Question for Catholic Women

I’d appreciate the input of female Dopers who belong to Catholic church and other denominations that do not allow the ordination of women. How do you feel about that? Would you like to see it changed so that women can be priests/ministers? Does it affect your relationship with the Church at all? What is your denomination’s rationale for not ordaining women? Male Dopers, please feel free to answer as well.

From the RCC catechism

weren’t the apostles also Jews?

So, logically, only Jewish males should be Priests, right?

now, if may hear form women on the subject :rolleyes:

Not defending the teaching, just answering the question.

Forgive me if I read your post wrong…but was the :rolleyes: directed at me for answering the question (after the OP said "Male Dopers, please feel free to answer as well?

I’ll state right off that I’m Catholic.

I don’t have a problem with them not allowing women priests - it’s never been a huge concern of mine (there are other areas I have more problems with as far as Church doctrine). At the same time, if women were allowed to be ordained, I’d be the first in line - I think it would be a wonderful, difficult, enlightening vocation. I am not, however, called to the convent. I don’t believe the Church will ever change, though, and that’s fine with me personally.

Rationale for not ordaining women? It’s in the catechism passage that beagledave quoted…it’s Tradition, and I believe it’s based on a passage in 1 Timothy 2:12


Now…married priests? That I do wish they’d agree to. But that’s another debate.

Female. I’m technically Catholic. I was baptized as such, practiced as such for a very long time, and to the best of my knowledge, they have excommunicated me. About ten years ago, I stopped indentifying as such. Two main reasons:

They won’t ordain women. The RCC rationale for it is (IMO) bullshit.

The were covering up abuse of children by priests.

I also realized I was becoming more and more a cafeteria catholic - it no longer was a good fit for me.

Dangerosa, my mom left the Catholic Church before I was born for similar reasons. She didn’t feel that the Catholic leadership could understand the specific needs of women and parents. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but that was her feeling at least.

I asked a friend who belongs to a Syrian Orthodox church about her feelings on the subject. Her answer: “Women can’t be priests, but men can’t be mothers. A mother is the most important thing you can be.” I don’t think this philosophy would work for me, but if it works for her, more power to her.

Thanks for the answers. Keep 'em coming, ladies and gentlemen!

Like Lsura said, not a great concern for me, considering there are other things I would like them to change. Certainly dealing with the sex-offender priests is more important and urgent than debating whether women should or should not be priests. Also, nuns, altar kids, and deacons(which can be women, depending on the parish) can perform some rituals and participate in the Mass.

I’m not real familiar with other rites (besides the RCC), but women most certainly can NOT be deacons in the RCC. (Perhaps you’re thinking of eucharistic ministers?)

Maybe, beagle, but I thought that deacons (same as altar kids) could be women depending on what the parish decided…

Karl, beagle is right. You’re thinking of “eucharistic ministers”. This is a case of the use of the *word/i] “deacon” in everyday speech acquiring a Protestant meaning of the job of auxiliary of the pastor. But in the Roman rite, “deacon” is the title of an actual ordination under the sacrament of Holy Orders, which are reserved for males. It goes with the person, not the job, and is conferred by the bishop (as are all HO’s), not the parish.

Myself, as a non-practicing Catholic-raised male I would welcome deaconesses, and even would like to see it made part of the career path of the non-ordained religious orders (e.g. sisters), so as to relieve priesthood manpower pressures. Take that as a first step and see where it leads.

I’m a devout Roman Catholic and I see no problems with women as priests. I think that they would do an excellent job in the priesthood. However, I am vehemently opposed to married priests. I say this not for theological reasons, but for the reason that it would not be fair to the family. I know my parish priests well and let me say that their schedule would leave no time to be a father or a husband. They often lack time to even sit down to a real meal. So in summation woman priests yes, but married priests no,

And there are ways around that. You’d have more priests, for one, and perhaps you could have special orders for certain types. As the Orthodox do.

