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Lisa wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was just wondering:

  • Is your Faith (for or against) women priests?

I need some information for a project I'm doing.


Lisa — Age 13
Wales,  England

  { Is the Catholic faith, for or against, women priests?; I need an answer for a project I'm doing. }

John replied:

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your thoughtful question.

It is not a matter of being against women priests; it's a matter of it being impossible for a woman to become a priest. You see, the priesthood was instituted by Jesus and He only ordained men.
He never gave the Church the ability to do otherwise.

The Church does not just make stuff up out of thin air when it comes to certain matters. We rely on what Jesus instructed us to do by written and oral teaching. If the Church were to try to make a woman a priest, she still would not be a priest.

It is not like a job, where all you need is the right talents; it's a sacrament and sacraments have a spiritual effect.

For example, Baptism does not just get a baby wet, it actually spiritually washes away original sin. We don't baptize kittens and puppies, because all that would do is get them wet.

Another example is Holy Communion. Jesus used bread and wine, not potato chips and Coke. When the priest says, "This is my Body" or "This is the cup of my Blood", the Bread and Wine become Jesus. If he said it using chips and soda pop, nothing would happen. That is because Jesus never gave the Church the authority to use chips and soda.

So you see even if the Church wanted to, the Church can't ordain women to the priesthood.
If a bishop said all the right prayers and did all the right things in the ceremony to ordain a woman, the woman would still not be a priest. She might call herself a priest, but she would not be one. If this woman then offered a Mass, the bread and wine would not become Jesus, or if she heard a Confession, the absolution of sins would be invalid.

One other reason is pretty simple. When a priest gets ordained, he becomes married to Holy Mother Church, the Bride of Christ. In a very mystical way, the priest becomes Jesus to us who are in the Church. Jesus is a man and the Church is feminine, a woman cannot marry the Church, another woman.

This does not have anything to do with the wonderful God-given talents a woman might have. Many women are great speakers, know their faith, can teach the faith and do many things better than some men. That is not the issue. The issue is not capability, competence or even holiness. These things are important and a priest must be these things, but a priest represents Jesus, Himself, in a special way.

A woman becoming a priest is as impossible on a spiritual level, as a man becoming pregnant on a physical level. It would be like having a man play the role of Mary in a play.

Hope this answers your question,

John DiMascio

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