The Arguments from Tradition
Rome on Tradition
|From the earliest centuries until our time the constant practice of the Church has been not to ordain women to the priesthood.
The existence of prejudice does not invalidate the fact that the practice constituted Church Tradition.
The early ministries of women had no relation to the sacramental priesthood.
|1. The practice of not ordaining women in the Church was neither scriptural nor informed because of a threefold prejudiceamong Church leaders who considered women :
2. For many centuries the Church has actually admitted women to Holy Orders when she ordained them to the sacramental diaconate.
3. A ‘latent’ and ‘dynamic’ Tradition implying the possibility of women’s ordination has shown itself:
|The Fathers of the Church rejected women priests whenever the question arose.||4. The Fathers of the Church rarely spoke about the ordination of women. Those who did were influenced by their own prejudices about women. The same applies to early ‘Church Orders’.|
|In medieval church law and theology women were excluded from validly receiving ordination.||5. Church Law has incorporated the social and religious prejudices against women, from its earliest codification until now.
6. The medieval theologians excluded women from the priesthood on obviously invalid social and philosophical grounds.
|The doctrine was so firmly settled in later centuries that the Church did not need to publicly defend it.||7. Post-scholastic theologianssimply repeated the age-old prejudices without critical examination.|
|Conclusion:The true, latent and dynamic, Tradition of the Church supports the ordination of women.|
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