Father Anne Visits Campus to Speak About Religion

Father Anne

By Arden West

Last Wednesday, as is frequently done at this Roman Catholic institution, a priest came to speak at Villanova. Her name is Father Anne.

She enjoys rescuing dogs, live music and connecting with people. Most of all, she likes playing an integral role in the next era of the Catholic Church. Father Anne was ordained on Oct. 16, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico through the Association of Roman Catholic womenpriests. Today, there are more than 400,000 Roman Catholic priests across the globe. Out of this huge Catholic pie, Father Anne finds herself in the thinnest of slices: she is one of the only 250 female priests that exist.

While Father Anne was baptized Catholic and celebrated a confirmation, she was not a practicing Catholic until her thirties, when she began to more seriously explore religion. She managed a secular rock band and lived with the musicians on a lavender farm outside Portland, Oregon. The house was half a mile from a local Jesuit Parish; it was there that her conversion to Catholicism began.

After putting deep roots into the Catholic community everywhere she lived and returning to school to earn her Jesuit degree, Anne, like St. Augustine, felt her restless heart. She heard calls to be a priest from God and would lie awake at night “physically consumed by God’s frustration.” However, she knew that it is illegal for a woman to be ordained in Roman Catholic tradition, so she abided by the law and tried to live out her vocation in every way that she could as a woman. Anne ran pastoral ministries, brought people communion, led retreats, went to get a master of divinity and even ran a parish as a pastoral associate, and yet “God was not satisfied. God wanted more.” Father Anne said that she lived in a constant battle over what to be: obedient to God versus obedient to church doctrine.

After choosing to pursue priesthood, she realized that she is different from the Roman Catholic Woman priest movement because she is “not a Roman Catholic Woman Priest, but a Roman Catholic priest who is a woman.”

Father Anne is celibate, wears the collar and calls herself Father. Although she lives and works exactly like a male priest, after her ordination, she has been excommunicated and cut off from sacramental life of the church. She cannot receive Eucharist, cannot work for the church and she will be denied a Christian burial. If she was a man, she would have healthcare, a Ph.D, connections, a paycheck and a worldwide network of priests who devote themselves to looking out for each other. But for Father Anne, despite being a priest, she has none of this. At times, she has even struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over her head.

Father Anne is dedicated to reform, and she wants to do it by expanding the symbol of priests. Right now, it’s contracted to the male form alone, but she is working to expand it to also include the female form.

“Roman Catholics do not see this,” she said as she motioned to her body.

“This symbol is much more prevalent than we realize,” Father Anne said. “When a male priest walks into a secular environment, in his collar, I don’t believe that the first thing that people think of is God and reconciliation and the relationship of God and the body of Christ. I think that the first thing that people think of is Indian boarding schools, abuse of power, the sexual abuse of a child. But when they see me, a woman in a collar, they are greatly intrigued by the embodiment of the symbol. They see a future and are re-filled with hope.”

She recounts a story when she was at a grocery store and an elderly man stopped her and asked if she was a priest. He said that he had never seen a woman in a collar; he was overjoyed and gave her great encouragement. Another couple, one of Latino descent, told Father Anne that they had left the church after the sexual abuse scandals. However, they asked Anne if she would baptize their two-year-old daughter.

“You are exactly what the Church needs,” people tell Father Anne.

Father Anne has been invited by non-Catholics, lesbians and even Atheists to preside over weddings, memorials and liturgies.

“God is made present by my presence,” she said.

Father Anne is focused on her passion for women’s equality in the church because she recognizes that a male-only priesthood emboldens the subjugation of women everywhere. Despite her dedication, she has faced trials, lost friends and colleagues and has been endlessly criticized and tormented for her priesthood.

Even in the crowd at the event, there was evidence of the deep disagreement on this issue.

Rick Bochanski, a student, said that “When [he] heard that the event was happening, [he] was very concerned and disappointed in the university. [He] found it scandalous.”

While speaking with Bochanski, there was another student heatedly arguing with Father Anne. Amid challenges and accusations, she calmly explained her beliefs backed by the religious text. She ended their impromptu debate by saying that “there are no grounds, whether sexual or gender, on which you can base oppression. That is completely anti-Gospel.”

However, another student, Nathan Reynolds, felt that “Father Anne’s talk was eye-opening. She’s changing the world right now.”

