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Source: (consider it) Thread: A decision to cross the Tiber
Triple Tiara

Ship's Papabile
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The idea of the development of doctrine is no news. Almost everything developed and evolved to some extent. If you wanted to be really radical you should have referred to the Canon of the New Testament, which was not formally declared as the 27 Books as we now accept them until the Council of Trent. Yes, you read that right.

Doctrine is still developing and unfolding, and so is moral teaching. John Paul II's stance on life and the "seamless robe" idea has led to a fairly robust Catholic stance against the death penalty in recent years, for example. It was not thus before.

It is not a Catholic claim that everything came down to us as is directly from Jesus. A few posts above I point out that you won't find anything from Jesus about the priesthood as such.

However ......

there are indeed some things which have come down and which we do not dare to alter. Allowing for the remarriage of divorcees - immensely painful and pastorally problematic - is a big example. The unaltered fact of a male apostolic ministry is another.

Now, if it were up to me today, I totally would say yes to the ordination of women. I would also say yes to the remarriage of (some) divorcees. But it's not up to me, or anyone else for that matter, Pope included, because the weight of "that which we have received" bears to heavily.

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TubaMirum
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Well, TT: IMO, the Church should stop looking for any other justification, and just argue straight out that it's "tradition" and nothing else that's at play. I don't think anybody could argue with that - as they are not arguing the issue with the Orthodox, for instance. (That I know of, that is; maybe there is some movement in that direction I haven't heard of.)

But the whole "not proper matter" line of argument is kind of tired at this point. And it's bizarre to boot - and probably heretical.

So just stop it now, RCC.

(I've just begun to think there may be some sort of major division in the Church in the future over this issue; one part will keep to "tradition" and one part will change. I don't see the status quo holding much longer, anyway....)

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Porridge
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quote:
Originally posted by anne:
. . . But I'm afraid that that doesn't mean that there is never sexism underlying anti OoW attitudes. Many people manage to easily combine good old-fashioned misogyny with their theological, ecclesial and other objections to the ordination of women and I'm afraid that some people don't have any objections other than misogyny.

In the light of that, comments such as

quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
This is not a man/woman issue.

and

quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
We have true scaramental assurance, and received doctrine, free of the reinventions of the Protestant reformers. Compared with such an Aladdins Cave of treasures, things like womens ordination pale into insignificance.

may sometimes be heard as:

This is not a man/woman issue for me

and

We have true scaramental assurance, and received doctrine, free of the reinventions of the Protestant reformers. Compared with such an Aladdins Cave of treasures, things like womens ordination pale into insignificance for me

And I'm afraid that for me, at least, this is a 'man/woman' issue and it won't be fading into insignificance anytime soon.

anne

This is approximately the argument I tried to make lo these many posts back (though anne makes it better than I did).

But IMO, the tack is worse than "it's not a man/woman issue for me", etc.

Because what it comes down to, regardless of the purest of motives held by the (masculine) utterer, is that the OoW becomes, with this statement, is "it's not a man/woman issue for you" (the female recipient of the utterance).

ISTM that telling a woman she's disqualified from certain roles on the basis of her sex, and then claiming that's not a "man/woman" issue is simply not a tenable position to take. In fact, it's preposterous as well as untenable. If it's her "womanness" that disqualifies her, how can it be anything BUT a "man/woman" issue?

I don't claim that you, PaulTH, are mysogynistic; I don't know you. But as I noted earlier, those who align themselves with what can legitimately be seen as a mysogynistic stance are going to be seen, rightly or wrongly, by many people as sharing that value.

It's an awfully difficult balancing act. While (as an ex-Christian) I hold no brief for those on either bank of the Tiber, and trust that you have followed where your conscience has led, I can only continue to wonder what your self-reported non-mysogynistic conscience has to say on this issue.

The fact is that the majority of people reared in a particular faith tradition seem to remain in it. It's no good pointing to half-a-billion women (or whatever the numbers) claiming the RCC as spiritual home as proof of non-mysogyny. How many of them are actually observant? How many are actually satisfied with the status quo? How many are actively working for change? How many are mysogynists themselves?

Lots of people claim to be Democrats, too, but that doesn't mean they won't vote for their good buddy Joe for City Council when he runs as a Republican.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Invictus_88:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Forthview:
I think that there is more to the difference between men and women as well as the obvious 'dangly bits'.Both men and women have 'dangly bits' anyway.

Well then. Someone ought to be able to identify the differences that are relevant to excluding women from the priesthood. Whether there are differences is not the question. The question is whether any of the differences mean something when it comes to fulfilling that function.
If there is indeed a question, Christ has answered it for us.

Women cannot be ordained to the Priesthood.

