Christ's Attitude to Women
If we want to enter Christ's mind with regard to the position of women, we need to clearly distinguish two areas:
- his immediate decisions, such as choosing only men to be members of the apostolic team;
- the underlying principle of equality between men and women as partners of his new-testament priesthood.
The immediate decision of choosing only men as apostles was dictated by the social predominance of men. Jesus left the full emancipation of women to the later Church, just as he left the abolition of slavery, the division of holy orders, the details of the sacraments, and so on, to the later Church.
However, Christ clearly established the principle of fundamental equality in his priesthood that qualifies women to share in the eucharistic ministry:
- Jesus Christ abolished the Old Testament priesthood based on race, family and gender and instituted a universal priesthood of the faithful.
- Jesus showed in his own ministry a personal openness to women.
- Luke sees in Jesus' openness the germs of a future ministry of women.
- Both Luke and John see in Mary a type of the future ministry women.
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. 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.
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