To end the conversation, Father Anne shared what she hopes that people, on both sides of the issue, take from the event.

“I hope people take the idea of scrutinizing the things that are in their lives,” she said. “We often assume that things are static or ‘the way that they are,’ but oftentimes there is a deeper reality at work. I hope that when people go forward, they see the world around them and are able to distinguish what is coming from a loving God and what is simply not.”

Complete Article HERE!

Washington woman ordained as bishop

Martha Sherman

By

Washington resident Martha Sherman was named a bishop last weekend at an ordination ceremony in Coralville. While Sherman is a Roman Catholic, her position is not recognized by the church itself, which forbids women from serving as priests.

Instead, the title is granted by the Midwest region of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP,) a group whose members are technically excommunicated, but still adamant about their beliefs.

“We consider ourselves a part of the Roman Catholic Church, we were raised Roman Catholic, we are culturally Roman Catholics,” Sherman said. “They really can’t take that away from us … to come to one of our liturgies, our public worship, is to come to a Catholic liturgy.”

RCWP was founded in 2002 after an anonymous bishop recognized by the church agreed to ordain seven women on a boat in the Danube River, which technically did not fall under the jurisdiction of any diocese. Since then, the movement has expanded to 34 states and four other continents.

Catholic spiritual leaders have declined to permit women behind the altar, often invoking “In persona Christi,” the concept that a priest represents Jesus as a person during mass, suggesting that the position is an inherently male figure.

Sherman disagrees, citing scripture and archaeological evidence uncovered in the last few decades.

“In the early church, about the first thousand years of the Roman Catholic Church, women had been ordained,” she said. “Paul, in his letter to the Romans, says that, ‘There is no male or female,’ ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile,’ that we’re all the same in Christ … And Jesus never discriminated against women in his ministry.”

Sherman has been a priest for nine years, six of them serving in RCWP’s leadership, three of those as the group’s U.S.A. Branch President. Still, the newly ordained bishop said she was excited to step away from administrative duties. Unlike the Catholic Church proper, RCWP’s management is separate from its religious leadership.

“We have the office of deacon, and the office of priest and the office of bishop, but we view everybody on the same level, decisions are made by the entire community,“ she said. ”I did administration at the national level … I’m glad to have given my time to that, and now to step aside and do the pastoral work, which is what I’m really trained to do.“

While RCWP is publicly excluded from the Catholic Church, members continue to identify with the faith as they push to reform the institutions behind it. Sherman cites the body’s previous positions in favor of slavery, and conquering the New World, stances religious leaders eventually backed away from as times changed.

”What historically happens (is) somebody stands up against the church and says, ‘You’re wrong,’ and goes ahead and does what’s right,“ she said. ”Somebody has to push the envelope, somebody has to challenge the Church. Somebody has to show them that over 60% of the people in the pews want to see women ordained.“

RCWP has plenty of other differences from Catholic institutions writ large. The organization’s mission statement is more progressive than that of most parishes, calling on members to “ … challenge the dominance of patriarchal systems by promoting practices of equality that lead us to recognize and stand for justice on behalf of all people, locally and globally, and on behalf of the urgent needs of Eco-justice for our planet.”

Despite those differences, Sherman remains a devout Christian. She has a master’s degree in theology, she’s trained as a hospital chaplain and a spiritual director, and her decision to join the movement came only after its members demonstrated a firm grasp of scripture.

She said she remained strong in her convictions.

“When I was accepted to the program of discernment to become a Roman Catholic priest, it felt right,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to serve, I’ve always felt called to serve, so here I am.”

Other RCWP leaders said Sherman was a natural fit for the title.

“We chose a person who has proven herself as a good and dependable leader so many times before,” Retiring Midwest region Bishop Nancy Meyer said at the ordination ceremony Saturday afternoon. “Martha, we look forward to your guidance of our region in our years ahead. And I think I can speak for all of us when I say, we stand by ready to help you, if ever needed.”

Complete Article HERE!

Vatican synod document acknowledges calls to welcome women, LGBTQ Catholics

— Launching the next phase of the Synod on Synodality, organizers stressed that everyone is invited in the church’s tent.

By

Launching the next phase of the Synod on Synodality, a global consultation with Catholics on the future of the church, Vatican prelates on Thursday (Oct. 27) acknowledged the clear call in the first round of reports from the faithful for inclusion of women, LGBTQ individuals and the poor.

