What the debate over deacons gets wrong about Catholic women in leadership

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Two years ago I was on a panel at the University of Notre Dame where a fellow presenter lamented the almost total absence of women in leadership in the church. Perhaps she did not read my bio or listen to my presentation. During the panel discussion, I finally had to interject that I was the chancellor of one of the largest dioceses in the country and fourth on the organization chart for the Diocese of Orange.

I was reminded of this exchange when Pope Francis, returning from his trip to North Macedonia and Bulgaria on May 7, gave his long-awaited, if somewhat indirect, response to the question of whether the Catholic Church would allow the ordination of women to the permanent diaconate. As a woman in leadership in the church, I think we are having the wrong conversation when we focus so narrowly on the question of women deacons that we fail to see the ways Catholic women can—and already do—lead.

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The group the pope commissioned in 2016 to study the historical role of women deacons was unable to reach a consensus on a number of issues. Put simply, there are records from the early church of women being identified as deacons. But there is no conclusive evidence that the role of female deacons has ever been tied to the ordained sacramental role that male deacons exercise. In a conversation with women religious superiors on May 10, Pope Francis said any change to the diaconate must be grounded in revelation. “If the Lord didn’t want a sacramental ministry for women,” he said, “it can’t go forward.”

When we focus so narrowly on the question of women deacons we fail to see the ways Catholic women can—and already do—lead.

But Pope Francis also said that “there is a way of conceiving [the female diaconate] with a different vision to that of the male diaconate.” In other words, one could imagine women deacons serving in some roles traditionally fulfilled by male deacons but in a way that is detached from sacramental ordination. It is unclear, however, whether such a solution would bring about the greater equality between men and women in the church that many proponents of women deacons wish to see.

In addition to their role of administering certain sacraments and proclaiming the Gospel, men in the permanent diaconate, which was first restored in 1967, fulfill many tasks—like fostering parish life, providing faith formation and promoting social justice initiatives—that could be done by any non-ordained person. I admire the selflessness with which these men serve. After all, theirs is not a paid role. And perhaps a radical redefinition of the permanent diaconate is in order, one which would recognize the important ways lay men and women build up the church and the people of God.

I worry, however, that by focusing so intensely on the question of women deacons, we miss the larger challenge facing our church. The church has a global mission to sanctify the entire world through her members. Most of that work will be done not by ordained ministers or the hierarchy, whether that includes more women or not, but by lay women and men. So long as we are focused on the diaconate, we are ignoring the reality articulated in the Second Vatican Council document “Lumen Gentium”: Our job as lay people is to go where the clergy cannot.

I worry that by focusing so intensely on the question of women deacons, we miss the larger challenge facing our church.

Every Catholic has the power to influence our culture, but too often the influence flows in the opposite direction. Catholic parents, for example, lament that neither they nor the church have the same pull on their children that the culture does. Instagram and “Game of Thrones” probably shape the values of young people more directly than all of the great homilists put together. The current sex abuse crisis suggest that the church herself is afflicted by the sins of the surrounding culture and is, in fact, a microcosm of that culture.

If Catholics want to have influence, even power, it seems to me that we would advance the conversation much more by talking about the role of the laity in the culture and in the world.

At the close of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI asked women “to bring the spirit of this council into institutions, schools, homes and daily life” and said, “It is for you to save the peace of the world.” If that truly is the case, then we should be following the directive that women have a role in every aspect of society, enunciated in the Vatican document “On the Collaboration of Men and Women in Society” in 2004.

 

As it stands, the ordained vocations of permanent deacon, priest and bishop are held by a relatively small number of men. To take such a narrow vocation and then try to fit a general discussion about women into it seems myopic at best. Most men are called to live their relationship with Christ differently. Could not the same apply to all women without offending their equal dignity? Meanwhile, we leave the shaping of our culture, and in turn our families and even our church, to other men and women who have identified the real positions of influence: social media, politics, science, the arts, education and business.

While the church certainly needs competent lay women and men in leadership roles, we need exponentially more competent lay women and men living out every aspect of their lives influenced by their faith and an authentic understanding of the dignity of the human person. The hierarchy spends lots of time talking about human dignity, but it is the actual doctors, scientists, teachers, social workers and many others, including parents, who make this a reality for us.

While I am grateful to be able to serve in the role I currently hold, I see so many opportunities for women outside the church, in places where the church will always struggle to have an impact. Lay men and women are called to the tremendous honor of building up the kingdom in these places, and we do not need any title, besides Catholic, to do so.

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A Fielder
3 weeks ago

The author makes a good point about the strong (sometimes negative) impact of culture on our youth and society. I would prefer to see all deacons, male and female, focus on the difficult work of social justice and social services in the community. That is, after all, the biblical witness about the role of the deacon. Of course, if the church's leadership were more reflective of the the voices, intuition and pastoral sensitivity of women, maybe the church would not need to bemoan its irrelevance.

Will Nier
2 weeks 6 days ago

Come on both male and female religious have been doing that for centuries. We do not need female deacons for that role.

Tatiana Durbak
2 weeks 6 days ago

What we need is for women to be treated equally to men. If there are to be deacons in the Church, then women ought to also be deacons.

John Stevens
2 weeks 5 days ago

To treat women equally to men is to deny God's plan and design. It is God himself who made us male and female, giving us different roles and purposes.
Indeed, if men and women are equal, then of what use are women? If they are equal to men, then they are a redundancy: an unnecessary duplication.
Men and women are different, thus, cannot be equal. This is a good thing, as this difference is a complementary one, allowing the two together to create something greater than the mere sum of the parts.

Marion Sforza
2 weeks 5 days ago

I have noticed over time that when people talk about men and women being complementary to one another, it is always the woman being asked to conplement the man and not the other way around. It keeps her in a subserviant position. Think about it.
Also, yes, men and women are different. In fact every human is in one way, shape or form, different from each other. One big problem with this is people take the parts of "different" they can use in order to keep one particular group or some particular groups in power. It could be gender. It could be race. It could be religion. This person cannot be a _____ because this person has or does not have x,y and/or z. Thee sooner we all realize these are excuses, the better off we all will be. Redistribution of power is painful. I understand that. But it doesn't make it an impossible achievement.

J Jones
2 weeks 5 days ago

Beautifully stated.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Marion - only a chauvinist would assume that complementarity means one sex is less than the other. The key failing of the feminist heresy is that there is no substantial or beneficial difference between a man and a woman and that the sexes are essentially 'the same" and interchangeable. Men and women to them are some accident, like hair or skin color or accent - or even a freak of nature rather than a feature designed by the Creator, in all His genius. Scripture goes into this complementarity in a myriad of ways and Saint Pope JPII the Great's Theology of the Body broke new ground in this meditation. This creative duality tells us something profoundly beautiful about humanity, no doubt most intimately intended for the creative act of generating new life, but also well beyond.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

None of the issues you are bringing up support different treatment for genders. Outside of physical differences for procreation, there are no differences that can be found between the sexes. You are simply wrong because you are sexist and want women to be treated less than men continually in our church. Get over it Tim. We are not putting up with the hate or oppression any longer. We are fighting back and will change our church so it becomes the Just Church for all members that is was in the beginning.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Nora - Notice that feminists (female or male) tend to disparage female qualities, duties or roles as less significant than roles traditionally associated with men? Their principle seems to be that if a man has done it first or excels in it, it must be more valuable than what women do. The anti-human aspect of this ideology is everywhere, from abortion, to disparagement of motherhood, civility and chastity, to promotion of porn and perversity, no-fault divorce and diminution of parental rights. Contraception is the anti-woman medicine of choice, as it demands the least respect from the men.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

