Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Female Ordination and Metaphysics

kI'm working on my paper for Metaphysics today.

We were given more or less free reign on essay topics so I chose to write on the metaphysics of Holy Orders, using metaphysics to explain why it is not possible for women to be ordained to the Order of the Presbyterate.

In looking into the arguments proposed by those who advocate female ordination I came across the website for "Women Priests". I must admit that I had a hard time not laughing at the absurdity of their statement when I read their front page which made the following claim:

"We are Roman Catholic theologians who firmly believe that the discussion on women priests should be left open. We love our family, the Catholic Church. We fully accept the authority of the Pope. We respect his personal integrity as an outstanding spiritual leader. But we are convinced that the Pope and his advisors in Rome are making a serious mistake by dismissing women as priests. We feel obliged in conscience to make our carefully considered reasons known."

If you want a more accurate and engaging read on the issue of female ordination I'd recommend Justice in the Church: Gender and Participation by Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P.

Here's an excerpt of what he has to say:

"Because in our culture we are used to the free manipulation of images to sell products and create reputations, we suppose that the church must be free to change its symbols to meet the mood of our times. But the pastors of the church know they cannot validate a sacrament simply by an act of human power. The performance of a sacrament in an abusive manner contrary to its divinely given purpose would only result in an invalid and indeed sacrilegious travesty. To ordain a women to priesthood, if this is contrary to the divinely designated and essential symbolism of ordination, would not make her a priest, even if she were "ordained" by the pope."

And furthermore:

"The concept of male "headship" realistically recognizes that, because of the natural phsyical and psychological differentiation of the sexes and their relations to their offspring, some differentiation in their roles in the service of family unity must be acknowledged. Thus maleness is esseential to Jesus as New Adam, head and father of redeemed humanity, and therefore to the priest who symbolizes him."