Tuesday 1st September 2015

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Women Priests…Why Not?… Understanding The Catholic Priesthood

April 6, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 3

Here in the United States, there was a time when slavery was legal. Slaves did not have the right to vote and to be voted into public office. With the end of slavery, in due course the ex-slaves were recognized as citizens and entitled to vote and be voted into public office. In the Catholic Church, women are not entitled to be ordained to the priesthood. Is this parallel correct? If this situation ever comes to an end, will they be entitled to be priests, bishops, and even. . . ?
Here is the question: Is the Christian priesthood a human right, like voting in a republic, or is it a privilege, given to some but not to all?
In other words, is the election to the priesthood a matter of human agreement, like the rules of football, soccer and rugby, basketball and tennis, chess and checkers? Or is it something divinely ordained, which does not depend on our opinions or desires?
Again, you cannot play golf with a tennis ball, or soccer with a rugby ball. Each has its own purpose and arrangement. But, of course, such things can change. Tomorrow some people may decide to create a different sport and play rugby with the ball used in basketball in a tennis court. It may look a bit nuts, but they can do it if they so wish in their own courts. This is because sports are simply man-made rules. (I purposely did not say human-made or person-made rules because I am not politically correct.)
Let us take another example: the dynastic succession in a monarchy, such as in England, Spain, or Belgium, and the limitation of two terms as president in a republic. In a monarchy, everybody knows who will be the next head of state to inherit the throne, and most people are happy about it. It suffices to see the popularity of the Windsor royal family in the UK. Very few people there want to have a republic where a mere politician is able to sit on the throne — or chair, rather.
Again, however, those are man-made rules. Spain changed from a republic back to a monarchy and Austria from a monarchy into a republic. There are people today who want to make the current president a king, but I do not think there will be sufficient popular support for this idea. But in any event, man-made laws can change.
But there are other kinds of laws: natural laws. The world is filled with them, in all sorts of sciences: physics, chemistry, biochemistry, mechanics, botany, astronomy, nutrition, medicine, and so on. We humans do not make those laws; we discover them. They are not like the ones I mentioned previously, in sports and politics. Natural laws are natural laws, and if we try to disobey them we get into trouble, like denying the reality of gravity or thinking that poison gas may be good for asthmatics or that volcanic eruptions are an optical illusion.
But there are still other kinds of law: supernatural laws, the laws established by God Himself, and here we enter the realm of theology. Theology depends entirely on God for its origin — it is called divine Revelation, and authentic theology is basically the deepening of our understanding of the revealed truth — we do not invent supernatural laws like sport rules, change them like political systems, or even discover them like natural sciences. They are revealed by God, and all we do is to make them more explicit, clearer, more understandable, but we never alter them.
In short, theology does not establish new dogmas or moral rules; it only makes the revealed ones more understandable.
This is because the Church and her sacraments are faith realities, mysteries revealed and instituted by Christ. Like all such mysteries, they invite us to ongoing reflection and meditation. We do not judge them or evaluate their credibility in the light of our reason or by the criterion of our experience. We must accept them as light given to us by Christ. We receive them with gratitude and humility and love, and allow them to illuminate our understanding of ourselves and our human experience, and all of creation.
Here I am citing teachings from a brilliant pastoral letter issued by the New Zealand bishops on the occasion of the publication of the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, in which John Paul II closed the debate on the ordination of women. I will quote from it a few more times in this series.
The practical application of this teaching is that not even the Pope can interpret the Bible as he may please, if he wakes up in a bad mood. The Deposit of Revelation must always be interpreted and taught in the light of the apostolic Tradition: “The faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1).
St. Paul does not pull any punches on this issue: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a Gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8). To be anathema, by the way, means to be under a curse, or excommunication, expulsion from the Body of Christ, the Church.
We are not talking about a mere observance of a series of cultural values and practices: Such is “tradition” with a small “t.” The apostolic Tradition — with a capital “T” — is the Deposit of Faith given by our Lord Jesus Christ to the apostles and brought down to us over the ages by their successors — the Popes and bishops in union with him. Without them, how on earth could anyone today know the correct teaching?
Without a continued authority, everything is up for grabs, as has happened after Luther’s sola Scriptura.
The unbroken Tradition of the Church has to carry a great deal of weight for Catholics, because the Holy Spirit dwells in the Church to safeguard fidelity to what Christ has instituted in matters as central to the faith as sacramental Ordination, ensuring that what is handed on is what has been received.
Does that mean that there is no room for development?
Not at all. This does not mean that there can be no development. On the contrary, the fact that the Holy Spirit remains with the Church ensures that we can come to a deeper understanding of what has been given once and for all by Christ and the apostles. But it is the responsibility of the Magisterium of the Church to distinguish between development and the distortion of what has been given. And distorting the Christian message is what modernist Catholics love to do.
If we do not accept the Magisterium of the Church, we cannot call ourselves Catholic. We must leave the Church and go to establish or join something else. Luther, Calvin, and Leonardo Boff were more consistent.
Therefore, it is in this context that we investigate the possibility of women’s ordination: Is it or is it not part of the divine Revelation entrusted to the apostles?
Next article: Clarifying the terminology.

