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Q1. Is the ordination of women an equal rights issue?

Rome says that human rights, such as equal rights for women, do not apply in the context of the ministries. Read the official text here.

However, the following observations need to be made:

  • Baptism. Both men and women share equally in the general priesthood of Christ through baptism. Click here!
    Though no individual person has a right to be ordained, excluding a whole class of baptised persons from the priestly ministry constitutes real discrimination, especially since there are no valid arguments from Scripture and Tradition. Click here!
  • Church Law. There is no doubt about it that the law of the Church was prejudiced against women from its very beginning. Click here! A woman’s vocation to the priesthood has as much the right to be protected and fostered as that of a man. Click here!
  • Human Rights. The principles on human rights laid down by the Second Vatican Council apply also to the Church. Click here!
    The Church has a poor record with regard to human rights for its own members, and especially women. Read ‘The Status of Women in the Code of Canon Law and in the United Nations Convention’, by Marie-Thérèse Van Lunen Chenu and Louise Wentholt; “Human rights in the Church: a non-right for women in the Church?”, by Marie-Thérèse Van Lunen Chenu.

The answer is therefore: the ordination of women is an equal rights issue in the sense that every baptised person in the Church has the right to receive the spiritual care and encouragement he or she needs. A woman’s vocation is as valuable as that of a man’s and the Church does not have the right to block it simply on the basis of sex.

Who talks of equal rights  .  .  .  ?

Note. One of our visitors has pointed out to me that the above cartoon, while making a point and being good for a laugh, may overlook the fact that some primate societies are led by females. See:

If you have questions at any stage, please, let me know. Click on the envelope and send me an email!Drop me a line!

Documents on our website to consult:
Kim Power, ‘Re-imagining Mary at Christmas’, Re-imagining Newsletter (Minneapolis) 16 (1998) November.Go to the next step?

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

You are welcome to use our material. However: maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but we find it difficult to pay our overheads.


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