Saturday, April 23, 2011

Women Cannot Become Priests

I am a Roman Catholic. I am also a woman who will soon take part in the sacrament of marriage to the love of my life. We are practicing Natural Family Planning and will soon start a family of our own after we consecrate ourselves before God in His Church.

As I try to do some research on what a woman's role in the church is, I am constantly bombarded with two extremes. One, being on the utter right says that women should be silent, wear long skirts all of the time and be submissive to her husband. The other, being on the utter left, argues passionately that women should become priests. There is even a group who call themselves Roman Catholic Women Priests who are leading the way. There are even a few members of the clergy who are supporting this.

Let me make one thing clear: Roman Catholic Women Priests is an oxymoron, and I will tell you why.

As a Roman Catholic there are a number of things that we are required to believe in order to be in full communion with the church. A few of these beliefs are that in order to really call ourselves Roman Catholic we are to believe whole heartedly that Christ is fully present in the Eucharist, this is the center of our faith. We are also to believe that Christ died on the cross and resurrected three days later. We are also to believe that he handed the Keys of the Kingdom to Peter, the Rock, to lead His Church and become the first Pope who handed down this power through apostolistic succession. One other thing, we are to believe that the Pope, the successor of Peter, is infallible on matters of faith because he is being guided by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore as Catholics, we believe that the Holy Father, when speaking ex cathedra, is being led directly from the Holy Spirit and is therefore free from error.

Back during the reign of Pope John Paul II, who is about to be beatified this May, the Holy Father clearly states:
"Only a baptized man [ vir] receives sacred ordination. The Lord Jesus chose men [ viri] to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible."

He states again:
"Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful" (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 4).

The Pope in his infallibility has spoken. Jesus chose 12 male disciples to become His priests. Jesus gave them the ability to cast out demons, baptize nations, and forgive sins. While Jesus did have women followers and some women who were very close to Him, He only gave these abilities to his male disciples.
During his crucifixion, while most of His male disciples fled, the women stayed with Him to the very end. Did Christ reward their faithfulness by making them priests? No, He did not. Christ did not make the Virgin Mary nor Mary Magdalene priests.
Some say that Jesus was a man who was bound by the culture of his time, but we are enlightened now and therefore women should be able to become priests. Jesus was not bound by the culture of His time. He allowed women to follow him and be in his inner circle! He dined with sinners and prostitutes. He spoke to the Samaritan women like she was His equal. And because of this, the Jewish leaders liked Him even less.

The Pope is infallible. As Catholics we are bound to believe this. In his infallibility he has conferred the church is unable to ordain women. Those groups like Roman Catholic Women Priests are not truly Roman Catholic because they do not accept this crucial doctrine, and the members of the clergy who participated in their ordination have done so outside of the realms of the church. Therefore the ordination of these obstinate women are invalid. They are not Roman Catholic and they have not been ordained within the apostolistic succession.

As a Roman Catholics and as a woman I accept this teaching. Those of you who continue to argue, you have many other protestant denominations to chose from.

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