A man in our parish who is pushing for women’s ordination says that, because Jesus and the apostles were Jews, they did not ordain women since, because of the taboos about blood and menstruation, they would not have been able to preach in the ritually pure Temple and would have offended the Jews. He says that since such taboos do not hold today, we should ordain women.
Inform your friend that, if Jesus and the apostles were afraid of a blood taboo, they had a funny way of showing it: refusing to ordain women to celebrate the sacrament of drinking Christ’s blood. In fact, the Church’s reason for not ordaining women has nothing to do with some supposed impurity of women. Rather, women are not ordained because Christ and the apostles deliberately chose not to do so. The question is not and never has been “Are men purer than women?” In worth, man and woman are absolutely equal in the eyes of God. Rather, the question is: “What sort of symbol is a woman and what sort of symbol is a priest?” As symbols man and woman have different meanings. Women are not the appropriate image of Christ, the husband of the Church, just as men are inadequate symbols of Mary, the God-bearer.