Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pontfical Biblical Commission in 1976 Concluded That There Is No Evidence in New Testament to Prohibit Women Priests/ Why does Magisterium Insist it is Jesus' Will When Evidence Does Not Support Teaching?

"In April 1976, the Pontifical Biblical Commission released a study examining the exclusion of women from the ministerial priesthood from a biblical perspective... In the conclusion of the document, they write:
"It does not seem that the New Testament by itself alone will permit us to settle in a clear way and once and for all the problem of the possible accession of women to the presbyterate.

However, some think that in the scriptures there are sufficient indications to exclude this possibility, considering that the sacraments of eucharist and reconciliation have a special link with the person of Christ and therefore with the male hierarchy, as borne out by the New Testament.

Others, on the contrary, wonder if the church hierarchy, entrusted with the sacramental economy, would be able to entrust the ministries of eucharist and reconciliation to women in light of circumstances, without going against Christ's original intentions."[6]

So let us be clear the Vatican scholars in the Pontifical Biblical Commission of 1976 is open to the possibility of women priests. The Catechism and the current papal teaching contradict its own scholarship.
The church must always follow Jesus' example.

First, Jesus did not ordain anyone at the last supper.

Second, according to all four Gospels, the Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala, and chose her to the apostle to the apostles to proclaim the central message of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Third: In the Gospels, Jesus treated women and men as disciples and equals.Read Luke 8:1-3. Many women were disciples of Jesus and they supported him by bankrolling his ministry!

Fourth: According to scholars such as Gary Macy, in The Hidden History of Women's Ordination, women were ordained for the first thousand years of church history.  Archaeologist Dorothy Irvin has found many examples of women deacons, priests and bishops in the ancient world in mosaics, frescoes, and tombstones in Rome and the Near East and Northern Africa. Pope Gelasius in 494 chastised the bishops of southern Italy for allowing women to preside at Eucharist. Bishop Atto in the tenth century referred to the presence of women priests in the history of the church.

Fifth: It is time for the Catholic Church to follow the example of Jesus and the early church, and affirm women priests. The quote from the Catholic Church's Catechism that claims a male priesthood is Jesus' will contradicts the evidence in the bible and the archaeological evidence of women deacons, priests and bishops found in the early Christianity. Women are equal images of God and sexism is a sin that denies women the opportunity to serve as equals in the sacramental ministry of our church.

Roman Catholic Women Priests are offering the gift of a renewed priestly ministry in an inclusive church where all are welcome to receive sacraments. The full equality of women is the voice of God in our time.

Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

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