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Featured The World Needs Women Priests

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Love365, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Hmmm!

    Hmmm! Active Member

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    The Church of England doesn't allow women priests and bishops because of the law of the land though even though the Church is established in law. It was a decision made by the General Synod.

    I think too that secular law should not define church ministries but on an issue of basic human equality like this secular society is clearly leading the way. I'm not a theologian or biblical scholar but when you look at the diverse opinion on this matter it's clear that the issue is argued passionately either way. I'm not saying that the opinion by N.T. Wright's which I tried to summarise in #229 is the final word but it is an example of scholarly and biblically based opinion. I'm sure there are many people who would find this analysis plausible.

    There is also a case to be made the other way as some of the posts here show. It's clear there will never be a knockdown argument on either side that will persuade everyone. So how does someone like me, a non-expert, make their mind up? I think the best thing I can do is say, well I believe ins equality and the argument in favour of women priests seems well-reasoned and biblical (when examined deeply) so I'll jump that way.

    And this is why I think secular law is needed and that it should now be treated as a discrimination matter. I don't believe the church as a whole will ever unite on this so an external democratic body is needed to break the impasse. I feel justified in saying this because I don't believe that God is constrained to work within the church alone and that he is interested in our secular laws and is at work in influencing our law makers. So, assuming that sexual equality in employment outside of the church is a good thing, I think it's the best pragmatic solution for the church as well, though not the ideal one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  2. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    I’ve been trying to write something up since you responded, but it has been so busy that I haven’t been able to fully write it out :) I have some of my thoughts ready though to put in writing and will respond soon.
     
  3. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    That was a truly vile comment. Even if he objected to both Anglicanism and the ordination of women, his behavior there was utterly repulsive. No gentleman would say that. What ever happened to what the Roman church defines as the cardinal virtue of charity?
     
  4. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Not wanting to beat a dead horse but I can’t believe that man said that to you @Paidiske There is just no excuse for that kind of rudeness. I had lunch with my friend an Episcopal priest along with a lovely young seminarian from the Episcopal Church, and as you know I have grave concerns about some things that are happening in the Episcopal Church, but I would not have dreamed of telling her, for example, that she should work for a different denomination or even for that matter waxing polemical about some Episcopal church issues. Instead we had a delightful conversation about liturgical beauty, and we specifically talked about the use of umbrellas in the Ethiopian tradition, and some of the more successful things that one wacky parish in San Francisco (St. Gregory of Nyssa, which I do have a lot of issues with, but I did not discuss them, because it was more interesting to talk about what they did right).

    When it comes to conversations I don’t think its right to be what the British I believe would call “Old Misery-Guts”, and I try to avoid being a polemical curmudgeon. I mean, does it kill people to be nice? Apparently it does; I get really sick of some of the threads on this forum that consist of people just basically shouting about how much they hate the Roman Catholic Church and any other church, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Moravians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Orthodox, among others, which looks even remotely like it, and usually we all get collectively accused of being pagan Ra-worshippers at that point. Why can’t people be charitable?

    What that professor said to you was even more mean spirited than that, because the random anti-liturgical conspiracy theorist on the Internet is just a random conspiracy theorist on the Internet, but he uttered a potentially soul-crushing insult, a remark of calculated cruelty, from a position of authority. It was therefore shameful. It reminds me of some of the evil things my fourth grade teachers used to do (thankfully the principal and I bonded, and he protected me from their emotional abuse after he became aware of it).
     
  5. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter

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    The world does need women to minister to women, but not women priests.
     
  6. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter

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    I don't know...I once had a Jesuit priest in a Jesuit high school tell the class (while he was smoking a cigarette under the lecturn) that our parents paid a lot of money for him to babysit us little sh**s.

    That's not to say that he, the lecturer was right. I have read that teachers were often curmudgeons to those students who they taught.

    I'm interested in your conversation of the more successful things that one wacky parish in San Francisco.
     
  7. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter

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    There is no evidence of ordained women deacons. There were women who dealt with female converts who were getting baptized, because of course, they got completely wet and for propiety's sake.
    The Church can dispense with the requirement that priests be unmarried, but it also comes with problems (for the married). In the early church, the discipline was that, if you were married and became a priest, you must still be celebate. Of course, there were all sorts of abuses of this, but that's what was intended. Also, if you were already ordained, you couldn't then get married.
     
  8. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✡Messianic✞ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    There is plenty of evidence of women taking the role of Deacons, some of it is controversial and circumstantial, however. Some of it has been suppressed over time, for clear reasons.

    I'm not arguing that the Catholic church should change their position on women priests, they have a great Tradition and centuries of pastoral care to back themselves up. There are more pressing issues to address in the RCC than women's ordination.

    But there is enough evidence in history and scripture to at least back up the idea that it is possible for women to be deacons or even priests. Even the National Catholic Reporter [edited] acknowledges the possibility and historicity of women deacons: link to NCR article. There is a RCC committee studying the possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  9. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter

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    Taking the role of deacons is not the same as being ordained a deacon. I don't know why it would be suppressed, though. Having women helping wet and naked women after their conversion and baptism makes a lot of sense. Having women do charitable work also makes a lot of sense. But it wasn't an office, and it was a volunteer role that any Catholic woman could do, whereas the diaconate is quite specific in the requirements. The 19th canon of the Council of Nicaea distinctly lays down that deaconesses are to be accounted as lay persons and that they receive no ordination.
    Careful. There's a big difference between the National Catholic Reporter and the National Catholic Register. The Reporter is quite progressive. There have been a few committees studying the possibility, but not reaching a positive conclusion.
    On a personal note, I was, a few years ago, discerning to be a deacon, and was very willing to serve, but due to my age, they (all but) said, was not allowed to proceed past the preliminary. I was 61. I was miffed at not being allowed to go on, but because of things that happened afterward, thought maybe God was telling me something. I went through kidney stones, a kidney removal, prostate cancer, and losing my wife to pancreatic cancer, so I would not have finished the 5-year study program. My point is that nobody has a right to be ordained. God chooses who He ordains. Men and women may feel called to some sort of ministry, and there's nothing to stop you from doing that ministry, except for proclaiming the gospels at Mass and serving the priests at Mass. Even though I wasn't ordained, I teach children and teens in preparation for the First Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation, and adults in RCIA. A deacon in my parish has a prison ministry where he and others go to help those in prison, and does a Bible study. Anyone can do those. I agree with those who think that ordination of women to the diaconate might lead toward women's ordination to the priesthood. But most of the teachers who convey the faith to our youth are women. Mother Theresa is one of our greatest Saints, and St. Terese of Lisieux is a doctor of the Church. Plenty of room for women to serve the Church.
     
  10. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✡Messianic✞ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    Th exact limits of the position are debatable, but also probably outside of the scope of this thread. As for Canon 19 of Nicea, the way many believe it should be read is that the clergy, including the "deaconesses" should be re-ordained by the Bishop. However, "deaconesses" that have assumed the habit but were not ordained should be counted among the laity. That is how it reads plainly.

    So canon 19 allows for women deacons that were ordained, but it also does not explicitly disallow women deacons, merely the ones that were not ordained were to be counted as laity. That does not mean they could not start the process again.

    Thank you for pointing that out, I adjusted my post to reflect my error.
    Yet the committees persist, at the behest of the Pope in regards to the one I linked. There is evidently some reason to have them persist, otherwise a definitive statement would come from the Chair or out of the committees.
    Amen.
    I can't and would not disagree with these statements.
    But just because something might lead to another thing does not mean it is right to continue a tradition because of it. It would be a reasonable enough matter for the Church to state the women deacons are allowed but women priests are not, a statement on Doctrine. That is, if they decide to do so and find reason to do so.
    I can certainly agree with that.

    Let me again state that I don't fault or even advocate for the RCC to change their position. I am simply trying to show that it is not as clear cut as it might seem, that there is some reason and historicity to the side that chooses that it is OK based on various factors all taken into account. The RCC could change their stance on women in the diaconate, there is no clear rule against allowing it, even if it included restrictions on the limit of the ministry.
     
  11. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I think - as I look back on a conversation that happened twelve years ago now - I think there is a tension at times between charity and other virtues. In a context like that (an ecumenical theological college/seminary), a Catholic priest probably feels constrained to articulate Catholic orthodoxy for his students. His support and approval and encouragement of us, and silence on the question of our ordination, could well have been taken as acceptance of the validity of Anglicanism, Anglican orders, and/or the ordination of women; and all of that could have caused problems for him. I know some of our Catholic lecturers at times were... strategically silent, shall we say... so as not to get into trouble with the powers that be.

    That said, he certainly might have learned to deliver that message with more kindness. But, you know, we're all human. It's entirely possible that later he deeply regretted his choice of words.

    The point I was trying to make, by sharing that comment here, was simply to illustrate that "I respect what you do over there, but could never countenance it in my own church" doesn't necessarily resolve anything. It is kinder than my lecturer was! But it leaves the fundamental question unaddressed, especially when we know that the Orthodox think that anything outside of Orthodoxy is no church at all.

    @Root of Jesse, I'm sorry to read of the loss of your wife. May she rest in peace, and rise in glory.
     
  12. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    For what it’s worth, I wasn’t trying to say the same thing as your professor. I don’t think of you as “playing church”. I think you know I wasn’t saying that, but I want to make that clear :)

    (I understand your point though, which is worth including in any discussion like this)
     
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  13. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter

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    Thank you. What I believe is that she has no more pain, and because she was so good at bargaining, she's negotiated her way to be with God. :)
     
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  14. Love365

    Love365 New Member

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    Women are better at diplomacy.
    The world needs women bishops and cardinals,
    to stop wars from happening.
     
  15. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I don't really think the "women are better at x, men are better at y" type arguments are helpful. Partly because they're not true, or at least, not universally true (to take the example of the above post, would a woman gifted in other ways but not at all good at diplomacy still be worth considering as a candidate?)

    But also because they make it seem as if ordination is something you earn by being good at xyz, or being able to tick enough skills boxes. And it isn't. The reason to ordain someone is that God has called them; and while the Church has to test that calling and make sure the person isn't going to be a total disaster in the role, and the candidate does have to learn some things and prepare themselves for the role, it's not in the end about having or acquiring particular skills or knowledge.
     
  16. Love365

    Love365 New Member

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    Could a woman represent the Holy Spirit?
     
  17. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    In the Bible the word for Holy Spirit is feminine.
    We have the Spirit in us, and he helps us to represent God.
     
  18. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    There is a passage in the Apostolic Constitutions referring to a deaconess as representing the Holy Spirit (Note that there are some passages as well that may be controversial)

     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
  19. Hmmm!

    Hmmm! Active Member

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    Good question to which my answer would be "Why not?". If the Holy Spirit was male I could conceive of an argument to be made that only a male could represent him but it would be a specious argument, no more persuasive than saying only a female lawyer can represent a female in court. The Holy Spirit being neither male or female, Greek nor Romanian, swimmer or non-swimmer, Communist or Fascist, Star Trek or Star Wars is beyond all such distinctions I would imagine.
     
  20. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    My question would be "What does it mean to say represent the Holy Spirit??"
     
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