Nice way to COMPLETELY miss my point, which is that some explanations of the reasons is required so that it's possible for a person like me, who doesn't just assume these things, can work out whether this was a rule for all eternity or for a particular period of time.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Which being interpreted is simply 'we've always done it that way.'

As the Orthodox Mousethief once interjected when someone used that as some sort of put-down: "What's wrong with that?"
It's the difference between blind following of a procedure without having a clue why it was thought up in the first place, and following a procedure because you understand the reasoning behind it.

I'm all for following rules, but that's because I consider the rationale for them. I understand what the rule achieves. It also puts me in a position to point out when a rule is no longer working and then propose a better alternative.

Lest anyone think that rules should never change, I point you to your Bible. It has an Old Testament and a New Testament. There's a reason it's divided into two distinct sections like that.

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Doublethink.
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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
The idea of the development of doctrine is no news. Almost everything developed and evolved to some extent. If you wanted to be really radical you should have referred to the Canon of the New Testament, which was not formally declared as the 27 Books as we now accept them until the Council of Trent. Yes, you read that right.

Doctrine is still developing and unfolding, and so is moral teaching. John Paul II's stance on life and the "seamless robe" idea has led to a fairly robust Catholic stance against the death penalty in recent years, for example. It was not thus before.

It is not a Catholic claim that everything came down to us as is directly from Jesus. A few posts above I point out that you won't find anything from Jesus about the priesthood as such.

However ......

there are indeed some things which have come down and which we do not dare to alter. Allowing for the remarriage of divorcees - immensely painful and pastorally problematic - is a big example. The unaltered fact of a male apostolic ministry is another.

Now, if it were up to me today, I totally would say yes to the ordination of women. I would also say yes to the remarriage of (some) divorcees. But it's not up to me, or anyone else for that matter, Pope included, because the weight of "that which we have received" bears to heavily.

So what is it that leads to the MC Hammer approach to OOW, when the number of books in the NT and sacrament of marriage were altered. You are telling me there is less weight of tradition behind the contents of the bible ? How do you determine that ?

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Triple Tiara

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The point is that once something is settled, it is not up for discussion anymore Think. So the NT Canon, for example, is a settled matter - no-one is proposing a change to the Canon now, though once upon a time the arguments raged: should the Book of the Apocalypse be included, for example. Luther wanted the Epistle of James excluded. The usage of Books varied for a long time, but eventually that ceased because the Canon was closed. There has been no such variation in the case of ordaining men only - which is why some people search for evidence that there were in fact instances of ordaining women. They never come up with anything substantial. The arguments I have seen usually invoke mosaics and the like which are said to portray women presbyters - like the famous Theodora Episcopa in the Church of Sta Prassede in Rome.

quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
Well, TT: IMO, the Church should stop looking for any other justification, and just argue straight out that it's "tradition" and nothing else that's at play.


I would agree. I tend to wince st some stuff that is said, including by eminent commentators.

[ 11. July 2011, 12:25: Message edited by: Triple Tiara ]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Custom without truth is the antiquity of error.

- Cyprian

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Triple Tiara

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Custom. Hmmmm. Custom is not the same as Tradition.

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The Great Gumby

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I have Holy Tradition
You have customs
He has Protestant "innovations"

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
Custom. Hmmmm. Custom is not the same as Tradition.

I honestly do not see how you can possibly sustain this point, especially when dealing with a quote that was written close to 2 millennia ago in a different language which has been translated a variety of different ways. But even in modern English the words are readily interchangeable. Whether you use the word 'custom' or 'tradition', the point is exactly the same - the fact that a practice has been handed down for a long period of time does not, in and of itself, mean that the practice is correct.

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Doublethink.
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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
The point is that once something is settled, it is not up for discussion anymore Think.

Surely you can only know that a thousand years hence, celibacy/marriage for priests has been settled and then unsettled. I imagine people thought marital status was settled until someone came up with a liturgy.

There is an argument going on now about the role of women. Ordinations may have been performed only very rarely - but you could easily make an argument from the existence of female saints that God has repeatedly shown the possibility of the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the lives of women *and thereby* pointed the way to a priesthood.

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leo
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I'd like to agree with you but being a saint is not a prerequisite for priesthood. Quite the reverse, in most cases.

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Lyda*Rose

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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Yeah, keeping half of humanity in a theological and administrative ghetto. No prob.

Suspend your disbelief for just one second, Lyda*Rose: supposing it were not God's will for the Church that the ordained ministry be open to women, would the Church's adherence to His will be unjust? Because that, generally, is what the Catholics I know and whose authority I serve under do believe.
Then for your God, women are mere appendages swiped from the side of Adam to be helpmeets to the male sex. And if Christ as a male, is so ontologically different from female, I doubt his salvation is even meant for my sisters or me. In the Incarnation he only joined his maleness to Divinity, not his general humanity. If a woman does not share enough of his humanity to represent him at the altar, it doesn't seem like any of her nature was significantly joined with his.