“Let us just look to each person as a person loved by God and called into being by God,” said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, relator generator of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, on Thursday. “Christ died for this person on the cross. If I am not able to give the space to the table to this person than I am against Christ.”

The cardinal’s remarks were made remotely at a news conference presenting the “Document for the Continental Phase,” which contains summaries of the discussions from dioceses and parishes all over the world that made up the synod’s first phase, which began in 2018.

The “synthesis of syntheses” presented at the event has the Bible-inspired title “Grow your tent.”

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.

“Who is invited to the tent? All the people, created and loved by God,” Hollerich said. “Our behavior is sometimes a bit more fragmented, and our love is not as big as the love of God,” he continued, before adding that the church must “establish new balances, otherwise the tent will collapse.”

The talk of inclusion echoes a remark Hollerich made in a recent interview with Vatican media outlets in which he said blessings of same-sex couples by priests are still under study. In March 2021, the Vatican’s doctrinal office shut down proposals for the blessing of same-sex couples, stating that the church “cannot bless sin”, but the cardinal questioned in the interview whether “God could ever curse two people who love each other.”

In a statement, the Catholic LGBTQ advocacy network New Ways Ministry praised the openness of the “Document for the Continental Phase,” lauding it as “evidence that we are in a new moment of conversation about LGBTQ issues in the Catholic Church.”

Conservative factions in the church, however, fear that the document may be stretching the Catholic tent too far. In early October, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, a czar of Catholic doctrine at the Vatican, described the synod in an interview with EWTN as part of a “hostile takeover of the church” more intent on transforming it into a political party than about spreading the gospel.

But Cardinal Mario Grech, general secretary of the Vatican’s Synod office, said the “Document for the Continental Phase” does not represent any decisions made by church leaders, but a channel for the many points of view that emerged at the parish level as they were summarized by national bishops’ conferences.

Cardinal Mario Grech. Photo courtesy of Diocese of Gozo/Wikipedia/Creative Commons
Cardinal Mario Grech.

“I hope that this first phase will help everyone in the church, without exclusions, because the Holy Spirit can communicate something to the church through anyone,” said Grech at the news conference, adding: “There are some resistances, but it’s OK. Come forward! Let us walk together.”

More than 40 lay and religious experts gathered in Frascati, southeast of Rome, in September to draft the final document. Participants said they took care to preserve the diversity of opinions and backgrounds in the bishops’ conferences’ summaries. Their document’s first chapter offers an overview of the main findings, the second provides a spiritual background, the third focuses on the principal themes that emerged, and the fourth and final chapter addressed the next steps in the synodal journey.

The experts who appeared at the news conference said they were struck by recurring themes of welcoming and inclusion, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. Participants in the local discussions see a need to reform church structures in a “synodal spirit,” they said, and focus on priest formation and liturgy.

“The question of the diaconate for women came up repeatedly in many summaries,” said Anna Rowlands, associate professor of Catholic social thought and practice at the University of Durham who participated in drafting the document in Frascati.

Calls for female inclusion in the church have grown stronger in recent years, especially appealing for women to become deacons, who can preach and minister but cannot celebrate Mass. While Francis has created two commissions to discuss the female deaconate, it remains a controversial topic, with critics fearing it will open the door to women becoming priests.

“We are not pushing for any agenda,” said the Rev. Giacomo Costa, a consultant on the synod, at the news conference, adding that the question of female leadership and involvement in the church “could alone have constituted a theme for a synodal assembly.”

Synod organizers admitted that the poor, including migrants and refugees, were less represented in the summaries, noting the challenges they faced in taking part in the synodal discussions. “A process of reaching out is absolutely what we need to happen in the next phase,” Rowlands said.

The document will be sent to seven continental assemblies where bishops, priests, deacons, religious and lay people will discuss it and present a final document to the Vatican by March 31. The Vatican’s synod office will then put together a new summary that will become the working document for two summits of bishops at the Vatican, in October 2023 and the following year.

The synod will be a key to the Catholic Church’s ability to engage and evangelize in the modern world, synod organizers said. “For me, synodality and mission are the two faces of the same medal,” Grech said. “Unless we become a synodal church we will fail to proclaim the joy of the gospel to humanity today.”

