Male Priests: Why aren’t we all special?

Welcome back to Talking Thursdays – the posts where I write about why the heck Catholics do the things we do!

This week the topic is: Women priests

 

You know how when Pope Francis was newer people were expecting him to approve abortion, gay marriage, birth control, aaaaand the all male priesthood? Huh. Funny thing: none of that happened.

I know. SHOCKER.

It’s not anything new that we hear: the Catholic Church hates and oppresses women because she doesn’t allow them to be priests. And to that I would respond:

Clearly an oppressed woman (because she couldn’t be a priest)
Young, pro-life, and . . . oppressed (because she can’t be a priest)

“Okay, cut it out, Laura.” you say “Those women just accepted the fact that being a Catholic woman means you’re lame and oppressed, so they don’t count.”

Mmmkay.

Let’s move on to why are there only male Catholic priests?

In short, we take it back to the Bible when Jesus gave us the priesthood. He told his apostles:

“Do this in memory of me”

So, they celebrated the Mass in memory of him. Then they passed on this special designation to other men all the way until today when we see the order of the priesthood established as it is. Now men can go through education at a seminary and eventually be ordained a priest after taking vows.

We can look at this further by seeing that “All men who, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, have become priests (or bishops) participate in Christ’s priesthood. And they participate in it in a very special way: They act in persona Christi Capitis, in the person of Christ, the Head of His Body, the Church.”

Article 1577 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that:

“Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination. The Lord Jesus chose men 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.”

So, that’s pretty much it. We don’t prohibit women from being priests because we hate women or want to hold women back. We’re exercising a deep trust in the choice Jesus himself made.

I could go on and on about gender roles and where women stand in the church, but I’ll save that for another post 😉 For now, may I suggest breaking open your own copy of the Catechism?Start discovering Catholicism like a boss and see what the Catholic Church really says.

Resources & Links for more reading:

Catechism of the Catholic Church (Hardcover)

Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paperback)

Why not women priests? The papal theologian explains

Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church

The Priest Is Not His Own

Happy learning! Feel free to contact me (or comment below) with questions I can research and put into a future post.

To Life,

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