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Elmo Jaya wrote:

Hi, guys —

An Anglican friend told me that the Catholic Church historically has not given equal status to women and has thus degraded them.

  • Is this true?

Elmo Jaya

  { Has the Church historically given an unequal status to women and degraded them? }

Bob replied:


Your friend no doubt bases her claim in that the Catholic Church historically has never considered women for ordination to the priesthood — while Anglicans do.

If we are bigots, then so is Jesus Christ.

He never chose women for his Apostles, though many of his closest disciples and followers were women. Nor did Jesus simply acquiesce to the trends of the culture; he upset the culture, religion, and conventions in numerous ways.

  • So if Christ is not a bigot, but did not chose women, and likewise did not instruct or authorize the Church built on Peter to do anything other than how he did it, why would we be so arrogant to presume we can do it better than him, or that somehow he left an injustice unsettled?

The answer is simply that he chose to use men for priesthood, and not women for his own reasons, which probably has to do distinguishing his religion from other world [cults/religions] that had [male/female] deities and therefore male and female priests.

Judaism alone posited a single transcendent god, from which we have the incarnate (male) second person. In relationship to him we all become brides therefore assuming a feminine quality, He the masculine. Priests model Christ so a female priest could distort this transcendent and symbolic relationship that is being played out.

In short, we simply don't have the authority to change the practice that Christ Himself established, and if you look deep, you might even understand why he probably did it.


Robert Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi, Elmo —

You said:
An Anglican friend told me that the Catholic Church historically has not given equal status to women and has thus degraded them.

  • Is this true?

  • Well, what history does your friend have to offer? <Challenge him/her on this.>

No Catholic woman who understands the Catholic faith correctly would ever want to be a priest. The sacrament of the Priesthood is based on the ontological nature of Jesus and because Jesus [was/is] a true man, those who he calls to share in His Priesthood also have to be a man.

A similar, ridiculous argument would claim that the Church is anti-man, because men cannot get pregnant.

The Church has never given an unequal status to women but rather holds women in the highest esteem. Our Blessed Mother Mary is our prime example, miraculously, yet wonderfully being Mother of all Virgins, while at the same time, Mother of all families and of mankind.

I think this addresses what is really on your Anglican friend's mind.

Hope this helps,


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