40 Myths About the Catholic Church–The All Male Priesthood

You’ve heard it from the feminists:  “The Church hates women!  Things would be better if there were female priests!’

I’m not going to go into the theological reasons for the all male priesthood.  What I want to discuss is why this doctrine of the Church can’t change and that includes reserving ordination to men only.

In an earlier post we dealt with the issue of papal infallibility.  The all male priesthood is a doctrine of the Church.  The most recent Pope to address this issue was Blessed John Paul II.  In his 1994 Apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,  (To the bishops of the Catholic Church on Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone) he wrote:

Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. This tradition has also been faithfully maintained by the Oriental Churches.

When the question of the ordination of women arose in the Anglican Communion, Pope Paul VI, out of fidelity to his office of safeguarding the Apostolic Tradition, and also with a view to removing a new obstacle placed in the way of Christian unity, reminded Anglicans of the position of the Catholic Church: “She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church.”

Sorry, ladies, but this is the doctrine of the Church.  Anyone who argues for the ordination of women priests plainly doesn’t understand Church teaching.  Regardless of any argument to the contrary, this is an infallible teaching and it isn’t going to change.  Arguments on this subject are a waste of time.  It ain’t gonna happen.

JPII sites Paul VI’s 1976 Declaration Inter Insigniores, which specifically ruled out female ordinations.  For a thorough explanation of the reasons for this doctrine, I suggest you read the two documents.

There is one simple fact that those who want women to be ordained refuse to understand.  Church doctrine doesn’t change.  When even one Pope makes an infallible statement that’s the end of the discussion.  In this case, several Popes have agreed.  If any Pope were to be inclined to reverse a matter of doctrine as defined by his predecessor(s) the Holy Spirit would intervene.  Because, if this were to happen even once, the entire body of Church teaching would be open to debate and that would be the end of the Church, something that Jesus Himself promised would never happen.

Not to trivialize this issue but every organization must have a structure to survive and thrive.  People patronize McDonald’s because every Big Mac served in every restaurant in the entire world is exactly the same.  If one franchisee should decide to change the special sauce, and McDonald’s allowed it to happen, the whole company would be threatened.  Serve me a Big Mac with barbecue sauce and my faith in Micky D’s will be shaken forever.  They’ve become one of the most successful fast food chains in the world because of their consistency.  Should the Church that Jesus established over 2,000 years do any less?

Bottom line, truth doesn’t change.  Get used to it!

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