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Q4. Have women been forbidden for all time to ‘teach in Church’?

The prohibition “I do not allow women to teach in church, etc.” is found in 1 Tim 2,11-15 and 1 Cor 14,34-35. Let us first look at its interpretation in some traditional sources.

The idea that women are not allowed to ‘teach in Church’ greatly influenced the ban on women priests. Theologians and church lawyers argued: “If women are not even allowed to preach, how could they ever be priests?” Read the following texts as examples:

The authorities in Rome still maintain that Paul’s word established a lasting norm.

Then what was the meaning of the scriptural texts? Before we go into the exegesis of the text itself, we need to know more about the role of an author’s ‘intended scope’. Click here!

We can now look at the texts themselves:

The answer is therefore: the prohibition for women to teach in church was a temporary and local prescription. To say that it established a permanent norm is to go well beyond the intention of the inspired authors.

Women do actually preach in churches, as is well known. Read the life stories of Claire Daurelle, college chaplain and pastoral worker in Lyons, France, from 1978 to 1998, and Alice, missionary in Africa, in charge of isolated St. Andrew’s parish.

Women should have no authority over men  .  .  .  ?

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: 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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