The Church doesn’t ordain women, because she can’t not because she won’t.

The Church does not entertain the possibility of ordaining women to ministerial work. The Church has always relied on the “ministry” of women over the ages, however, none of them has been among the ordained hierarchy and this isn’t about to be changed. This isn’t because the Church does not want to be a little more modern or open, but the Church has no authority to change this.

Christ ordained only men:

“When the question of the ordination of women arose in the Anglican Communion, Pope Paul VI, out of fidelity to his office of safeguarding the Apostolic Tradition, and also with a view to removing a new obstacle placed in the way of Christian unity, reminded Anglicans of the position of the Catholic Church:

“She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church.”  – Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 1

In fact the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God’s eternal plan; Christ chose those whom he willed (cf. Mk 3:13-14; Jn 6:70), and he did so in union with the Father, “through the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:2), after having spent the night in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12). Therefore, in granting admission to the ministerial priesthood, the Church has always acknowledged as a perennial norm her Lord’s way of acting in choosing the twelve men whom he made the foundation of his Church (cf. Rv 21:14). These men did not in fact receive only a function which could thereafter be exercised by any member of the Church; rather they were specifically and intimately associated in the mission of the Incarnate Word himself (cf. Mt 10:1, 7-8; 28:16-20; Mk 3:13-16; 16:14-15). The Apostles did the same when they chose fellow workers who would succeed them in their ministry. Also included in this choice were those who, throughout the time of the Church, would carry on the Apostles’ mission of representing Christ the Lord and Redeemer. John Paul II – Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 2

So, the Church cannot change it:

“Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful” (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 4).

In the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, I myself wrote in this regard: “In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time.” – Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 2

The very life of Christ was one of contradiction, of going off-track, of surprising everyone including his closest disciples. NO ONE could anticipate any moves he made, not even his own Mother when he stayed back at the Temple at an early age. Jesus is God and Man, he is above the constraints of culture and of man-made laws. He himself showed the beauty of obedience, but also shared the meaning of freedom in following laws.

Christ was too much of a scandal to the law-bound jewish leaders of his time; he scandalized them so much they killed him. This was because almost everything they believed, Christ chose a different path.

So, the Church honors his choice of excluding women from sharing in his ministerial priesthood. And this should not be a surprise to anyone. If an all-powerful God, who comes in the flesh, who has absolutely no problem shaking the customs of the times but spoke out even when everyone, including his Apostles thought he was being ridiculous. If he did not ordain women, it means he never planned for it to happen and this is why the Church feels like she has no power to change the very plan of God. He wasn’t constrained, he freely chose, today, the Church is upholding that choice.

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

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