V. Women in the Priesthood
Gen. 3:15; Luke 1:26-55; John 19:26; Rev. 12:1- Mary is God's greatest creation, was the closest person to Jesus, and yet Jesus did not choose her to become a priest. God chose only men to be priests to reflect the complimentarity of the sexes. Just as the man (the royal priest) gives natural life to the woman in the marital covenant, the ministerial priest gives supernatural life in the New Covenant sacraments.
Judges 17:10; 18:19 – fatherhood and priesthood are synonymous terms. Micah says, “Stay with me, and be to me a father and a priest.” Fathers/priests give life, and mothers receive and nurture life. This reflects God our Father who gives the life of grace through the Priesthood of His Divine Son, and Mother Church who receives the life of grace and nourishes her children. In summary, women cannot be priests because women cannot be fathers.
Mark 16:9; Luke 7: 37-50; John 8:3-11 - Jesus allowed women to uniquely join in
His mission, exalting them above cultural norms. His decision not to ordain
women had nothing to do with culture. The Gospel writers are also clear that
women participated in Jesus' ministry and, unlike men, never betrayed Jesus.
Women have always been held with the highest regard in the Church (e.g., the
Church's greatest saint and model of faith is a woman; the Church's constant
teaching on the dignity of motherhood; the Church's understanding of humanity
as being the Bride united to Christ, etc.).
Mark 14:17,20; Luke 22:14 - the language "the twelve" and "apostles" shows
Jesus commissioned the Eucharistic priesthood by giving holy orders only to
Gen. 14:10; Heb. 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:15,17 - Jesus, the Son of God, is both priest
and King after the priest-king Melchizedek. Jesus' priesthood embodies both
Kingship and Sonship.
Gen. 22:9-13 - as foreshadowed, God chose our redemption to be secured by the
sacrificial love that the Son gives to the Father.
Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19 - because the priest acts in persona
Christi in the offering to the Father, the priest cannot be a woman.
Mark 3:13 - Jesus selected the apostles "as He desired," according to His will,
and not according to the demands of His culture. Because Jesus acted according
to His will which was perfectly united to that of the Father, one cannot
criticize Jesus' selection of men to be His priests without criticizing God.
John 20:22 - Jesus only breathed on the male apostles, the first bishops,
giving them the authority to forgive and retain sins. In fact, the male
priesthood of Christianity was a distinction from the priestesses of paganism
that existed during these times. A female priesthood would be a reversion to
non-Christian practices. The sacred tradition of a male priesthood has existed
uncompromised in the Church for 2,000 years.
1 Cor. 14:34-35 - Paul says a woman is not permitted to preach the word of God
in the Church. It has always been the tradition of the Church for the priest or
deacon alone (an ordained male) to read and preach the Gospel.
1 Tim. 2:12 - Paul also says that a woman is not permitted to hold teaching
authority in the Church. Can you imagine how much Mary, the Mother of God,
would have been able to teach Christians about Jesus her Son in the Church?
Yet, she was not permitted to hold such teaching authority in the Church.
Rom. 16:1-2 - while many Protestants point to this verse denounce the Church's
tradition of a male priesthood, deaconesses, like Phoebe, were helpers to the
priests (for example, preparing women for naked baptism so as to prevent
scandal). But these helpers were never ordained.
Luke 2:36-37 - prophetesses, like Anna, were women who consecrated themselves
to religious life, but were not ordained.
Isaiah 3:12 – Isaiah complains that the priests of ancient Israel were having
their authority usurped by women, and this was at the height of Israel’s