Q8. Can a woman represent Christ?
According to the authorities in Rome, a priest acts in the person of Christ. Since Christ was a man, only a male priest can signify Christ at the Eucharist. What to make of this claim? We will first look at the origin of Romes argument (St. Thomas Aquinas) and then its later formulations.
Thomas Aquinas, like other medieval theologians, believed women cannot represent Christ because the female sex cannot signify eminence of degree. This argument is flawed because it rests on ignorance and prejudice.
Since all this reasoning is invalid, women can signify eminence of degree as much as men, and thus can equally well represent Christ.
A female representing a male?
In its latest statements, Rome has changed the focus of the old argument. It stresses that the problem lies with the gender difference itself. Jesus Christ was male, masculine. Only another man can symbolise, signify, represent him, because Christ was a man. The argument does not hold up to scrutiny.
The conclusion is that women can represent Christ as fully, as validly and as meaningfully as men can.
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