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Porridge
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Lyda Rose: [Overused]

I recently watched, or re-watched, Gentleman's Agreement. The film makes its point in the laborious style of the era, but even so: The character Dave helps Kathy see that offering silence (even if the silence is an apalled one) in response to an anti-Semitic joke is exactly what allows anti-Semitic jokes to continue to be made.

Silence -- or as in this case, re-direction to some other point (it's tradition; it's settled; it's a direct order from Christ / the Pope / the Magisterium, so I must bow to it even though I disagree with it) -- in response to unequal treatment of allegedly equal believers fosters the continuation of unequal treatment -- which, of course, is what has made it a 2,000 y.o. tradition.

Considering the number of sincere US Catholics I know who are actively working for change in exactly this position of the church, it seems entirely possible that this tradition is closing in on the latter part of its shelf-life.

How will your conscience deal with that?

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Triple Tiara

Ship's Papabile
# 9556

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
Custom. Hmmmm. Custom is not the same as Tradition.

I honestly do not see how you can possibly sustain this point, especially when dealing with a quote that was written close to 2 millennia ago in a different language which has been translated a variety of different ways. But even in modern English the words are readily interchangeable. Whether you use the word 'custom' or 'tradition', the point is exactly the same - the fact that a practice has been handed down for a long period of time does not, in and of itself, mean that the practice is correct.
My point is very specific and you miss it: the Tradition is not just some custom. It is that to which we are called to remain faithful. You ought to read fully the context of the sentence which you lift from Cyprian. I do not think he backs your argument as you might imagine.


quote:
9. But if there be among us, most beloved brother, the fear of God, if the maintenance of the faith prevail, if we keep the precepts of Christ, if we guard the incorrupt and inviolate sanctity of His spouse, if the words of the Lord abide in our thoughts and hearts, when he says, Do you think, when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth Luke 18:8 then, because we are God's faithful soldiers, who war for the faith and sincere religion of God, let us keep the camp entrusted to us by God with faithful valour. Nor ought custom, which had crept in among some, to prevent the truth from prevailing and conquering; for custom without truth is the antiquity of error. On which account, let us forsake the error and follow the truth, knowing that in Esdras also the truth conquers, as it is written: Truth endures and grows strong to eternity, and lives and prevails for ever and ever. With her there is no accepting of persons or distinctions; but what is just she does: nor in her judgments is there unrighteousness, but the strength, and the kingdom, and the majesty, and the power of all ages. Blessed be the Lord God of truth! This truth Christ showed to us in His Gospel, and said, I am the truth. John 14:6 Wherefore, if we are in Christ, and have Christ in us, if we abide in the truth, and the truth abides in us, let us keep fast those things which are true.


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Triple Tiara

Ship's Papabile
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And he continues thus:

quote:
But there is a brief way for religious and simple minds, both to put away error, and to find and to elicit truth. For if we return to the head and source of divine tradition, human error ceases; and having seen the reason of the heavenly sacraments, whatever lay hid in obscurity under the gloom and cloud of darkness, is opened into the light of the truth. If a channel supplying water, which formerly flowed plentifully and freely, suddenly fail, do we not go to the fountain, that there the reason of the failure may be ascertained, whether from the drying up of the springs the water has failed at the fountainhead, or whether, flowing thence free and full, it has failed in the midst of its course; that so, if it has been caused by the fault of an interrupted or leaky channel, that the constant stream does not flow uninterruptedly and continuously, then the channel being repaired and strengthened, the water collected may be supplied for the use and drink of the city, with the same fertility and plenty with which it issues from the spring? And this it behooves the priests of God to do now, if they would keep the divine precepts, that if in any respect the truth have wavered and vacillated, we should return to our original and Lord, and to the evangelical and tradition; and thence may arise the ground of our action, whence has taken rise both our order and our origin.
Proof texting the Fathers is as dangerous as proof-texting the Scriptures.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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No it's not. Because I agree entirely with what he's saying.

Go to the source. Find out where your tradition came from. That's precisely what I've been saying. If the source is a good one, then the tradition is good. If the source ISN'T a good one, then the tradition is in error and the fact that the tradition is of long-standing doesn't make it any better.

There's been one shot at glibly asserting that Christ's teaching is the source. And it's precisely that assertion that I am challenging, because - as others have already pointed out - Christ never did anything quite so obvious as saying 'thou shalt not have women priests'.

[ 12. July 2011, 01:51: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Chesterbelloc

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# 3128

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Then for your God, women are mere appendages swiped from the side of Adam to be helpmeets to the male sex.

Whoah. That is a complete non-sequitur.
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
In the Incarnation [our Lord] only joined his maleness to Divinity, not his general humanity.

