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The Catholic Doctrine

Why Catholic Do Not Ordain Women As Priests

Abraham D.



Even as some women have decided to distinguish themselves by denying themselves some earthly pleasures, giving their entire lives to the service of God and humanity just like some men in the Catholic church, they are still not ordained as priests.

Men are ordained as priests after some rigorous trainings, however women are not crowned as queens after going through rigorous processes of trainings too. This has given concerns to some members of the church and some have called for ordination of women into priesthood. Moreover, among some Christian denominations, there are women ministers; and some are general overseers.

However, the stand of the catholic church regarding the ordination of woman to priesthood; Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis said: “I declare that the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly radiation on woman and that this judgement is to definitely held by all the church’s faithful”.

However, this declaration did not come out of personal sentiment but based on biblical facts that Christ never ordained any woman a priest.

Luke 22:14-19 – “When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God. After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

We could see that only His apostles were at the last supper when he ordained them to offer the Eucharist in his memory, even though Marry Magdalene, Joana the wife of Cuza, the administrator of Herod’s household, Susan and many other women followed and offered their support to Jesus Christ and His apostles (Luke 8:2-3).

Again he breathed only on his apostles granting them the Holy Spirit and the power to forgive sins, then sent them out to preach the gospel (John 20:21-22). At the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles giving them power to preach the gospel to all nation (Acts 2:1-4); no woman was with them. St Paul ordained males that included Timothy and Titus but there was no mention of any woman ordained by apostles or fathers of the church.

Christ instituted the sacrament of Holy Order for baptized males to continue his ministry on earth, “not women”. The sacrament of Holy Order is the continuation of Christ’s priesthood and only the baptized males receive the sacrament of holy orders through ordination.

Ordination comes from the Latin words ‘ordinatio’, which means to incorporate someone into an order. Nuns or Sisters are not ordained but professed. Therefore we can talk about the profession of a sister and not ordination because it is not a sacrament of the Holy Orders, but consecrated life.