Friday, June 4, 2010

That Religious Guy: Of Priests and Nuns

..... Well, a certain splinter group of our neighbors to the north have just recently "ordained" a women "priest." Now, it's not the Canadians I'm speaking of, after all, les Quebecois are too conservative for that. The organization Womenpriests, which seeks to persuade the Roman Catholic Church to extend priestly ordination to women, has given its blessing to Diane Whalen, 58, of Olympia, Washington.

..... It's not surprising that I'd find this "ordination" offensive and strange. Some might say that the Church is too traditional, too Medieval for the modern world. These people will say that the Church's policy on male-only ordination is sexist and demeaning to women. Well, I find Womenpriests worldwide ordinations to be sexist and demeaning to women and men!

..... As a Roman Catholic discerning a vocation to the priesthood, I'm insulted that many of the women ordained by Womenpriests are married or have been married. Whalen says that she felt the call to the priesthood in high school but also realized that "she also wanted to have boyfriends and to marry." One cannot just pick and choose features of vocations and blend them into something else. Each vocation has its virtues. Married life has the benefit of loving families and consecrated life (That is the life of priests and nuns) provides an opportunity to serve God's people. The Church isn't some sort of Baskin Robbins where people can say "Hey, I want a scoop of married life... and a side of priesthood too." The new "women priests" should maybe take a page from their many male contemporaries, who never married and stayed loyal to the discipline of chastity.

..... The whole mission of Womenpriests also ends up demeaning women. Their advocates say that becoming nuns or sisters isn't enough for women. Apparently we need women to be in leadership. Of course I agree with this. You know why? It's because the Church has had women in leadership positions for centuries: they're called the female religious. Womenpriests is underestimating the contributions and influences of the nuns and sisters in the life of the Church. Women hold high positions in Catholic education, social services, and other venues. Women, both lay and religious, have become saints. As says: "The history of the Church is full of many women Catholic saints, who received recognition for great deeds or meritorious conduct. Many lost their lives in defense of the faith, while others were themselves the mothers of important saints. Many were also honored for their contributions to the Church and their community." Let's not forget the historical trend of women maintaining the faith in their families. Mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers have all contributed to the family's religious life by preserving traditions and encouraging Mass attendance.

..... The Church owes its longevity to all its members, both male and female. Each has his or her role and purpose. Womenpriests is too busy trying to look for imperfections in the Church that it ends up shortchanging the female gender.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz


  1. even though I do not study Christianity I agree with your point about women priests. but I have a question why are priest not suppose to get married?

  2. You have an interesting point about celibacy - if it were a free choice.

    Your argument is undermined by the fact that celibacy was not a universal requirement for priesthood until Trent. In fact, the church taxed priests for having wives or mistresses (they were taxed more for wives!).

    And research has shown that at any given time only 50% of priests are celibate (R. Sipe).

    Interesting that of those religious women: most support the ordination of women, which is why the Vatican is investigating them.


  3. The vow of celibacy is a discipline. In the Bible, St. Paul says that celibacy allows men and women to grow closer to God since they can live without distractions. Married people must put each other first, and then God. The celibate can put God first and do his will.

  4. Celibacy however also protects the Church from corruption since before this discipline was enacted, wayward priests thought they could give church property (and even apostolic authority!) to their heirs.

    And bravo to those 50% of priests who remain faithful to what the Church teaches. If only more could follow their example. Just because a only a portion of the clergy remains celibate doesn't make celibacy less important or legitimate. By that logic, one can say that since only a few people do the right thing, doing the right thing must not be appropriate for today's world.

    I highly doubt the Vatican will ever authorize female priests.