Where did you get this from? That's certainly not what the Catholic Church teaches...
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
If a woman does not share enough of his humanity to represent him at the altar, it doesn't seem like any of her nature was significantly joined with his.

...Which makes this misguided too, I'm afraid.

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Chesterbelloc

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# 3128

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Christ never did anything quite so obvious as saying 'thou shalt not have women priests'.

But the burden of proof for an all-male presbyterate being mere custom lies with those who reject it.

If Christ had wanted to do anything as radical (to His followers) as establishing a ministry that included women he would have had to do something pretty explicitly obvious - like including a woman in the twelve, or at least some explicit spoken teaching on this controversial issue (He was good at those) - in order to get the message across. Since He 100% "failed" to get that message across to anyone for practically the whole history of the Church until now...

Prima facie, Christ not commissioning any woman whatsoever as one of the twelve (with whom the ordained ministry began) and the Apostolic tradition being a universally male episcopate (and subsequently presbyterate) is proof for Christ's will for the Church. It's not knockdown proof, of course - but it means those who want to argue otherwise need even stronger and more explicit arguments from Christ Himself. And those simply don't seem to exist. Any doubt that remains, therefore, must be outweighed by the Tradition and therefore gives us no authority for ordaining women whatsoever - which is precisely what the Church's teaching says.

On the isssue of "settledness", you must know that your example of a celibate priesthood is a poor one. That has NEVER been settled as a matter of doctrine - and in not even now settled as a matter of universal custom or discipline. You're comparing apples and oranges.

[ 12. July 2011, 09:10: Message edited by: Chesterbelloc ]

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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anne
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# 73

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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Christ never did anything quite so obvious as saying 'thou shalt not have women priests'.

But the burden of proof for an all-male presbyterate being mere custom lies with those who reject it.

If Christ had wanted to do anything as radical (to His followers) as establishing a ministry that included women he would have had to do something pretty explicitly obvious - like including a woman in the twelve, or at least some explicit spoken teaching on this controversial issue (He was good at those) - in order to get the message across. Since He 100% "failed" to get that message across to anyone for practically the whole history of the Church until now...

Prima facie, Christ not commissioning any woman whatsoever as one of the twelve (with whom the ordained ministry began) and the Apostolic tradition being a universally male episcopate (and subsequently presbyterate) is proof for Christ's will for the Church. It's not knockdown proof, of course - but it means those who want to argue otherwise need even stronger and more explicit arguments from Christ Himself. And those simply don't seem to exist. Any doubt that remains, therefore, must be outweighed by the Tradition and therefore gives us no authority for ordaining women whatsoever - which is precisely what the Church's teaching says.

On the isssue of "settledness", you must know that your example of a celibate priesthood is a poor one. That has NEVER been settled as a matter of doctrine - and in not even now settled as a matter of universal custom or discipline. You're comparing apples and oranges.

I would be grateful if you could explain why Jesus' failure to include women amongst the 12 is evidence that he did not intend women to be priests - but his failure to include gentiles amongst the 12 does not seem to have prevented the valid ordination of non-jewish men to the priesthood.

anne

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Chesterbelloc

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# 3128

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Anne, I actually said:
quote:
Prima facie, Christ not commissioning any woman whatsoever as one of the twelve (with whom the ordained ministry began) and the Apostolic tradition being a universally male episcopate (and subsequently presbyterate) is proof for Christ's will for the Church.
In other words, it's the fact both that Christ never said or did anything to suggest women were meant to be included in the ordained minisrty and that the Church did not at any time even question let alone attempt to change this Dominical precedent (until the last few decades) that makes it a very heavy burden of proof for the proponents of OoW. Gentiles were admitted to ministry roles pretty much from the get-go.

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anne
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
Anne, I actually said:
quote:
Prima facie, Christ not commissioning any woman whatsoever as one of the twelve (with whom the ordained ministry began) and the Apostolic tradition being a universally male episcopate (and subsequently presbyterate) is proof for Christ's will for the Church.
In other words, it's the fact both that Christ never said or did anything to suggest women were meant to be included in the ordained minisrty and that the Church did not at any time even question let alone attempt to change this Dominical precedent (until the last few decades) that makes it a very heavy burden of proof for the proponents of OoW. Gentiles were admitted to ministry roles pretty much from the get-go.
Thank you, that's helpful as (if I understand you correctly) we seem to have moved on from simply looking at Christ's words on the subject and choice of disciples to the actions of the early church. If Christ had anything to say on the matter it has not been passed on to us, and in terms of his disciples, he chose 12 Jewish men, but chose women to bring them the news of the resurrection, so I can see that the evidence here is equivocal.