Complete Article HERE!

Role of women must be tackled ‘urgently’ in Catholic Church

— Women out of the picture: cardinals and bishops attend the closing Mass of a recent Synod of Bishops.

Cardinals and bishops attend the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment, in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo. On Oct. 2, 2022, Pope Francis heard syntheses from the listening phase of the 2023 Synod of Bishops.

by Christopher Lamb

Catholics want the role and vocation of women to be tackled urgently, according to a new report that has come out of the synodal listening process.

The landmark synod report says that Catholics repeatedly express the desire for a more welcoming, inclusive Church that eradicates the misuse of power.

The findings are contained in a 45-page document released by the Holy See’s synod office that summarises the results of the unprecedented listening and dialogue process as part of the global synod.

“Women remain the majority of those who attend liturgy and participate in activities, men a minority; yet most decision-making and governance roles are held by men,” the report states.

“From all continents comes an appeal for Catholic women to be valued first and foremost as baptised and equal members of the People of God. There is almost unanimous affirmation that women love the Church deeply, but many feel sadness because their lives are often not well understood, and their contributions and charisms not always valued,” the document states.

The role and vocation of women are described as a “critical and urgent area”, with the document calling for further discernment is needed on how to include women in governance roles, the possibility of preaching and the female diaconate.

On the ordination of women to the priesthood, which Francis, following John Paul II, has ruled out, the report says a diversity of opinion was expressed, with some in favour and others considering it closed. Where there is a consensus, however, on the need to value the contribution of women to the Church.

The report cites a submission from the International Union of Superiors General, the body representing female religious sisters, which said “sexism in decision-making and Church language is prevalent in the Church” and that women religious were sometimes undervalued or viewed as “cheap labour”.

Just over twelve months ago, Pope Francis launched the first part of the synod for “a synodal Church” that took place in Catholic communities worldwide and was the largest consultation exercise to have been conducted in human history. The document, published on Thursday, 27 October, offers a snapshot into the views of ordinary Catholics and provides a framework for the next phase of the synod process. It reflects back what has been said so far while the text will be discussed in forthcoming “continental assemblies” in early 2023.

Titled the “Working Document for the Continental Stage” of the synod, it is an unusual text as it does not offer any rulings on contested topics inside the Church, nor does it have teaching authority. Instead, it is a theological document aimed at furthering the synod process as it expresses a “listening to the voice of the Spirit” through the People of God. It was drawn up by a group of around 30 theologians, lay workers and bishops who met for several days in Frascati, near Rome, in September to synthesise reports from 112 bishops’ conferences, different religious orders and around 150 lay groups.  In the United States, 700,000 Catholics participated in the local synod listening exercises; in Spain, it was around 200,000; in France, 150,000; in England and Wales, 30,000. The numbers are without any obvious precedent in a Catholic context.

Taking a passage from Isaiah, “Enlarge the Space of your Tent”, the new document uses the biblical image of a tent for the Church as the guiding image for its core reflections.

“This is how many reports envision the Church: an expansive, but not homogeneous dwelling, capable of sheltering all, but open, letting in and out,” the report says.

The tent is held together by its pegs, “the fundamentals of faith that do not change but can be moved and planted in ever new ground,” while the tent’s structure “must keep in balance the different forces and tensions to which it is subjected.” Finally, “enlarging the tent requires welcoming others into it, making room for their diversity,” and is about “moving toward embracing the Father and all of humanity.” This “big tent” approach includes everyone and is prepared to change its attitudes and structures. The report references a range of groups that feel excluded, such as “remarried divorcees, single parents, people living in a polygamous marriage, LGBTQ people.”

One of the barriers to a more synodal Church is clericalism, a phenomenon which sees power concentrated in the hands of an elite group – lay or ordained. Catholics, the synod document says, “signal the importance of ridding the Church of clericalism so that all its members, including priests and laity, can fulfil a common mission.” As a remedy to clericalism, the reports “express a deep and energetic desire for renewed forms of leadership – priestly, episcopal, religious and lay – that are relational and collaborative, and forms of authority capable of generating solidarity and co-responsibility.”

The report also suggests the synod faces a major hurdle in getting members of the church hierarchy to engage in the process. The “fears and resistance” of the clergy to the synod were frequently cited by the reports sent to Rome, while some of the “least evident voices” in the synod process were bishops and priests. The synod has faced no shortage of challenges, including a failure to organise gatherings in some places, a “meagre presence of the voice of young people”, and those who rejected the process altogether.

