Friday, August 18, 2006

Reason #3,987,236 Why Women Cannot Be Priests

"It is interesting to note that women who, thanks to God's grace, view the Church with the eyes of faith, would never dream of raising the question 'Why can't we be ordained?' It is only when the supernatural has been brushed aside and obnubilated that this type of query is likely to spring up. As soon as one adopts a purely naturalistic point of view, it seems legitimate to ask: Why should women be excluded from holy functions? All human beings are equal in dignity. Why should men be placed above them? Why should a purely biological peculiarity prevent women from consecrating bread and wine and hearing confessions? Is not this prohibition indicative that the Church (ruled by men from the very beginning) is keeping women in an inferior position which is radically opposed to authentic Christian teaching? Does not St. Paul write that from now on 'there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus' (Gal 3.28)? That Christ did not ordain women is to be explained sociologically: he was bound by the customs of his time.

All of this sounds very convincing to an ear untuned to the supernatural, and alas, modern man has developed an allergy to its sublime message. Let us not forget that the supernatural is the warp and woof of Christianity; Christianity stands or falls with it. Given the 'spirit of the time' which emphasizes man's maturity, man's craving for independence, it is particularly difficult to accept a teaching based on humility.

One thing is certain: some women might believe themselves to be called to the priesthood, but this calling comes from their subjective wishes and not from the One who alone is to choose those whom he wants; it is always tempting for fallen man to assume that God's will matches his own will. These women are a far cry from the attitude of 'the handmaid of the Lord'; they forget that the apostles did not choose to be apostles; they were chosen ('he called those he wanted.' Mk 3.13). Mary did not choose to be God's mother; she was chosen, and said 'yes.'"

-Alice von Hildebrand, from Women and the Priesthood.

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