In terms of the early church - 'from the get-go' as you say, there is evidence of gentiles being admitted to ministerial roles (is it appropriate to say 'called'?) Is there no evidence of women in such roles? I don't know whether the references in Acts and the Epistles to women such as Priscilla, Joanna and Phoebe provide sufficient evidence but, for the sake of argument, if there were in fact women in ministerial roles at the get-go, but their ministry was subsequently lost to the church - for reasons of cultural pressures, for example - does this have any impact on the 'tradition' argument?

Is there a difference, in terms of this argument, between practices which used to be part of the tradition and have since been lost then perhaps reclaimed, and practices which have been maintained? That may sound like an inane question, but I'm really trying to understand. Are 'lost and reclaimed traditions' poorer evidence of Christ's will (as opposed to, for example, evidence of church submission to cultural or secular pressures) than maintained traditions?

For example, the much less important (don't tell ecclesiantics I said so) issue of clergy vesture. When I preside at the altar I wear robes which have evolved from those worn in the early church. The tradition of this style of vesture was lost for many years during the history of the church I am part of - to the extent that a previous holder of my office was hanged from the church tower in his "papish attire" partly for the crime of wearing them. Many years later the tradition has been reinstated. Is the value of this tradition reduced by it's long absence or enhanced by it's reclamation?

anne

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
supposing it were not God's will for the Church that the ordained ministry be open to women, would the Church's adherence to His will be unjust? Because that, generally, is what the Catholics I know and whose authority I serve under do believe.

I think that's an important point. There is a real difference between starting from a surprising and not fully understood command of God, and saying that one's trust in God's goodness is enough to say that one believes that there must be a reason which makes it fair, and starting from the position of not liking the idea of treating women equally, and looking for a church which will tell you that God agrees.

So I think a defecting Anglican has a burden of proof to show that he is not sexist which a cradle Roman Catholic does not. As an Anglican, having maintained that one can be a properly catholic Christian in a church which dissents from Rome on all manner of issues, great and small, and which is not bounden to Rome for the endorsement of its orders and sacraments, it doesn't look good if the one divergence that cannot be endured is the priestly ministry of women.

Those for whom the RCC is the default church, or who become Catholics because they are persuaded that it is the true Church, are stuck with the teaching authority of the RCC on all sorts of issues, and it would be unfair to infer misogyny from what is perfectly well explained as obedience. An Anglican has no such excuse - we reject the teaching authority of the RCC by the very fact that we refuse submission to the bishop of Rome when he claims it as being due from all Christians. We are not required, as a matter of simple obedience, to accept that women cannot be priests. It is OK - indeed, I would say it is a moral duty - for us to ask for the reasons behind that prohibition, and not accept a tradition which we have already questionned as a reason for condoning what appears to be injustice. An Anglican who says that it is God's will that women cannot be ordained presumes to know the mind of God much better than a Catholic who makes the same claim, because the Anglican has already and necessarily rejected the best argument that the Catholic can advance in support of that curious proposition.

I'll willingly accept that the OPer has made a good defence - his views on a range of issues have changed or crystalised to the point where becoming a Catholic is right and proper, and he would accept the RCC's authority whichever way it called the OoW question.

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Eliab
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missed edit:

quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
So I think a defecting Anglican...

On re-reading, that word has connotations which are not intended. Read "departing..."

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Chesterbelloc

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quote:
Originally posted by anne:
Thank you, that's helpful as (if I understand you correctly) we seem to have moved on from simply looking at Christ's words on the subject and choice of disciples to the actions of the early church.

Yes, but principally as evidence of what (they thought) Christ Himself taught and what His disciples understood of His model of ministry.
quote:
Originally posted by anne:
If Christ had anything to say on the matter it has not been passed on to us, and in terms of his disciples, he chose 12 Jewish men, but chose women to bring them the news of the resurrection, so I can see that the evidence here is equivocal.

It's a lot less equivocal if you factor in the fact that Christ must have known that if He said nothing explicit about about women in apostolic ministry the result would be that His apostles and their followers would never think of admitting them (based on His own practice of selecting only men and on the prevailing culture of the time). The proof? They didn't! His exclusion of gentiles from the 12 has a completley different kind of explanation: his ministry was first of all to the Jews and for the Jews, in fulfillment of the prophesies about the Jews. His initail following was made up almost entirely of other Jews! But there were plenty good Jewish women followers who would have been eligible as apostles - but none were appointed. To make it clear that He did nonetheless intend that women should be ordained would have required some pretty explicit teaching on His part. Any evdience of such is completely lacking. In other words, that burden of proof that Christ intended women to be admitted to ordained ministry lies with those who want to claim He did.
quote:
Originally posted by anne:
In terms of the early church - 'from the get-go' as you say, there is evidence of gentiles being admitted to ministerial roles (is it appropriate to say 'called'?) Is there no evidence of women in such roles? I don't know whether the references in Acts and the Epistles to women such as Priscilla, Joanna and Phoebe provide sufficient evidence but, for the sake of argument, if there were in fact women in ministerial roles at the get-go, but their ministry was subsequently lost to the church - for reasons of cultural pressures, for example - does this have any impact on the 'tradition' argument?

