Monday, July 9, 2018

"The Question of Women Priests and its Historical Implications"

Bishop Olga Lucia presides at Ordination Liturgy in Colombia, South America

My Response: St. Paul did not attend the Last Supper, yet, he is called an apostle.  Paul refers to Junia and Andronicus, a married couple, in Romans 14:7 as apostles and mentors.  According to the bible, there were more than twelve apostles. The  early Church Fathers called Mary of Magdala  "apostle to the apostles" and now the  contemporary Church does too, and celebrates her feast day each year. The author below states that Ladaria , prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is historically inaccurate in arguing that because Jesus ordained the 12 apostles at the Last Supper, he excluded women from Holy Orders forever. Thousands of women served as deacons for centuries and, ministered in priestly roles as well. If we followed Ladaria's argument, the RC Church would only be ordaining married Jewish men. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP , 
..."Ladaria presents the argument that Christ conferred this sacrament to the 12 apostles during  the Last Supper. Ladaria’s argument tends to be sloppy from a historical point of view because there was another apostle, Paul, who was not with the 12 apostles during the last supper but still historically credited with being both a priest and a bishop.  This is the reading given in the past of the story in the Acts about St. Paul’s arrival in Malta. He is not only credited with the distribution of the Holy Eucharist but also of having consecrated Publius as Malta’s first bishop. The question here would be – how could Paul have distributed the Eucharist and consecrated Publius as a bishop and performed the Eucharist when he was not with the rest of the Apostles at the Last Supper? The historical argument would most probably be that Paul was consecrated by Ananias, who was one of the disciples of the apostles.  
I am stating these facts to show that when theology seeks to base its arguments on faith and not history to justify an argument, this can lead to erroneous conclusions. “The Church always has seen itself as bound to this decision of the Lord”, wrote Ladaria, “which excludes that the ministerial priesthood can be conferred validly on women.” I don’t know where this decision is written in the Bible. History confirms that until the time of Charlemagne, there were still women deacons. The historical records, or what has survived from this early period, are indicating that women played a more vital role in the spread of Christianity in the West than their males counterparts. Such an attitude of masculinity, which the Spanish Jesuit, Ladaria, is expressing, is a remnant of the Franks’ Salic vision of religion rather than a biblical tradition that goes back  to the early period of Christianity..."

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