“There’s no Biblical or historical evidence to back up women leaders in the early Church.”
Quite to the contrary, there are many references to women’s leadership in the Bible and Church history. The Book of Romans talks about Phoebe, a deacon in the early church, and archaeological evidence shows women presiding over Eucharist. The Church is full of women saints, including St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who wrote about her own calling to the priesthood.
“Women may have been leaders in the early church, but that has changed. Only men are ordained in the Roman Catholic Church today.”
In 1970, Bishop Felix Davídek ordained Ludmila Javorová in Czechoslovakia. In 2002, seven women were ordained priests in apostolic succession on the Danube River. Since then, organizations like Roman Catholic Womenpriests and the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests have ordained over 200 priests around the world.
“Pope Francis said women’s ordination is ‘not up for discussion’.”
The Catholic Church has a rich history of theologians, clergy and laypeople engaging enthusiastically in debates about serious issues in the Church (e.g. Councils). Why should gender justice be any different?
“Women can be religious sisters and other lay leaders! Why should they be ordained?”
We love Catholic lay leaders and all the work they do; but right now, ordination is a requirement for decision-making in the institutional Church. We either change the ordination requirement for decision-making, or we open ordination to people of all genders. Actual, let’s do both and stop pitting Catholic women against each other!
“I’m okay with married priests, but not women priests.”
“God is a man!”
The Church teaches that all people, regardless of gender, are created in the image and likeness of God. The Catechism teaches us that God “is neither man nor woman” (CCC 370).
“The Church believes that the priesthood is reserved to men.”
The Church is so much more than the hierarchy, and the majority of Catholics would like to see women have equal standing in ordained ministry: in France (83%), Spain (78%), Argentina (60%), Italy (59%), and Brazil (54%), according to a 2014 Univision poll.
Fact Sheet on Catholic Women’s Ordination: www.womensordination.org/resources/fact-sheet-on-catholic-womens-ordination
“You could be kicked out of the Church!”
Groups like Roman Catholic Women Priests reject the penalty of excommunication. Those who support women’s ordination, those called to ordination, and those who have been ordained are faithful Catholics. Excommunication cannot stand between them and their baptismal identity as such.
The point is to return to the egalitarian tradition of Christianity, where the gifts of all are honored. We want a church where all can contribute and be a part of decision-making, not just a select few. We believe in a new model of ordained ministry in a renewed Roman Catholic Church.
More resources on Catholic women’s ordination: