Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What if it turned out that Jesus didn't insist on male priests?

Curious remarks here by Cardinal Sean O'Malley. Obviously Jesus founded the church and not Sean. But did Jesus bequeath the church the order of male only priests?

Some Protestant wits might suggest that Jesus didn't bequeath the church any priests, male or female :)


Father Ron Smith said...

" A priest can’t be a mother. The tradition in the Church is that we ordain men.” - Cardinal O.Malley O.F.M. -

Why is it then then the 'priest after the Order of Melchizadek' - Jesus, the Christ - once referred to himself as being like a 'Mother hen' (Matt.23:37 & Luke 13:34).

The ideal of the feminine can never be absolutely divorced from priesthood! But then, some people cannot conceive of the reality that, in his human form, Jesus represented total humanity, not just the male of the species.

As iur host so clearly infers in his last comment, Jesus did not canonically 'ordain' any institutional clergy. He did, however 'send' (apostello) a woman - Mary Magdalene - to bring the Good News of his Resurrection to the other, male, apostles! (The reason they didn't believe her, is probably the same reason as to why certain members of the Church do not believe a woman could be either a priest or an apostle today.)

(n.b. there can't be many Franciscan cardinals - can you be both)

Happy Jack said...

“If I were founding a church, I’d love to have women priests ... But Christ founded it, and what he has given us is something different.”

Jack in Jacksonville said...

Fr. Smith,

Undoubtedly, priests can in fact be feminine males (the RCC has a lot of problems with those, as it turns out) but to be "like" a mother hen is not to be a woman, even in this dark and confused age.

Father Ron Smith said...

Nay, 'Happy Jack' - IS GIVING us something different - "The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth" - Jesus.

Happy Jack said...

Fr Smith

Tsk ... one cannot be a "feminine male", just as one cannot be a masculine women. You are confusing yourself. Next you'll be suggesting gender is fluid and people are at liberty to change their gender and their sex.

There are homosexual priests in the Catholic Church, as in the Anglican Church, but they remain men.

Andrew Reid said...

In response to your comment about Jesus bequeathing no priests, I'd suggest he has bequeathed a royal priesthood of all believers, male and female, who serve their Great High Priest. The question of how we appoint leaders within that priesthood is then a separate issue.
But perhaps you meant priest in the narrower clerical sense?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrew
I was thinking more of clergy than the priesthood of all believers. But even in the latter sense we have no words of Jesus along the "you will be my priests" line.

If only "presbyter" had never been contracted to "priest" in the English language!

liturgy said...

I suggest, Peter, we start using "hiereus" for... well 'hiereus'... Jesus the High hiereus makes us all members of the royal hiereus. Problem solved.


Peter Carrell said...

Possibly, Bosco, but 'presbyter' in already in usage, including in NZPB, we could use it more, and all the Scots among us will stand up and say 'Amen'!

Father Ron Smith said...

'Happy Jack' has obviously never heard of the term 'Trans-gender' - a category readily accepted by the modern world. However; "There are none so blind as will not see". There may be no such human as absolute male or absolute female. Sicence recognizes a 'sexual contiuum'.

Happy Jack said...

Ron Smith

There are many things accepted by 'science' and the 'modern world'. God made men and women. They were made to compliment one another. 'Gender' is merely a human construction laid over male and female, as is 'trans-gender'. All this talk of a 'continuum' of sex and gender just confuses and undermines.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Jack,
Men and women were indeed made to compliment one another. I wonder if we would have an easier time in the present era agreeing that men and women complement one another if more compliments had been paid through the aeons?

Happy Jack said...



Good one. Happy Jack always gets that spelling wrong because he spends much of his time complimenting his wife.