May They Go Up to the Altar of God!

May They Go Up to the Altar of God!

I’m a Roman Catholic, and I’m blessed to be one.

I also have four daughters, and I am very blessed to be their Dad. They have taught me more about life than I ever taught them.

The Church’s teachers (the Magisterium) are a blessing when they make some kind of sense. Occasionally, however, they don’t seem to make sense at all to me.

When they speak of matters related to “faith and morals,” I most often listen and let the teaching form my conscience. Treatment of the poor, freedom of religion, the Resurrection of Jesus: in these and similar areas I am, as Pope Francis said a few weeks ago, “a son of the Church.”

When they speak about women in the priesthood, I am not with them.

I don’t believe it is a matter of either faith or morals. It’s purely a matter of tradition. When the offices of the Church initially were created, women held a far different, and much lower, social status than they do now. Thanks be to God that things have improved! St. Paul required women to be silent and to cover their heads while in Church. We no longer have those requirements in the Church, thank God.

The principal reasons for not allowing women to be ordained seem to be (1) that Jesus didn’t choose a woman to be an apostle, and (2) that priests, who act “in persona Christi,” must look like Jesus.

Jesus, it seems to me, was totally pro–woman. His treatment of women—and his esteem for them—was unfailingly positive and accepting. The fact that He didn’t select a woman as an apostle was, I am convinced, a cultural decision. Jesus worked in a particular time and place, and, to be effective, His actions and methods had to be understandable and acceptable to His contemporaries. Were Jesus to come into our world today, I’m pretty sure women would be fully represented in the college of apostles.

And to say that women can’t be ordained because “they don’t look like Jesus” is to say they can’t be ordained because they don’t have penises. If physical resemblance to the Redeemer is a criterion for ordination, then why aren’t priests required to have beards, to be circumcised, etc.

May God’s will in this matter, as in everything else, be done on earth as it is in Heaven.


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