There is no evidence that I know of to be widely accepted amongst scholars that shows that women were ever admitted to the presbyterate or episcopate - nor even much that they were to a the diaconate (i.e., not "merely" to a diaconal auxiliary office). But if it could be shown that there were women presbyters and that this was something that the Early Church accepted in general (i.e., was not an aberrant, short-lived eception in a few places only), that would alter the debate somewhat, yes.
quote:
Originally posted by anne:
Are 'lost and reclaimed traditions' poorer evidence of Christ's will (as opposed to, for example, evidence of church submission to cultural or secular pressures) than maintained traditions?

It depends on what kind of tradition is is/was, I suppose. Your vestment example is interesting, but don't forget that the tradition wasn't dropped by the Catholic Church - it developed, continued and continues! In non-essentials, a departure from ancient norms for due cause would usually be acceptible - like changing from Greek to Latin for the liturgy. But some things seem to be handed down as unchangeable - like using bread and wine for the Mass. Those the Church does not have the authority to change.

But in any case, remember that, for Catholics, the pope has the authority to define and settle certain disputed issues permanently and conclusively - and John Paul II certainly excercised that authority with regard to women priests. And there really hadn't been any teaching or tradition in the other direction before either - all the evidence was on the other side. Whatever the state of the debate prior to his pronouncement, it is a closed matter for Catholics now. That some Catholics chose to dissent from it does not alter the fact that it has been defined by due authority.

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Chesterbelloc

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Eliab, thanks for your recent and thoroughly decent last one(s) - much appreciated.

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anne
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:

But in any case, remember that, for Catholics, the pope has the authority to define and settle certain disputed issues permanently and conclusively - and John Paul II certainly excercised that authority with regard to women priests. And there really hadn't been any teaching or tradition in the other direction before either - all the evidence was on the other side. Whatever the state of the debate prior to his pronouncement, it is a closed matter for Catholics now. That some Catholics chose to dissent from it does not alter the fact that it has been defined by due authority.

Thank you for addressing my queries - of course, the entire issue is very different from the perspective of the the Roman Catholic church and so it is even more gracious of you to spend so much time on my ramblings.

As a catholic anglican ordained woman I find myself spending far too much of my time and energy wrestling with these issues (OoW and the consecration of women to the episcopate) as I try to understand the point of view of those who deny the validity of my vocation*. Frankly I've got other stuff to do. But I do want to empathise with my brothers and sisters and I am trying to understand.

Of course sometimes the desire to empathise is less pronounced - such as when I am being lectured on the iniquities of the ordination of women by a fellow priest who was, I should estimate, about 5 years old in 1992 when the vote was taken. But in the intervals when I'm not seething and grinding my teeth, I am trying to understand. And even whilst seething, I'm trying to love.

anne

*my vocation to the priesthood, rather than anything more elevated, I hasten to add

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Chesterbelloc

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Thank you, Anne - and God bless.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
No it's not. Because I agree entirely with what he's saying.

Go to the source. Find out where your tradition came from. That's precisely what I've been saying. If the source is a good one, then the tradition is good. If the source ISN'T a good one, then the tradition is in error and the fact that the tradition is of long-standing doesn't make it any better.

There's been one shot at glibly asserting that Christ's teaching is the source. And it's precisely that assertion that I am challenging, because - as others have already pointed out - Christ never did anything quite so obvious as saying 'thou shalt not have women priests'.

He didn't say anything about 'priests' at all!

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
Anne, I actually said:
quote:
Prima facie, Christ not commissioning any woman whatsoever as one of the twelve (with whom the ordained ministry began) and the Apostolic tradition being a universally male episcopate (and subsequently presbyterate) is proof for Christ's will for the Church.
In other words, it's the fact both that Christ never said or did anything to suggest women were meant to be included in the ordained minisrty and that the Church did not at any time even question let alone attempt to change this Dominical precedent (until the last few decades) that makes it a very heavy burden of proof for the proponents of OoW. Gentiles were admitted to ministry roles pretty much from the get-go.
You've used the existence of a tradition as part of the argument for the correctness of the tradition. My entire point is that this simply doesn't work. It only goes as far as allowing you to say that the tradition was correct at some point, but if you don't know the reasons it was 'correct' you can't tell the difference between "that's the way things are" and "that's the way things were".

I will grant you your onus of proof idea - that there is some burden on those who wish to show the tradition should no longer be followed. But the problem is that the arguments in favour of women priests are stacking up, and what people aren't giving me are arguments AGAINST women priests other than 'tradition'. This is what I've been asking for - actual concrete rationales. And not only have they not been forthcoming, Triple Tiara has explicitly stated a desire that theological commentators stop trying to give them and just rely on 'tradition'.

