09 February 2011

Will Women Priests Change the Church?

A New Documentary, "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican," starts the conversation...

Catholic women priests are an oxymoron for the Vatican. It considers them automatically excommunicated before the holy oil is dry on their hands. Other Catholics accept them as sacramental ministers and are delighted with the innovation. Still, others, myself included, want far deeper structural changes in the Catholic Church such that priesthood loses its baked-on charm and ministry becomes the expected task of adult members. This is an important theological conversation that the Vatican wishes would go away. Memo to them: it is just starting.

Read the full article by Mary E. Hunt on the online magazine Religion Dispatches.


  1. I posted a link to the RD article on my FB page yesterday and I was honored to have Mary Hunt comment.

    We did have quite a discussion on the topic. As I read the piece in the morning, I thought of a Presbyterian minister that I know via blogging; she was raised a Catholic. As it happened, I was in the city where she lives yesterday and got to meet up with her. We had such a lively conversation about this matter.

    For now I remain a faithful Roman Catholic although I struggle with various issues, some obvious, some not. Faith is about engagement and it is also about listening with the ear of your heart. I hope that my discerning will help me to hear and see... and act.

    I often say that I am not called to the priesthood and I always feel the pain of not being able to currently live out my diaconal call. That said, when I read this article on Wednesday, I had to wonder if what I did *not* feel called to was the priesthood as it exists today. I do always find myself resistant to the idea that so many put forth to simply just ordain women. Of course, women should be ordained, but do we want just a rubber stamp of what already exists?

    Oh Sophia, hear our prayer, answer us.

  2. Women Priests, Changing the Church, etc. are not the bottom line in my opinion. Given the scientific and philosophical scholarship that has transpired and is ongoing i.e. biblical-historical, epistemological, evolutionary theory, and many other areas, I believe that we are evolving from an Axial Age religion i.e. Catholic Christianity to a post-Axial Age faith phenomenon. If there is better reason to believe that there never was an incarnation or [bodily] resurrection of Jesus rather than reason to believe that there was, -- then also, the doctrinal tradition such as the Mass, Liturgy, Eucharistic celebration is gone. The priesthood is gone including women priests. I believe the Church is evolving rather than changing in the ordinary sense of the term. It takes multidisciplinary study to come to this conclusion. The faith and morals issue will be redefined and continue to be our guide and enlightenment.

    I sent the above post (revision in brackets) to Religion Dispatches 2-8-11 but it was rejected. So I am sending it directly to you. For biblical-historical scholarship for example, the Westar Institute is a good group to be in touch with in order to maintain the credibility of your group. I am concerned about the proliferation of ‘religious talk’ on the Internet but how much of it is plausible? Truth is necessary. False, hypocritical, disingenuous pious words do no one any good and eventually come to a bad end. I doubt you are intentionally being disingenuous but I am concerned if you are sufficiently in touch with some important sources of knowledge. Thank you. Marie.