I truly thought it was hilarious that NCR would dare play the sensus fidelium card while simultaneously being unfaithful to this and many other teachings of the Catholic Church. It’s historically clear that the sensus fidelium among the actual faithful has always weighed in unanimously on the side of the teaching of the Church on this issue. The NCR invoking the sensus fidelium is sorta like a herbivore eating a carnivore.
The Three Reasons Why Women Will Never Be Ordained as Catholic Priests is an article that I wrote back in April 26 of 2011 when [Fr.] Roy Bourgeois first received a canonical warning from the leadership of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers because of his support for women’s ordination to the priesthood. Now that he has been removed from the priesthood by the Vatican, and the dissenting Catholics are crying foul over it, I thought I would dust the cobwebs off this one and send it back out as a reminder concerning some very beautiful reasons why the Church cannot change what it isn’t authorized to.
1. It Inveighs Against Fulfilled Theology for the Sacrament of Holy Orders
- Catechism of the Catholic Church Paragraph 1577:
“Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination” (CIC, can. 1024). The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry (Cf. Mk 3:14-19; Lk 6:12-16; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 2 Tim 1:6; Titus 1:5-9; St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 42,4; 44,3:PG 1,292-293; 300). The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible (Cf. John Paul II, MD 26-27; CDF, declaration, Inter insigniores: AAS 69 (1977) 98-116).
Theologically, the first fundamental reason why the Catholic Church cannot change the gender eligibility of this sacrament is because it is the revealed law of God. Jesus Christ said Himself, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place” (Matthew 5:17-18). Therefore, everything that we find in the Mosaic law of the Old Covenant we must also find in the New Covenant in its fulfilled manner.
Concerning the Sacrament of Holy Orders, in the Old Covenant, only men who were apart of the Aaronic bloodline were eligible and expected to become priests and possibly high priests as well. In fulfilled New Covenant, it is no longer the blood of Aaron through which the priesthood perseveres, but, rather, it’s through the blood of Christ that some men are called, ordained, and sustained. The eligible gender of the priesthood never changed from covenant to covenant – it is still only open to men, and this is why Jesus only ordained men as His apostles.
This is not to say that there is not a role for women or any of the non-ordained-baptized priesthood in the Church. It is only to say that Jesus is not a liar. Women as ordained priests would be a Covenant breaker. God has clearly established the means and mode of our Salvation and it has never included women serving as priests, and there is nothing wrong with that inasmuch as there is nothing wrong with the will of God. Therefore, for the wolves to attempt to alter God’s modes and means of our Salvation is always demonic in practice and expression. It essentially says that God wrong – we know better than Him. Indeed, those are the first words of Satan.
2. It Inveighs Against the Unitive Dimension of of the Sacrament of Holy Orders
Naturally, the second fundamental reason why the Catholic Church cannot change the gender eligibility of this sacrament builds upon the first. It is through the male priesthood that the God who became man continues to offer himself through the men who have been called to share in his priesthood. While women have been called to participate in the life of God in many unique ways, the baptized-ordained priesthood is not one of them. In this way, radical feminism completely misses the mark. Their ideology is far more concerned about turning women into men, than it is about inspiring women become wholly who they were created to be. Woman was not created to be an ordained priest, and there is nothing wrong or incomplete about that. God made two genders – opposite in many ways to each other – so that we might complete one another, not so that we can be complete in ourselves. The male baptized-ordained priesthood and the baptized-non-ordained priesthood need each other to be whole/catholic.
By this we know that similar to the Sacrament of Marriage, which unites sames in species and opposites according to gender, the Sacrament of Holy Orders unites opposites in species and sames according to gender. It is true that the grace of God allows for there to be a unitive, procreative, and divine aspect of each sacrament, but it is the species to which they are united that truly distinguishes them. That is to say, that whereas the newly married couple, through grace, become one and begin a journey through which they will become more one/more whole with each other and with Christ, the new male priest, through grace, becomes one with THE Priest, Christ Jesus, and begins a journey through he will become more one/more whole with Christ. Whereas the married couple, through grace, procreates new life and begin a life of rearing children, the male priest, who is sharing/partaking in the priesthood of Christ, is given the sheep/children of God to feed, tend, and pasture. In marriage the man and woman will learn to serve each other and that service will prepare and equip them to serve God for eternity; likewise the male priest service to the sheep is also preparing him for eternal service. It was not given to woman to be united to Christ through the Sacrament of Holy Orders; no more than Eve was ever assigned a greater union on earth than to be Adam’s helpmate; no more than Saint Mary was ever assigned a greater service than to share the Son of God with the world.
3. It’s Not Going to Happen Because it Hasn’t Happened
Moreover, concerning both of these reasons, we know for certain that no woman has ever been called to become an ordained Catholic priest because there has never been one. The Catholic Church belongs to God and no man can stop the will of God from being done. If a woman had ever been called to the priesthood in the Catholic Church that woman certainly would have been made a priest. That is how sovereign and powerful the good will of God is. Yes, God desires us to cooperate with him, and he will not infringe upon the gift of free-will that he has given us, but neither will He allow lies to persist in his Catholic Church.
I am thoroughly convinced that if the Catholic Church was in error about this, then God would have clearly revealed it to us the quite early on. He has a strong track record of doing that very thing for us, but in this case He did not. On the contrary, what God has done for us is to continue to bless, protect, purify, and increase the male-only priesthood in the church. God has never stopped calling men to the ordained-priesthood and He has never let this Church be without priests. In contrast, there has been no fruit in the unholy dissent of the radical feminists who vainly pray for something that God will never grant, and because they fight against the will of God they open themselves up to all types of other evils and persecutions of the church.
At some point or another we all wrestle with God. It’s just part of our Israelite nature to do so, and for a season it is necessary to wrestle with God just so that we can figure out that He always wins in the end. Yet, mature faith in the Triune God is about realizing that Cooperating with God is our far better portion in this life. And to have the spirit of cooperation is matter of prayer, humility, and trust.
I pray, as we all should pray, that those who obviously don’t trust God to manage the affairs of His own Church learn to trust God. He has made it clear that there will never be female priestess in His Church; therefore, love demands that you stop spending you time running into a steel wall and prayerfully discover what God has called you to do.
I am not saying that your desire to be a priest is wrong – St. Faustina had it – I have it. Desire can be a holy thing if it is ordered to a holy end. Therefore, if you do have a desire to be a priestess then I pray that you allow that desire to burn within you and offer it up as a sacrifice to the God who hears your desire, and He will either bless it and extinguish it. Trust God with your desire, rather than trusting yourself!
- Declaration Inter Insigniores: On the Question of Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood
“The Church, in fidelity to the example of the Lord, does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination.”