But taking the steps to a more synodal church is still in its infancy. Francis, who will be 86 in December, recently extended the process to ensure it continues until October 2024 so as not to rush the exercise. The latest document strongly focuses on the process of becoming synodal, where listening and collective discernment become part of church culture and structures. The report says the key challenge is finding ways for bishops, priests and laity to jointly take responsibility for the mission of the Church but in their own distinct ways. Many local churches call for decision-making in the Church to be taken based on “processes of communal discernment” which include the lay and ordained working together. The report describes pastoral councils as “indispensable” while greater transparency, particularly in light of the abuse crisis, is seen as a pre-requisite for a more synodal Church.

“Careful and painful reflection on the legacy of abuse has led many synod groups to call for a cultural change in the Church with a view to greater transparency, accountability and co-responsibility,” it states.

“All Church institutions, as fully participatory bodies, are called to consider how they might integrate the call to synodality into the ways in which they exercise their functions and their mission, renewing their structures and procedures.”

Furthermore, there are calls for a stronger emphasis in the Church on ecumenical and inter-faith engagement with a “more united witness among Christians and between faith communities” described as “an ardent desire.” It is all part of the call for a more outward-looking, missionary Church.

The synod experience is described as “novelty and freshness”, with many in the Church saying that this was the first time they had been asked for an opinion. At the same time, theologians have repeatedly pointed out that synodal processes are rooted in scripture and tradition and are an attempt to rediscover something from Catholic tradition. The document explains that moving towards a synodal church is likened to family members reuniting after a period apart.

“One could say that the synodal journey marked the first steps of the return from an experience of collective exile, the consequences of which affect the entire People of God: if the Church is not synodal, no one can really feel fully at home,” the report says.

The liturgy is also cited as a key concern. Many Catholics want a more participatory form of worship while “a particular source of suffering are those situations in which access to the Eucharist and to the other Sacraments is hindered or prevented.” The quality of homilies during Mass is “is almost unanimously reported as a problem”, while the way celebrations take place risks making the congregation passive observers in what is taking place. A desire is expressed for greater “diversity in forms of prayer and celebration”, which makes worship more accessible.

When it comes to the Old Rite of the Mass, the document cites “knots of conflict” which need to be “addressed in a synodal manner” and that a number in the Church still feel ill at ease “following the liturgical developments” which came after the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council. Last year, the Pope restricted the use of the pre-Vatican II liturgy in a move that upset liturgical traditionalists. The synod document quotes the report from the United States, which says the restrictions on the Old Rite were “lamented” and that “people on each side of the issue reported feeling judged by those who differ from them.”

The next stage of the synod process will take place in a series of assemblies in various continents from January to March 2023, which must include representatives from the whole Church. The European assembly will take place in the Czech Republic on 5-12 February 2023, while the African gathering will occur in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 1-7 March 2023. The Central and Latin American Church is planning five different events in El Salvador (13-17 February 2023), the Dominican Republic (20-24 February 2023), Ecuador (27 February – 3 March 2023) and Brazil (6-10 March 2023).

But before these take place, every diocesan bishop is to “arrange an ecclesial process of discernment” on the new document, which will then be submitted to individual bishops’ conferences. The conferences will then submit a report to each continental assembly, which needs to draft a document of “a maximum of about twenty pages.” These documents must be sent to the Holy See’s synod office and form the working document for a summit of bishops from 4-29 October 2023.

Complete Article HERE!

Key Biblical Passages That Support Women’s Ordination To the Priesthood

By Dennis Knapp

In past articles, I wrote about The Jesus Prerogative on women’s ordination and on whether or not the Catholic Church can change its view on women’s ordination. In this article, I will examine the biblical passages that support women’s ordination. What do these passages teach us? Given these passages, can the Catholic Church amend its views on women’s ordination?

Passages In Direct Support of Women’s Ordination

Sadly, no passage in the bible directly supports women’s ordination. In fact, when it comes to women leaders in the early Church, St. Paul stated the following:

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)

And

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:11-15)

Ouch! These passages not only speak against women’s ordination, but they also sound very misogynistic to today’s readers. How could St. Paul write such things? Didn’t he know Mary Magdalene?