Sorry, not good enough. If 'tradition' is the only reason you've got, then the burden of proof against is going to be rapidly satisfied.

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Triple Tiara

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Just go back and re-read the whole of the passage from St Cyprian above.

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:

Prima facie, Christ not commissioning any woman whatsoever as one of the twelve (with whom the ordained ministry began) and the Apostolic tradition being a universally male episcopate (and subsequently presbyterate) is proof for Christ's will for the Church.

Of course its not. Its no such thing. We are ordaining ministers for parish churches. Elders of the local church. That's not what the Twelve were.

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Triple Tiara

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A very concise explanation of why Anglican Orders are considered invalid, ken [Biased]

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
But the burden of proof for an all-male presbyterate being mere custom lies with those who reject it.

If (hypothetically) the Pope had not settled the issue, what evidence would be admissible to show this from a Catholic point of view?

For me, the testimony of Angloid here, which is echoed by ken and would be endorsed by thousands of Anglicans of all varieties of churchmanship, is pretty strong evidence that whatever grace one looks for in priestly ministry, and whether it is objectively or subjectively assessed, no deficiency whatever can be discerned where women are admitted to the priesthood. And, of course, we Anglicans aren't striking out on our own here - we are merely repeating the successful experiments of all those other churches with women pastors, and confirming their results.

There is, to me, an air of unreality about the argument that women cannot be priests against the experience of the Christian church every time the attempt has been made to ordain them. It's like hearing someone at the Farnborough Air Show arguing from learned and eminent authorities that heavier-than-air vehicles will never fly. The reasoning may be wise and venerable, supported on every point by the most respectable ancient opinion, but the refutation isn't exactly difficult to find.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
Just go back and re-read the whole of the passage from St Cyprian above.

So you have a lovely channel. Is there still any water coming from the spring?

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orfeo

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ADDENDUM: Which is the entire POINT of the passage you keep suggesting I re-read, and which everytime I read makes perfect sense to me. The logic is impeccable. The quality of any doctrine depends on two elements: the ability to continue to communicate it effectively (the channel), and the quality of the original source - the fountainhead.

So you can carry on talking about the wonderful ability of the Church to pass on traditions as much as you like. My entire point is that if the original source isn't a satisfactory one, you're not going to end up with a good result, and I am far from persuaded that the original source for this tradition is any good.

It's not clearly based on a Biblical doctrinal teaching. As leo pointed out, Christ doesn't talk about priests, never mind say that women can't be priests. At best you might manage that women can't be apostles, but apostles aren't priests, and in any case there is a fundamental problem with treating a narrative (male apostles) as normative (only males are allowed).

Nor does it accord with the practical experience of women's ministry, as neatly summed up by Eliab.

Basically, using Cyprian's analogy, your high-quality channel is delivering water that a lot of us think looks a bit muddy and tastes bad. Repeatedly pointing to how nice the channel is just isn't working for me.

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orfeo

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Custom without truth is the antiquity of error.

A long, impressive channel kept in excellent repair that delivers something icky has been connected to something icky for a long, long time.

In some cases there might have been a nice layer on top, but the ick was somewhere in the reservoir and the channel's still connected.

[ 13. July 2011, 10:36: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
A very concise explanation of why Anglican Orders are considered invalid, ken [Biased]

There is a reason why he was not asked to write Saepius Officio, the archbishops' response to Leo XIII.
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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's not clearly based on a Biblical doctrinal teaching. As leo pointed out, Christ doesn't talk about priests, never mind say that women can't be priests. At best you might manage that women can't be apostles, but apostles aren't priests, and in any case there is a fundamental problem with treating a narrative (male apostles) as normative (only males are allowed).

Not really. There's Mary Magdalene, too - "The Apostle to the Apostles." That label is an early one (perhaps originating with Bishop of Rome Hippolytus in the 3rd century), continued throughout the middle ages, and was used even by JPII (if I'm not mistaken)! In any case, it's a fairly obvious fact, whether or not it's been used for so long. If Magdalene wasn't an Apostle, you could have fooled me.

And Junia, mentioned in the Bible as well, at Romans 16:7. "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me."

And how's that for "tradition"?

[ 13. July 2011, 13:26: Message edited by: TubaMirum ]

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orfeo

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Well, there ya go. Even THAT little concession in my argument was wrong. Thanks for the pointers.

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TubaMirum
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I do wonder why, though, the "tradition" argument is accepted at face value in the case of the Orthodox and not in the case of the Catholic Church?

What's the difference here? Is it because the Catholic Church is bigger? Or because it's in the Western tradition? Or precisely because it HAS changed in other respects? Was it Vatican II that made the difference?

I'm just wondering, that's all....

