Monday, January 10, 2011

Why can't women be priests? (2)

I was doing some more thinking about this subject, and thought it'd be intesting to put it into a 'platonic dialogue'- so called because Plato used this technique to make his points. It allows you to better express the two opinions.

Rob Why can't women be priests? Isn't that sexist?

Ben The Catholic Church does not have the authority to ordain women. Jesus only ordained men, not women, as apostles. He has never told us to do otherwise.

Rob Jesus only ordained men because in his day only men were credible as leaders and speakers- no one would have listened to a woman.

Ben So, then, if I could argue that men are more credible today than women, would that make it OK to only ordain men? Because it does seem when you consider who the best paid actors are, or musicians, or the most powerful politicians, notably in N America, that despite the fact that these things should dirrectly reflect peoples choice, men come out on top.

Rob That's because our culture remains sexist. As Christians we need to take a stand against sexism, and change our culture.

Ben Would you say that sexism is a 'social sin', and that participating in it or reinforcing that culture is a 'personal sin'?

Rob Uh, yeah, I think so....

Ben Well, by your argument, Jesus only ordained Men to go along with the sinful culture of his day. That means he participated in sin. Is taht what you are saying?

Rob No, of course not.

Ben Then it follows that Jesus must have had some other reason to ordain only men.

Rob Then why did he?

Ben I don't know. Maybe because men and women are inherently different. Maybe because men better represent Christ, who was a man. Maybe the roles actually compliment the genders, but illustrating their differences.

Rob It still seems like a sexist policy to me.

Ben Maybe so, but Jesus himself started it, and has not given us the authority to change it. We may not fully know or understand his reasons, but he is God, and the Church does cannot change what God instituted.


  1. The Catholic Church's policy on female ordination reflects century old misogynistic attitudes. Remember, the hierarchy has come out and said that female ordination is as grave a sin as pedophilia (the rape and torture of children). To me, this reflects a morally bankrupt institution.

    Peter’s answer here commits the logical fallacy of argument from authority -- that something is true because an authoritative book such as the bible or person such as the pope said so.

    There are many reasons the church doesn't allow women priests -- politics, money, power, sexism and tradition are only a few of them. None of them are good reasons of course. It shocks me that any woman would want to be part of such a misogynistic institution.

  2. If you don't accept that what authority (especially God, since if you read with an open mind Peter's answers he explains that if God wanted women to be priests he would've told us) says is true, then what prevents us from diving head first into a cement pad of anarchy? If you don't trust even God's authority, who do you trust?