Mary Magdalene: the Apostle to the Apostles

Did St. Paul not know of Mary Magdalene’s preeminence among the early disciples of Jesus? Many that support women’s ordination see in Mary Magdalene the key that unlocks women’s ordination to the priesthood. One such person is Professor Joan Taylor of King’s College, London. She states:

Within the Church she does have tremendous power, and there are lots of women who look…to Mary Magdalene as a foundation for women’s leadership within the Church.

Moreover, let’s not forget Mary the mother of Jesus. If any such person deserves to speak in the Church, its her. Did St. Paul not know of her status among the early Christians? Obviously, St. Paul knew of these extraordinary women, yet he still wrote the passages above.

Passages In Indirect Support of Women Ordination

Many who support women’s ordination do see some passages (and some references to individual women) as biblical support for women’s ordination. Consider the following:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

The argument goes that since Christians are one in Christ, all are equal in Christ and therefore ordination is open to women. Remember, the same person who wrote this verse also wrote the verses 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Can we come to such a reading given St. Paul’s other teaching on the subject?

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant (deacon) of the church at Cenchreae. (Romans 16:1)

The Greek word for servant is diakonos. Some translations either use deacon or servant. The meaning of this word by St. Paul is clear. Phoebe was a servant of the Church at Cenchreae.

Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. (Romans 16:7)

Some translate this passage as if Andronicus and Junia were apostles. Some translate this verse as if they were well known or prominent among the apostles, not that they were themselves apostles. The Catholic Church does not count them as apostles.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. (Philippians 4:2-3)

Some read this passage as an indication that these women lead the Church at Philippi. Again, given St. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, this understanding seems a bit off. How did they labor “side by side” with St. Paul? St. Paul offers no explanation or further information.

Women of the Old Testament

Furthermore, to many that support women’s ordination, two women leaders stand out in the Old Testament as exemplars that prefigure women’s leadership and eventual ordination in the Church—the judge Deborah and Queen Esther.

Deborah

Deborah was a judge and prophetess in pre-monarchy Israel. Judges 4:4-6 states:

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.

Eventually, Deborah advises Barak to raise an army of 10,000 men to defeat the Canaanites at the river Kishon. He does so, but only if Deborah accompanies the army. She warns him that his reliance on her will diminish his glory after the victory promised by the God. For the full story of Deborah, click here.

Queen Esther

Esther stands out as the one of only three women in either the Catholic Old and New Testament with whom there exists an entire book about (the other two are Ruth and Judith). The story of Esther shows how God uses Esther as queen of Persia to save the people of Israel from destruction at the hands Xerxes I’s evil vizier, Haman. As queen, Esther used her influence over Xerxes to save her people. The Jewish holiday Purim celebrates this event. Read the full story of Esther starting here.

God’s Prerogative

Moreover, clearly God chose to use two extraordinary women in His plans to save His people. God holds this prerogative. So too does Jesus. Just as God chose women in His salvation of His people in the Old Testament, Jesus also could have chosen women in His plan of salvation in the New Testament. Jesus had the precedent of Deborah, Esther, Ruth, and Judith to work with to make this choice, yet He did not…

Final Thoughts On the Biblical Case for Women’s Ordination

In conclusion, what do these biblical passages teach us about women’s ordination? These passages teach us that there exists no real biblical support for women’s ordination. Not directly or indirectly. St. Paul seems to come off as almost misogynistic in his assessment of woman leadership in the Church. The passages naming individual women also leave much open for debate and multiple interpretations. What is a deacon in the early Church? Is it an ordained office? Were there differences between men and women under that title? What did it mean to work “side by side” with St. Paul? Did it mean as an equal with St. Paul? Clearly, St. Paul’s word in 1 Corinthian 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15 indicate he did not mean what those who support women’s ordination hope it means.

The Jesus Prerogative Revisited

Furthermore, since women like Deborah, Esther, Ruth, and Judith existed in Jesus’ past as heroines of faith, Jesus has a precedent with which to work (especially with the judge Deborah) if He desired to appoint female apostles. These same women apostles would eventually ordain women bishops and priests. These same women bishops would then ordain other women as bishops and priest, and so on…but such did not occur. We therefore must accept that Jesus did not will or desire this and nor should we.

Complete Article HERE!