------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Has the Church never
ordained women?

“From the earliest centuries on, until our own time, the constant practice of the Church has been not to ordain women to the priesthood.”

Inter Insigniores § 6-8, 23
The Congregation for Doctrine in Rome

Congregation for Doctrine
in Rome

“Yes, women did perform some ministries in the Early Church, but such ministries of women had no relation to the sacramental priesthood.”

Commentary on Inter Insigniores § 57, 71-77.

Background music?


Apart from some exceptions, women have not been ordained priests. OK!

But this happened because of a threefold prejudice that made the exclusion invalid.

Women were judged to be:
* inferior by nature and by law;
* in a state of punishment for sin;
* ritually unclean!



Study the facts, please!






  In spite of cultural prejudice, the faithful remained aware throughout the centuries that men and women are equal in Christ. They knew, in their heart of hearts, that women could be priests. We call this latent tradition.

Some examples of this latent tradition are:
* the extremely strong devotion to Mary as priest;
* the devotion to Mary Magdalen who was seen as a woman minister.


‘Le sacerdoce de la Vierge’ (close up), early 15th century, school of Amiens, France.
Last not least, for nine centuries the Church has actually admitted women to Holy Orders when she ordained them to be deacons.

The rite of ordination, with the imposition of the right hand and invocation of the Holy Spirit, was the same for women and for men.

Women too received a full sacramental diaconate.


Therefore, tradition cannot be used as a valid reason to exclude women from the priestly ministry.
 
Go to the next step?

You are in a simplified, pictorial mode.
To switch to academic mode, click here!

A full documentation on all the ancient
Women Deacon Texts
is now available in print!

This 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.

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research

Dear visitor, you are welcome to use our material. However: building up and maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but find it difficult to pay our overheads. Please, become a Friend or support us with a donation. Also, as some of you recommended to us, we are exploring how to generate income by advertising. Please, support us in this effort and send us your suggestions.
John Wijngaards

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research

Miriam Duignan


Please, support our campaign
for women priests

Visit our new websites:

Natural Law and Conscience

Synod on the Family 2015

Catholics and Contraception

Join our Women Priests' Mailing List
for occasional newsletters:
Email:
Name:
Surname:
City:
Country:
 
An email will be immediately sent to you
requesting your confirmation.