Thanks, JRD and beagle!

Well, as a member of the Holy Catholic Church in its Anglican manifestation, I’d like to note that my church has no problem with women or married deacons, priests or bishops. But that wasn’t answering what the Church in Communion with Rome does, which was your initial question. I just felt that it was incumbent on me to point out that “Catholic” is not always a synonym for “those guys who have to listen to the Pope’s authority.” :slight_smile:

I think beagledave provided the formal reason per CCC for the Church being unable to administer holy orders to women.

Personally, I’m am certain that everyone is called (i.e. has a vocation) to serve one another in some capacity. Hopefully, GOD would not give a woman a vocation to be a priest, but I really can’t know what the nature of the vocation for those women who state that they do have a vocation to the priesthood. I do believe that many, most, really believe that–that is, they believe that they have a real calling.

This must be frusterating beyond endurance for some, but hopefully, with prayer and reflection, those women can find peace within the Church.

A couple of more thoughts:

Women cannot be ordained as deacons, whether that be as transitional (moving towards priesthood) or . . . term escapes me, but basically it means permanent–most likely for the same reason, thought I am not certain; however women may be lectors, cantors, extraordinary eucharistic ministers, nuns, lay member of orders (e.g., Third Order of Fransicians, etc.).

As for married priests, I have very mixed feelings on this. Certainly it is a mere discipline and undoubtedly change is good for the Church Militant, but my wife’s brother-in-law is a married minister. He is never around. Family parties, if he is there, he invariably takes a nap because he is exhausted. Sure, this could be just his inability to delegate or poor management skills, but I see his sons look to me or there other uncles for some “guy” roughhousing and play. They miss their father. This is tough, the minister is a great guy, caring, kind, loves his family and his flock, but when push comes to shove, he needs to answer the phone and drive out to the hospital or lead the teen group on a trip or . . . I think you all get the picture.

Tough call.

While the misogynist/paternalist attitude will be surely be kept up, it doesn’t stop the RCC from making use of women anyway.

My mother is what’s called a “Lay Presider” at her church. Since the pastor has charge of more than one church (you know how shorthanded they are) he can’t give the daily mass every time. She regularly leads some sort of prayer meeting at the church, I forget what they call it.

This thing she leads is a mass in everything but name. She gives communion and everything. The only thing missing is the priest, who nevertheless gets all the credit, putting his official priestly sanction on it. This “Lay Presider” position is the same as for a male deacon, but they can’t can’t call her that. Or even admit that the things she does are the same. My mom works very hard for the church (at no pay of course) and wants to do more, but she has no “authority.”

As other posters mentioned, what gets me is that most of the women who want an official place in the hierarchy are not doing it for power or equal rights. They have a deep vocation and they want to help. And the RCC needs the help! The priest shortage grows steadily, and that’s the least of their problems.

So to answer the OP, SOMETHING needs to be changed. I feel bad for my mom, but…

Hmp. I would have become an atheist no matter what. Thanks to the RCC I became one a lot sooner.

Not to hijack this thread completely…but just to clarify the term “deacon” as used in the RCC. “Deacon” can refer to a stage of development of a man becoming a priest. The term “permanent deacon” is usually used to describe a man who is ordained to that position for life…often these are older and retired men, many currently married (if you’re currently married…you may remain so…but unmarried deacons can’t marry in the future) …who have the time to devote to the office.

From the catechism again…

FWIW…I favor an obtional celibacy for the priesthood. I think celibacy is a gift, a gift often scorned by many, but an important gift and presence in our church. OTOH, I don’t see it as essential to all priestly ministry. As others have suggested, perhaps diocesan priests would have an optional celibacy…while those living in community would be obliged to mandatory celibacy as part of their vocation. That being said, I don’t feel as strong about a need for married clergy as I do for female clergy. In my mind, a man at least has a choice (early in life, anyway) to marry or opt for celibacy…no choice is ever provided for women who are called to priestly vocation.