the Body of Christ includes the Church.  Our God is inclusive.
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/13 19:57:45 (permalink)
All over the world people not only struggle to practice their faith, they struggle to feed their children and keep shelter over their heads. The Church provides them with a tremendous source of community.

There is a call to help bring an end the world's poverty and violence.
Many look to the Church as a place for community and belonging. May our community be healed so that we can truly and humbly serve Christ and nurture the Body of Christ.

Repair of the world. Care for the Body of Christ includes the Church.  Our God is inclusive.

It's a point well taken that community is important, but on what foundation and structure do we base and build community? Whom do we embrace and whom do we exclude from our community?  Whom do we empower and whom do we disempower by the roles and rules of our community?  The great purpose of a church community isn't to connect people with one another like their civic, charitable, political, neighborhood, and professional organizations and sports clubs; the greater purpose of a church community is supposedly to help people connect with God, manifest Christ's teachings on earth, and discover their mustard seed of faith that will empower them to remove their mountains.
 
So how well are we helping people connect to God, manifest Christ's teachings on the earth, and discover their mustard seed of faith that will empower them to remove thier mountains?  Are we just pitying people and throwing them fish as charity of which there can never be enough, or are we teaching and empowering people to fish, confident that God truly is with them and knowing that their faith of a mustard seed will indeed remove their mountains?
 
What does it do to women when we teach them from birth that the "summit of our faith" is a reenactment of Christ's Last Supper while simultaneously demanding they believe that no women were invited to attend nor participate in Christ's Last Supper?  What does it do to women to hold up a model of womanhood to be emulated that is the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual impossibility of virgin motherhood?  What does it do to women to demand that they must speak of and regard God as exclusively male in spite of the fact that when Christ spoke of God to men He most often used terms of fatherhood they would understand and relate to, and when He spoke of God to women He most often used terms of motherhood they would understand and relate to?  It spiritually disempowers women.  It steals away their faith of a mustard seed that would remove their mountains.
 
Bringing an end to the world's poverty and violence requires that women be empowered throughout the world to manage household, society, nation, and world jointly and equally with men.  If the world is to survive, it must be wisely managed as a household, not as a testosterone-driven-shell-game-of-who's-playing-the-dominant-male-this-week series of empires.  We've got religions run by men as empires, households run by men as empires, businesses run by men as empires, nations run by men as empires...all engaging in their version of the "just war" and stacking up the weaponry, toxicity, and environmental degradation that is destroying our means of survival as a planet in our efforts to produce just...war.
The world is supposed to be managed as a household raising healthy children, not as a battlefield sacrificing its children on all sides in the name of empire!  (including those children abused and silenced by the church in the name of the empire of the church)
 
Women who are taught from birth that they are daughters of God rather than merely daughters of men learn and acquire the faith of a mustard seed that can remove mountains of waste, exploitation, and abuse on the personal, social, national, and world level. 
 
Women who are taught from birth that they are merely servants of men learn that the poverty and violence created by men governing the earth must be the will of God.
 
The future of the earth depends on what we model for and teach our children.  If we can't even model  male and female representation, negotiation, and governance of the church community as a properly managed household which exists to protect, nourish, educate, and properly support its children, how do we ever expect those children to grow up with the faith and the skills necessary to manage the earth as a properly managed household guaranteeing the continuance of life on earth?
 
woman who votes with feet
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/14 00:20:31 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest



What does it do to women when we teach them from birth that the "summit of our faith" is a reenactment of Christ's Last Supper while simultaneously demanding they believe that no women were invited to attend nor participate in Christ's Last Supper? 



 
If the Church really believes that women were not invited to the Last Supper, how do they justify allowing women to attend Mass. Isn't it breaking with the tradition of excluding women as established by Christ?
 
The Mass could become an all male event (sounds like a fun group) and afterward they could bring their left over communion wafers to the women in the parish. It would give the men something to do and after all they’re the ones claiming only men were sent.
 
Guest
Super Member
  • Total Posts : 14706
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/02/20 19:01:46
  • Status: online
RE: Is the Prohibition of Women Priests a Human Rights Issue? 2008/08/14 00:59:35 (permalink)
Women and girls could do without the communion wafers, after all according to Pope Benedict XVI women and girls are too ungodlike and too unclean as female to touch the Eucharist or any thing assciated with it. 
 
 The Pope reissued his prohibition that girls and women  can not wash the chalice or touch the linens or stand near the altar.  So then  girls and women are too tainted  acording to the Pope to touch the communion wafer then with any part of their body, too female to have communion in the Roman Catholic mass.
 
My, instead of my husband and sons sleeping in or going fishing Sunday mornings and missing mass, the women and girls ought to be good Catholics too and make sure they keep their female (ooooooooo) bodies away from the mass. the Pope says females are too female to touch the Eucharist.
 
Good grief, somebody get the Pope a bible and teach him Christianity. 
 
The Pope  is brainaddled with  woman- hating junk from Augustine, Eusebius, Aquinas, Origen, Tertullian etc. which has NO source whatsoever in the teachings or actions of Jesus.
Page: < 123 > Showing page 2 of 3 - Powered by APG vNext Trial
Guest
Quick Reply: (Open Full Version)
  Enter the random characters shown
Submit Post
Jump to:
© 2020 APG vNext Trial Version 4.6

This website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research

Visitors to www.womenpriests.org since 11 January 2014

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research