Our posts lately have been a series analyzing the required prayers for members of American Catholic Solidarity. Well, we have finished this series with our previous post. The only required prayer that we haven’t analyzed is the Rosary. Right now I don’t think I’m up to such an analysis. If it’s requested by a number of people, then maybe I’ll do the analysis. For now, my plan is to begin discussing and analyzing the required petitions. First, however, I want to address another matter.
I have already written a post on women’s ordination, but the topic is gaining steam again. Recently, Martha and Gert Heizer of Austria were excommunicated when Mrs. Heizer attempted to be ordained a priestess, and then celebrate a “mass”. The States have not escaped unscathed.
Just the other day Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, IL issued a decree of excommunication against a woman in his diocese, and two organizations, which have repeatedly ignored his warnings to cease “ordaining” women. These warnings went unheeded, and Bishop Paprocki issued his decree. (Yes, the same Bishop Paprocki who recently performed an exorcism over same-sex marriages.)
Technically, Bishop Paprocki didn’t actually excommunicate the people in question. He simply announced the fact that, according to the Code of Canon Law, the woman and groups in question had incurred a self-excommunication (latae sententiae). There is a difference.
It may seem sexist for the Church to refuse ordination to women, but the Church has repeatedly said that there is nothing that can be done. Women can not be admitted to the priesthood. This is consistent with the Christian view of the equality, yet uniqueness, of both sexes. It’s also consistent with St. Paul’s emphasis that not everyone plays the same roles in the Church. We are one body with many different parts.
One can not ignore the fact, too, that God always refers to Himself in the masculine form. Jesus refers to Him as the Father. Jesus Himself is a man. God the Son chose to enter our world as a man, not as a woman.
To explain this away there are those who say the world was male-dominated at the time of Christ. Women were often seen as less than men, so it was to be expected that the Messiah would be a man. He couldn’t have accomplished anything as a woman.
This explanation doesn’t work. Jesus often did not follow societal norms. For instance, He often showed much more consideration and respect for women than was normal for a Jewish man of that time. In addition, to suggest that Jesus could have accomplished nothing as a woman is to limit God.
We also must note that all of Jesus’ “inner-circle” (the Apostles) were male. Not one of the Twelve were female. These were the only people present at the Last Supper. It was then that Jesus ordained the Apostles when He said, “Do this in memory of Me.”
It was only the Twelve who were given the powers of binding and loosing. St. Peter received it first in Matthew 16. The other eleven received it in Matthew 18. No women received these powers.
Again, Jesus told the Apostles (minus Judah Iscariot who had committed suicide) that they had the power to forgive sins, or to refuse forgiveness. We do not see any women present in this instance, either. The only people given the authority to rule Christ’s Church was the Apostles. All of the Apostles were male.
Jesus promised to remain with the Church until the end of time; and He promised the Church would have victory over Hell. For these things to happen, there would have to be successors to the Apostles who possessed the same authority. We have this in the bishops of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, all of the ordained ministers in the Church must be male. Jesus was male, and all of His Apostles were male. Hence, the Apostles’ successors must be male.
The fact is, the Catholic Church has very good reasons for not allowing women priests. Actually, Its primary reason for not allowing women priests is that the Church simply can not allow it. Jesus chose only men, and the Church must obey what is obviously the will of God that only men be priests. This isn’t a matter discipline, but of dogma. Dogma can not change. It isn’t that the Catholic Church refuses to allow women priests. It is that Jesus Himself didn’t will it. For the Church to allow it would be for the Church to contradict the manifest will of God.
As we have seen, the gates of Hell can’t prevail against the Church. Hence, the Church must uphold the male-only priesthood. Otherwise, Christ would be wrong; and that is simply impossible! We applaud Bishop Paprocki!
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
American Catholic Solidarity