At RCIA inquiry Thursday, the group facilitator decided to let us know his personal views regarding certain doctrines in the Catholic faith. He mentioned the priesthood should embrace women as priest.
Also, he mentioned the possibility of Jesus having female followers which would be a good indicator of female priests serving. True, Jesus had female followers, but were they a part of the 11 is a deeper question he didn’t want to touch on.
I sat in amazement at his words. I wanted to speak up, but I didn’t. I had too many mixed emotions about his statements. He really decried the “traditionalist” that hold on to deep rooted beliefs that have been around since the inception of the Church.
His comments got me thinking of why I’ve always disliked cafeteria Christians. The kind of Christians that pick and choose certain doctrines to follow that they think most resonate with them while disregarding the ones that are “culturally out of date. ”
In Protestantism I saw this lot. Especially during the marriage redefinition debate a few years ago. Many denominations began to practice gay marriages and would ignore Jesus Christ teaching on marriage in Matthew 19.
Far too many Christians aren’t willing to accept full truths of faith that have been revealed through natural law or special revelation. To see many Christian embrace spiritual relativism is a slippery slope that has to end.
I’ve spoken to many non-Catholics who dont see the harm in being more unorthodox on a wide array of issues including gay marriage, sin, a literal hell, Jesus Christ atonement, infallibility of the Bible, and chasity just too name a few. Its sometimes hard trying to help them see the flaws in their logic and ultimately I have to give up with the conversation. I didn’t keep in mind that God supplies the faith, not a dialogue.
Pratically speaking , if Jesus only accepted the worship we offer on Sundays and neglected our worship and practices every other day then we would have a very fluctuating faith. The same goes for picking and choosing beliefs.
And as far as women ordination to the priesthood, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states on their “Ten Frequently Asked Questions About The Reservation Of Priestly Ordination To Men” that:
“In the apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that the Catholic Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. This teaching is to be held definitively by all the faithful as belonging to the deposit of faith. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified the authority of this teaching by stating that it is founded on the written Word of God, has been constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, and has been set forth infallibly by the universal ordinary magisterium.”
“Ordination to the ministerial priesthood is reserved to men because the Church is bound to follow the example of the Lord, who chose only men as his Apostles. The sacrament of Holy Orders—which hands on their office of teaching, sanctifying, and governing—has always been reserved to men, in fidelity to Christ’s example and to apostolic practice. The Church considers this constant and universal tradition to be in accordance with God’s plan and to constitute a permanent norm.”
Probably the debate about women priest has been going on for centuries. It probably has picked up more momentum since the feminist movement of the 1960s. However, for women to strictly want to be a priest undermines the vocation of nuns and religious sisters that have shaped the world. Think of Mother Teresea, St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Edith Stein, or Sister Thea Bowman in modern history. All of which had an esteemed vocation to God.
As St. Paul put it:
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone ( 1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
Overall, we are endowed gifts through the Spirit , but those gifts can be used in a variety of ways through service and activities. Men and women, respectively, have all the power from God to perform their own unique role in the church.
Instead of division, we should pray for vocations to the priesthood for men. Also, pray for women to become nuns/sisters.