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The Blue & Gray Press | October 16, 2018

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Letter to the Editor: Debunking myths about women in the Church

To the Editor:

During his papacy, John Paul II was asked why women were not allowed to be priests. He responded, “On whose authority?” This maxim sums up the role of the pope and the Church throughout its 2,000 year ministry quite nicely.

From the laity to the Pope, every believing Christian is called to obedience to the will of God. No pope has ever changed the Church on a whim because it is not his Church to change. It is God’s. All the pope can do is uphold the tradition handed to him by God.

So how did God establish his priesthood? He chose twelve people as the first priests. None of them were women. A common misconception is that women are second-class citizens in the Church because they cannot be priests, but this is not true.

St. Catherine of Siena was advisor for two popes in the 1300s and was influential as a peacemaker in the Great Schism.

Mary, mother of Jesus, is the Theotokos (God bearer), Co-redemptrix, Mother of the Church, Queen of Heaven and pinnacle of creation. She is higher than the angels, and popes have had a great devotion to her throughout the centuries, and she is a woman.

Temporal power, which is the goal of the women’s rights movement, does not come from being a priest. If anything, a priest loses power because he must first give up all earthly ambitions to give his life in service to God. In Luke 11:28, our Lord said, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

Priest or laity, man or woman, it doesn’t matter. The Church has been in the world, but not of the world. It is sometimes criticized for being too conservative, sometimes persecuted for being too liberal, but never changing with the seasons.


Teresa Fenn is a sophomore.



  1. eb

    Excusing misogynistic policies as ‘obedience to god’ especially systematic discrimination as the catholic church currently perpetuates is dangerous. when men founded the church women were second class citizens and like much catholic doctrine, these antiquated ideals continue to hold on for dear life in the face of societal advancement. Many statues of Mary depict her enveiled, similar to the unjust forced costume of many muslim women. Any church that hides inequality behind the a screen of traditionalism or worse, faith in otherworldly reward, represents an institution whose teachings are worth openly questioning.

  2. gail

    It is true that the first 12 disciples were men, which was an accommodation to the culture of that. But as Jesus’ ministry continued, women were added to the group to the extent that there were almost as numerous as the men. For examples, consider the women mentioned Luke 8:1-3,as well as Mary and Martha of Bethany. Women traveled with Jesus and the 12 – it wasn’t just 13 guys moving throughout Galilee! In Romans 1 and 16 we see that the tradition of women sharing leadership continued in the Early Church. Women were not shut out of leadership until Christianity became institutionalized and the house church model was abandoned. I think you would enjoy deeper study on this topic as there is NO place in the bible in which God or Jesus says women cannot be priests!

  3. ron brady

    No women on the face of this earth needs the approval of men to extol the virtues of God. Go for it whereever and whenever the spirit so leads.
    Always living Christ in my life.