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
A very concise explanation of why Anglican Orders are considered invalid, ken [Biased]

More likely, Ken does not know what the Anglican ordinal DOES teach - the presbyterate is about a heck of a lot more than localised ministry.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
I do wonder why, though, the "tradition" argument is accepted at face value in the case of the Orthodox and not in the case of the Catholic Church?

What's the difference here? Is it because the Catholic Church is bigger? Or because it's in the Western tradition? Or precisely because it HAS changed in other respects? Was it Vatican II that made the difference?

I'm just wondering, that's all....

I would guess it's due to the history of the medieval "schoolmen" and their mode of argumentation in the church of the west - a phenomenon that entirely passed the eastern churches by.

Orfeo - any chance of being a bit more specific about what you have described as "ick"?

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Chesterbelloc

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# 3128

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
You've used the existence of a tradition as part of the argument for the correctness of the tradition. My entire point is that this simply doesn't work.

If it can be shown that a particular tradition was apostolic and undisputed until very recently, then that IS prima facie (not knockdown) evidence that it is at least not catastrophically wrong.
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I will grant you your onus of proof idea - that there is some burden on those who wish to show the tradition should no longer be followed.

Thank you.
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
But the problem is that the arguments in favour of women priests are stacking up, and what people aren't giving me are arguments AGAINST women priests other than 'tradition'. This is what I've been asking for - actual concrete rationales.

But my argument is not just that it was never done in the past - there's the dominical example strand too. Given His life, teachings, practice and the historical and cultural context, Jesus must have expected the apostles not even to consider ordaining women. So why didn't He do or say soemthing explicit if it was His will that women should be included in the presbyterate? That is a concrete rationale.

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Chesterbelloc

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
There is, to me, an air of unreality about the argument that women cannot be priests against the experience of the Christian church every time the attempt has been made to ordain them.

Whilst I am sympathetic to the testimony of good fruit being borne on the branches of women's ministry (heck, there can be good fruit from anyone exercising good pastoral and teaching care regardless of sex or orders), it cannot in the end count for more than the weight of tradition and the startling lack of any dominical teaching or example to head an all-male ordained ministry off at the pass, it seems to me.

I'm afraid there's just no way of confirming an objective state of affairs like being in Holy Orders purely subjectively or on empirical grounds. Consider the example of marriage. If two people love each other very much and marry and the go on to be a shining example of mutual self-giving and raise marvellous children together, but it later turns out that one of them was still married to someone else, or that they are brother and sister, Catholics would have to judge that there never was a state of matrimony between them in the first place - appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
Jesus must have expected the apostles not even to consider ordaining women. So why didn't He do or say soemthing explicit if it was His will that women should be included in the presbyterate? That is a concrete rationale.

Jesus did not ordain anyone.

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Chesterbelloc

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# 3128

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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
There's Mary Magdalene, too - "The Apostle to the Apostles." That label is an early one (perhaps originating with Bishop of Rome Hippolytus in the 3rd century), continued throughout the middle ages, and was used even by JPII (if I'm not mistaken)! In any case, it's a fairly obvious fact, whether or not it's been used for so long. If Magdalene wasn't an Apostle, you could have fooled me.

Then I'm sorry to say it, but...

The meaning of the phrase "apostle to the apostles" is very clear in context. It means the messenger to the apostles - the message being that Christ had risen. It's a beautiful phrase, and striking too. But it's a turn of phrase, not a declaration of admission to the office of Twelve.

There is no evidence that Mary was treated as one of the twelve - by them or by anyone else. Why was Matthias appointed by lot to replace Judas if Mary was already elevated in truth to the apostolate? Where was her Church over which she presided? Who were her disciples, deacons, delegates? Where is there any reference whatsoever to her Apostoic status after the Resurrection at all, in fact?

And you don't get Junia in as an actual apostle unless you take Andronicus in too. Read the wiki entry on Junia(s) and tell me there is anything like clear enough evidence from that single Pauline sentence to overturn the tradition that men alone were apostles, episkopoi and presbyteroi.

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

Posts: 4199 | From: Athens Borealis | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Chesterbelloc

Tremendous trifler
# 3128

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
Jesus must have expected the apostles not even to consider ordaining women. So why didn't He do or say soemthing explicit if it was His will that women should be included in the presbyterate? That is a concrete rationale.

Jesus did not ordain anyone.
[Confused]

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

Posts: 4199 | From: Athens Borealis | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
Given His life, teachings, practice and the historical and cultural context, Jesus must have expected the apostles not even to consider ordaining women. So why didn't He do or say soemthing explicit if it was His will that women should be included in the presbyterate?

That doesn't make sense. You seem have made a typo there. Its more meaningful if you remove the words "not even" and write:

quote:

"Jesus must have expected the apostles to consider ordaining women."

which fits the evidence of the New Testament better.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged



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