+    +    +

Raymond de Souza is director of the Evangelization and Apologetics Office of the Winona Diocese, Minn.; EWTN program host; regional coordinator for Portuguese-speaking countries for Human Life International (HLI); president of the Sacred Heart Institute, and a member of the Sovereign, Military, and Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. Web site: www.RaymonddeSouza.com.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Good News . . . Brief update on Father John Corapi

A bit of good news to share: A reliable source has informed me that Father John Corapi, a popular priest among orthodox Catholics who departed public life after a tumultuous period a few years ago, remains in the priesthood and…Continue Reading

9th Shocking Video: Planned Parenthood Sells Intact Aborted Babies, One “Just Fell Out” of the Womb

The Center for Medical Progress released a new video this morning — the 9th in its series of videos catching the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies and their body parts. This latest video catches a Planned Parenthood medical…Continue Reading

All priests will be able to forgive sin of abortion during Jubilee for Mercy

September 1, 2015 7:33 AM Vatican City, Sep 1, 2015 / 06:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new set of pastoral guidelines for the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy Pope Francis has made some significant moves, allowing all priests to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Francis Arinze: 50 years as a Bishop

Yesterday Saturday 29 August 2015, Francis Cardinal Arinze, 82, marked fifty years as a Bishop. In an interview with Vatican Radio’s English Africa Service to mark to the milestone, Cardinal Arinze was in high spirits. Although now retired and living…Continue Reading

Russians to construct ‘the tallest statue of Jesus Christ in the world’

Towering 80 meters monument to ‘Christ the Teacher’ by Zurab Tsereteli to find home in Vladivostok, Christian Telegraph reports according to RISU. The statue was cast in 2013 by Tsereteli, the famous Georgian-Russian sculptor, known for his gigantic projects such…Continue Reading

If You Still Support Planned Parenthood, You Are Simply Not A Decent Person

Another Planned Parenthood video has been released. I promised I would write about every new video that comes out, so here is my write up on the latest. Please read and share. I don’t usually ask you to share things…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Group Sends Cakes to Thank Planned Parenthood Staff After It Sells Aborted Babies

Apparently, Catholics for Choice want their friends at Planned Parenthood to know how appreciated they are since they will be “harassed” tomorrow at the protests across the country regarding their organ harvesting business.  As LifeNews previously reported, tens of thousands…Continue Reading

Facebook’s very (very) suspicious ‘trending’ Planned Parenthood story

Update Aug. 20, ’15 at 7:54 AM EST: I woke up this morning, and lo and behold, the “trending” news topic had changed. It now reads, “7th video critical of organization released by anti-abortion group.” That’s more like it. I…Continue Reading

Questions raised after pro-life activist Twitter accounts suspended without warning: one now restored

ONTARIO, August 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life activist campaigning against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion extremism as well as a pro-life organization on a mission to show the violent reality of abortion through large graphic billboards had their Twitter…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone thankful for San Francisco teacher contract agreement

San Francisco, Calif., Aug 23, 2015 / 06:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new…Continue Reading

Catholic Priests’ Forgotten Flock: Catholic Men

The New Emangelization Project has documented that a key driver of the collapse of Catholicism in the U. S. is a serious and growing Catholic “man-crisis”.[1] One third of baptized Catholic men have left the faith and the majority of…Continue Reading

Shortages in Venezuela mean priests are running out of Hosts

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 15, 2015 / 03:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis has hit the Church in a unique way: the production of Hosts fell 60 percent during the past month, affecting three states in the South American…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Saints Will Welcome Families, Pope to Philadelphia

St. John Neumann Was Bishop of the City and St. Katharine Drexel Was Born Here United States of America, August 31, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter When Pope Francis and thousands of families arrive next month to Philadelphia, they are sure to be welcomed by two saints with ties to the city. Fr. Thomas Rosica, English-language assistant for the Vatican press office, has compiled the following biographies: * * * ST. JOHN NEPOMUCENE NEUMANN, C.SS.R. (1811-1860)…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Angelus appeals for persecuted Christians, migrants

