Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Church has Authority to Ordain Women, Past, Present, and Future/God Is Not Impotent!

1.This is a rather convuluted admission that the Armenian Apostolic Church, (which is in union with Rome) has women deacons!
Quoted from above article in Catholic Voice
"With regard to the question of a “revival” in the Armenian Apostolic Church of ordaining women deacons, a consultation was held with Tiran Petrosyan, Armenian-Apostolic priest and scholar of Armenian sacramental theology and liturgical studies, and former vice-rector of the St. Gevorkian Theological Seminary/Academy in Etchmiadzin, Armenia. According to Petrosyan, for several decades following the Armenian genocide in Turkey, the Armenian Patriarch in Istanbul allowed the ordination of women to the diaconate for practical reasons, as was deemed necessary for continuing the teaching of the faith during a time of persecution, especially when priests were being killed. These women did fulfill the role of deacon, but mostly within a convent environment only. However, this practice was limited to the territory of Istanbul and Turkey; the Armenian Catholicoi of Etchmiadzin and Antélias/Lebanon and the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem never allowed it, nor did it take place anywhere in the diaspora. Moreover, it lasted for only a brief period of time (the last such ordination took place approximately 50 years ago), and only professed nuns were ordained, not lay women. Petrosyan called “rumor” the assertion that the Armenian Apostolic Church has revived a practice of ordaining women deacons."

2. History testifies to women's ordination in the Roman Catholic Church.
As scholars have concluded including Kevin Madigan, Carolyn Osiek, Gary Macy, Dorothy Irvin,
the Catholic Church's history includes women's ordination, there were thousands of deacons in the east, and the preponderance of evidence for women priests is in the west. (See In the Hidden History of Women's Ordination, Gary Macy who states that " The history of Christianity is replete with references to the ordination of women. There are rites for the ordination of women, there are canonical requirements for the ordination of women, there are particular women depicted as ordained... In the tenth century,Atto, Bishop of Vercelli, described the ordination of women deacons in the early church. "...for the aid of men, devout women were ordained leaders of worship in the holy Church." (p. 4, )

This argument that the church, who professes spiritual authority over all kinds of things such as sacramental rites, church observances, and even the blessing of sacramentals like holy water, (there is a very thick book of cannon laws that define the church's jurisdiction) has no authority to ordain women ---is a ridiculous excuse for a policy that excludes half the human race from Holy Orders. It insinuates that God, who is all powerful, who can do all things , cannnot call women to priestly ministry. Does the church believe that God is suddenly impotent before women?! This "blaming God argument" indicates that the hierarchy has run out of theological and historical arguments. The Catholic community should not let them off the hook for their mysogny in prohibiting women's ordination and denying women equality in our church. All are called to follow Christ. The Risen Christ chose Mary of Magdala, not Peter, to share the most important news of Christianity with the disciples. It is time for the church to follow the example Jesus gave of Gospel equality!
The good news is that Roman Catholic Women Priests, an international movement, brings the gift of a renewed priestly ministry in a people-empowered to the Church! While this may be ground shaking to the hierarchy, many Catholics are joining our grassroots communities around the world. So there is hope that God is revitalizing our beloved faith tradition in the 21st century with the gifts of women in ordained ministries in egalitarian communities. Certainly, our God is not impotent, as the Vatican claims in its ban on women's ordination! Women priests reminds us that women are equal images of God and should be treated as such by all, including their church!
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

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