“Women in the church are more important than bishops and priests”

Pope Francis told reporters on his flight from Rio to Rome that women cannot be ordained as priests, but that they are “more important than bishops and priests.”

What does that mean? Earlier this year, the papal theologian explained the theology behind these statements in an interview with CNS.

14 Responses

  1. People often confuse functionality with equality. Especially non-Catholics or disgruntled ones who accuse the Church of treating women poorly, simply because they cannot be Priests. Outside the Church, our human worthiness isn’t typically based on our career choices or our level of employment within a corporation. Why do some think its any different in the Catholic Church?

  2. My experience while younger and active was of women who sought ordination as power, many if them sisters/nuns who were hostile to priests. in recent years feminists see it as denying human rights and dignity and some of those are also advocates for abortion and same gender unions as “equal rights,” issues.

  3. Amen AP ! And some are hostile to deacons also. And the number of priests supporting them are not few. The influence of these dissident women and priests is significant in our faith communities. It suppresses efforts to tell the truth about the attacks on conscience and religious liberty being made through the HHS mandate, about same sex “marriage” and even abortion. All one needs to do is to visit websites such as Call to Action. A friend ran up against feminist opposition to telling the truth about how we should consider abortion. The priest on the committee who was not present at the meeting responded, “From what you have said Mary’s position does seem at the very least out of step with official church teaching. However, Mary, and really all women, have more of right to question church teaching because it is developed and promulgated by men only.” Dissidence in the priesthood has been exceedingly bold in some quarters. During recent travels a friend attended mass in another parish. During his homily the priest lauded the recent passage of the bill legalizing same sex marriage in MN . This was followed by a standing ovation from much of the congregation. All this is culturally fashionable and a distortion, as is the “mother’s right to choose”.
    A handful of blessed mother Theresa’s could do more to convert this culture than all the Cardinals, Bishops and faithful priests combined. Bl. Mother Theresa’s witness at the National Prayer breakfast on Feb. 3 1994 was powerful not just because she was a living saint, but because she was a woman.

  4. As a young woman I sought the ordination of women because I truly thought that our Lord was calling me to be one of his holy priests. I was not looking for power, nor was I angry. I simply was looking to serve Him as I thought he was calling me.

  5. Joanne, The strongest witnesses for me in terms of the faith and the sanctity of life were the nuns who trained me as a nurse. May I politely ask what your response is regarding what Bl. Mother Theresa had to say at the 1994 prayer breakfast? They also taught me what was likely to happen if Humanae Vitae was rejected. What do you think the result has been? If you had been ordained as a priest what would you be telling the people of your faith area today. What concerns, if any, would you have regarding our religious liberty?

  6. Reblogged this on Votum Locus and commented:
    An often asked question. With the answer given by embedded link.

  7. Jim, at the time of my discernment many thought I had a vocation to be a nun, but I was sure I did not. After several years of prayer I recognized my calling to the vocation of marriage and have since married, raised a family, and am enjoying my grandchildren.

    I have always been and continue to be pro-life particularly because I have a degree in biology with a concentration in embryology. I have no doubt that life begins at conception and should end in natural death.

    I think the rejection of Humanae Vitae has been devastating.
    I have studied the use of contraception and the effect on the souls, minds, and bodies of those who use them and am filled with profound sadness that so many cannot see the truth.
    I strongly believe in a woman (and a man’s) right to choose, that is choose life and chastity or choose sin and death.

    I worry as I watch the erosion of our religious liberties and do what I can to stand up for them in letter writing, voting, and in day to day witness.

    Had I been ordained a priest, had the Lord called me to be ordained, I hope I would have sounded like Pope Francis.

  8. God bless you Joanne! My son and his wife both have degrees in biology- he a doctor of pharmacy practice and she a physician. Our daughter is a doctor of nursing practice. We are called to give witness according to the gifts that God has given us -and God has given you much! Most priests do not have the intimate knowledge that you have! I remember the first day I stepped into the anatomy lab at my school of nursing, opened the cupboard and found fetuses preserved for our education-from just weeks after conception to nearly full term. There laid out before me was a lesson in God’s plan that gave witness to life that no priest, no bishop or cardinal could possibly have delivered. Later in my career I sat and shared the tears of women telling the sad stories of how abortion played a deep part in their descent into depression and chemical dependency. Most importantly Joanne, you have seen and understood. There are those who see and hear but do not understand. You have it in your heart and spirit. What a treasure! There are so many priests who cannot preach the gospel of life because they do not have it in their heart and spirit and one cannot give witness effectively to what one does not have in one’s heart and spirit. We now have 40 percent of all children born out of wedlock- the nexus of a kind of poverty unknown in my youth- yet few make the connection between it and the rejection of Humanae Vitae. You understand Joanne-and because you are a woman and a MOTHER in this age of radical feminism, can give witness more effectively than I can ever hope to give! God bless you! Thank God for you and women like you.

  9. As a Physician I question the above statement regarding foetuses-this may have been a recreation / what Nursing school was this-just does not happen

  10. Oh yes it does! These were genuine and in containers of formaldehyde just as the drawer full of bones were the real thing- not plastic models. The school was the St Cloud School of Nursing- closed for some years now. I graduated at the top of my class. So doctor, I am smart enough to know the difference!

  11. How do we theologians justify that both men and women are created in the image of GOD and with the statement issued by the present Pope to the reporters.What theological justification we could create for the kingdom-values such as love, justice and equality. If Mary is said to be theo-bearer-of God, which is the constitutional element of faith, what bothers Pope to make a such unpleasant/disturbed statement.

  12. Rev. Babu,
    I certainly do not have all the answers but I offer an observation. My wife and I just finished 4 days of evangelizing the Gospel of Life at our local county fair. Joining us were members of several different faiths both men and women. Part of that time I found myself wishing I were a woman. In this culture I believe that only women have the potential of reaching the closed minds of radical feminists. I cannot read the mind of Pope Francis but I believe the issue is not is not a theological one, it is a practical one.

  13. The first person to offer the scerifice of Christ to God, the Mass, was a woman; Mary, at the foot of the Cross.

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