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued a twofold appeal on Sunday: for persecuted Christians and for all persons forced to flee their homes in search of a peaceful and secure existence in foreign lands. Recalling the beatification on Saturday in Harissa, Lebanon, of the martyred Syrian Catholic Bishop Flavyānus Mikhayil Melkī, Eparch of Gazarta – or what is Cizre in modern-day Turkey, who was killed in Gazarta during the sayfo or “putting to the sword” of…Continue Reading

Pope Didn’t Bless ‘Gender Theory’ Children’s Books

pope725

Holy See Denies Any Papal Endorsement of Children’s Books Promoting Same-Sex Relationship Italy, August 28, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Luca Marcolivio Once again Pope Francis is being “used” by those in favor of promoting the same-sex lifestyle. The latest case arose this morning following news of a letter sent by an official in the Vatican Secretariat of State to the author of children’s books that promote “different family types.” The Guardian reported the letter with the headline,…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Recalls Feast of St. Monica

Vatican City, August 27, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Deborah Castellano Lubov Pope Francis has recalled the feast day of Saint Monica, mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. Toward the conclusion of Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square in his remarks to Italian-speaking pilgrims, Pope Francis recalled that today, August 27, is the feast day of St. Monica. To the intercession of her and her son, Francis said, “We entrust newlyweds and Christian parents so that, like…Continue Reading

Is Trumpism The New Nationalism?

By PATRICK BUCHANAN Since China devalued its currency 3 percent, global markets have gone into a tailspin. Why should this be? After all, 3 percent devaluation in China could be countered by a U.S. tariff of 3 percent on all goods made in China, and the tariff revenue used to cut U.S. corporate taxes. The…Continue Reading

The Family Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris Presents Many Grave Problems

By MAIKE HICKSON After reading the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the upcoming October 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, when it was first published in June, the author of this short article was somewhat stunned and increasingly troubled. Yet I was soon helped by others to acquire a better understanding. It is…Continue Reading

Syrian Apocalypse

By JOHN J. METZLER UNITED NATIONS— Syria continues to descend into the inferno while the international community stands transfixed. A political solution seems elusive as ever, the civil war grinds on having killed over 250,000 people, and more than twelve million people have fled their homeland. Alarmed by these developments, the UN Security Council has…Continue Reading

One Catholic Congressman … Prepping For The Pope’s U.S. Visit

By MATT HADRO WASHINTON, D.C. (CNA)— As the nation’s capital works to get ready for Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. this fall, one Catholic congressman is preparing by reading papal encyclicals. “I say as a Catholic, I’m pretty excited,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.) told CNA of the upcoming papal visit. He added that…Continue Reading

ACLU: Force Catholic Hospitals To Abandon Catholic Faith

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY The woefully misnamed American Civil Liberties Union is launching a crusade to force Catholic hospitals to act against Catholic moral teachings and the natural law. This is an un-American attack on religious liberty. The ACLU’s intentions came to light this week after it threatened to sue Mercy Medical Center in Redding,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

End Media Blackout On Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Scandal

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The baby parts sale scandal at Planned Parenthood is being aided and abetted by another scandal: the refusal of vast portions of the mainstream media to cover the issue. The release of numerous videos that detail the brutal and criminal killing and dismembering even of babies outside of the womb in order to obtain body…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… The Man Jesus — Humanity At Its Perfection

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 17 What was Jesus like, as a Man? We know about His divinity, we believe in it, but what was He like in His daily life with people in general? We call this topic investigating the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, or, more simply, Jesus the Man. In an obscure province of…Continue Reading

The Episcopal College And The Pope

By DON FIER When Jesus founded the Church, as we saw last week, “He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 874). With the overarching objective to ensure that the ministry He introduced during His time on earth would be carried forward until the end of time, Christ organized her along hierarchical…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. The Supreme Court has a history of immoral decisions, such as declaring black slaves as property, permitting credit card companies to charge usurious interest rates, allowing the public sale of contraceptives, okaying the killing of unborn babies, and approving sodomy. What’s next? Polygamy? Incestuous “marriage”? Person-animal “marriage”? It would appear that we are on a par with Sodom of…Continue Reading

A Blindness In The Heart

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 35:4-7a James 2:1-5 Mark 7:31-37 In the first reading God speaks through the Prophet Isaiah telling the people that those whose hearts are frightened should be strong and not afraid because God is with them. He then says that on that day the eyes of the blind…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aidan

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Church names many saints as patrons of certain professions, troubles, or countries. St. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe. As the father of Western monasticism, he is credited with building Western civilization. St. Catherine of Siena is also a patron of Europe since she played important roles in settling both civil and ecclesiastical disputes. St.…Continue Reading