Women in the Catholic Church - The Great Debate - Essay

This essay has a total of 1428 words and 6 pages.

Women in the Catholic Church - The Great Debate - Affirmative


SHOULD WOMEN BE ORDAINED IN THE PRIESTHOOD?
The question of the ordination of women to the priesthood has moved to the forefront of
theological controversy in recent years, prompting a swamping of books, and religious
opinions. This controversial issue stems not only from the renewed interest of the
Catholic Church in the nature of its priesthood, but also, and perhaps predominantly, from
the efforts of women to achieve a new and deeper understanding of their religion. The
question, should women be ordained as ministers in the church immediately implies many
questions. What difference could female priests make to the church? Did Jesus allow for
women to be priests? What has been the result of many centuries of male priesthood?


However the first question you always have to ask when one has a controversial issue like
this is what was Jesus’ view on the topic? Jesus, nowhere in the bible stated anything
about women being subservient or lesser people to men. As a matter of fact from the
beginning women were part of his disciples and according to the bible Luke stated that a
lot of women supported his ministry. When religious based questions are asked the greatest
source of information is the Bible. The Bible itself states on many occasions that women
held religion as one of the highest priorities in their lives. To add to this, women
participated in some of the most important roles in the church community such as
Eucharistic ministers etc.


The Catholic Church in the past centuries has been very male dominated. Male priests, male
archbishops, male deacons, male popes. In fact in the Catholic Church most women have
never held a higher perspective than a Eucharistic minister. This seems very odd, since
these days women have exactly the same rights as any man. Why then, if a woman can get any
job that a man can get, can manage a large company and can fight in a war, are they not
allowed to become ordained in the priesthood? There is ample evidence in Scripture for
women's leadership in the early church. Such leadership became increasingly prohibited as
the church became a public institution, as it was not considered proper for women to hold
leadership positions in public places. As the world has come to see the equality of women
holding leadership positions in the civil public world; so it would be right for them to
be church leaders today. This would signal the church's real belief in the equality of
women and men.


The Old Testament states on many occasions that women are not allowed to be priests. These
statements are based on the fact that men were born first therefore they are automatically
capable of doing a better job. The Old Testament tends to hold a very biased opinion in
that they did not even state that women participated in church life.


The New Testament does, however, give a precedent for the ordination of deaconesses (I
Tim. 3:8-11, Rom. 16:1). The Bible states that Aquila and Priscilla, who served under
Paul's administration, were deacon and deaconess. It also goes on to explain the
importance of the role of women in the church and the fact that they were major
contributors to the church community and in the way that the church was run. Why then, in
certain parts of the Bible, does it state that women held no importance in the church when
obviously they were contributors. It is from this that we can say that it is mainly the
church that can not accept this change for Jesus called both women and men to be his
disciples. Surely the life of Jesus should be the model for ministry and decisions in the
church.


The Bible is the most respected religious book in the world, with over 85 million people
holding the Bible as their most sacrificial book. It also is known to contradict itself
with modern society. Such examples are, (Timothy 2: 3-18) , the scripture states among
other things, that priests are allowed be married, are not allowed to drink of
un-sacrificial alcohol and that mass only occurs on Sundays. However all these laws have
been broken to meet the requirements of the modern day? Priests can not be married, are
allowed to drink alcohol and have sermons on Saturdays, and during the week. In the same
passage it states that women, whoever they are, may not become ordained or serve in the
church. Firstly, already women have been playing a very large role in the Catholic Church,
and in the Anglican and Uniting Church women have already been ordained. Secondly, every
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