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Theological Arguments

The Theological Arguments

RomeRome's Theological Arguments

Throughout, I use the term Rome to indicate both the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Holy Father.

Freedom of InquiryCounter Theological Arguments

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    Read about the theological history of the expression ‘acting in the person of Christ’;
and about the ancient biology that made the Fathers and medieval theologians think women cannot act in the person of Christ.
The priest acts "in the person of Christ". Since Christ was a man, only a male priest can signify Christ at the Eucharist.

Rome's texts in full!
The quality signified by the priest is not Christ's maleness, but his role as mediator. This can and should be signified also by women priests.
1. because women are equal in Christ;
2. women too bear Christ’s image;
3. women already act as ‘another Christ’ as ministers of baptism and marriage;
4. women reflect better Christ’s feminine traits
5. women too can represent Christ’s love which is the essence of his priesthood.
See also the defective theology of Thomas Aquinas in this matter.
In the symbolism of salvation Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is his Bride. A man should therefore represent Christ in the priestly ministry.
Rome's texts in full!
The priest’s acting in the name of the Church is of less importance. Rome's texts in full!
The image of a nuptial mystery does not apply to the priestly ministry. Where allusions are made to it in the liturgy, the symbolism is ambivalent, since all Christians represent both the Groom and the Bride.

Moreover, at the Eucharist the priest acts not only "in the person of Christ", but also "in the person of the Church".

Read also: The Creation of Womanhood: A Hierarchical Construction by René van Eyden and
“Not Man enough to represent the Groom?!” by John Wijngaards.
Human rights, such as equal rights for women, do not apply in the context of the ministries.
Rome's texts in full!

Women who believe to have a priestly vocation are not guided by the Spirit. For only the Church controls who is called and who is not.

Rome's texts in full!
Though no individual has a right to be ordained, excluding a whole class of baptised persons from the priestly ministry constitutes a question of real discrimination, especially since there are no valid arguments from Scripture and Tradition.

5. The fact that other Christian Churches ordain women, as well as the fact that some Catholic women feel called to the priestly ministry are clear signs of the Holy Spirit which the Church may not ignore.
Read also:
* ‘Equal but different?’ by Ida Raming;
‘On not Looking like Christ ...’ by Marcella M Althaus-Reid.
    Conclusion: There are no valid theological arguments barring women from ordination.

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.

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