No differences outside of "physical differences for procreation." Wrong again, even on the physical side. What about average height, strength, muscle mass, running speed, propensity for violence, even pedophilia??? What about the latest research on psychological differences? Stanford Professor Shah "But over the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and women’s brains are wired and how they work." (Link below). Or, if you disqualify male scientists, try Diane Halpern, PhD, past president of the American Psychological Association, "She found that the ​animal-​research literature had been steadily accreting reports of sex-associated neuroanatomical and behavioral differences, but those studies were mainly gathering dust in university libraries...In her preface to the first edition, Halpern wrote: 'At the time, it seemed clear to me that any between-sex differences in thinking abilities were due to socialization practices, artifacts and mistakes in the research, and bias and prejudice. ... After reviewing a pile of journal articles that stood several feet high and numerous books and book chapters that dwarfed the stack of journal articles … I changed my mind.' Why? There was too much data pointing to the biological basis of sex-based cognitive differences to ignore, Halpern says."
You might need to update your book of Nora.
https://stanmed.stanford.edu/2017spring/how-mens-and-womens-brains-are-different.html

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 2 days ago

Ahh Tim

Your argument still does not work here. Just saying studies exist and not citing which studies and what they state in context does not prove anything especially when there are recent studies like the large one done in England approximately five years ago seeking the answer to is there a male and female brain. In this study they found that male and female brains were identical physically up until puberty and then the way they routed information after puberty changed some. However, even with this physical difference how they routed through the pathways of brain matter didn't result in a difference of behaviors or ability to comprehend concepts, and in finality there was evidenced the result that there is more agreement between groups of men and women than there is between groups of men in virtually all areas of basic thought - politically, on social issues, and moral issues, etc.

Averages are unimportant in regards to physical difference when judging people's overall group sameness of humanity and purposefulness, as groups. That is unless you are claiming different races of men are different creations too because the average black man is taller and can run faster than the average white man. Does this mean we should assume white men are not suitable for other types of work that don't require a person to be tall or run fast because the differences in averages of height and running speed mean all white men are just more appropriately restricted as the weaker race? Do you see the problem this kind of nasty thinking presents?

Also plenty of women are taller, stronger, smarter, and more aggressive than males. So if you are wrong even a quarter of the time, it only takes being wrong once to scientifically turn a theory back into merely false conjecture. Science does not back yours or our churches' theory on complimentary genders and no where, in any gospel, does Jesus suggest you should believe this idea to be true. In fact every time the men or women treat a woman according to sexist stereotyping or as less he corrects them either by his actual words or with his actions like with the adulteress the men wanted to stone, or by his actions like how he reproved Martha for chiding Mary for not helping with food prep. instead of listening to Jesus teach. The mere fact that he allowed Mary Magdalene to follow him everywhere and taught her and the other women in The Gospels just like the men shows he was not concerned about gender. That's your cue Tim to do as Jesus taught and not as bishops do. Jesus is greater than all bishops put together even according to what most bishops teach. Jesus commanded you and our bishops to treat all women and all others the same. It is not a complicated command unless Jesus isn't really the most important person to you and your Lord is really someone else.

Alan Johnstone
2 weeks 3 days ago

It is not your church Nora, it is the fellowship of believers in Jesus. His.
You speak for yourself and no matter how you lecture, nag, hector or bluster; your anger and contempt speak for themselves.
It is in fact a fellowship of undeserving sinners who have agreed to be saved by someone other than themselves, a boon which is unearned.
And what we needed to be rescued from was precisely what you are demanding, justice.

Divine justice decrees that suffering for all eternity in Hell is just as the infinite goodness of God has been betrayed by our mortal sins.
What we all needed was mercy.

But go ahead, continue to rage for justice but beware, you may get it and it will be to your horror when it falls on you.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 2 days ago

Well Captain Hell, Fire, and Brimstone,

I beg to differ. since I am equally a believer in Christ, as even the Pope (and perhaps even you Alan! Wouldn't that be rough for you to take) it is therefore my church equally to all other believers, as I am an equal part of her and therefore, according to Christ, due equal and same treatment, from all the church's members, as they are due the same and equal treatment from me or I would be sinning.

See truth makes sense so I don't need to do your kind of verbal distraction mumble jumble dance.

The church belongs to Jesus because yes he equally saved all who believe in him, and therefore all who believe can and should stand on the promises he made in the Gospels. These promises include what Jesus commands since he is the one who sets all captives and oppressed free. Therefore, we all must stand up for, treat, and preach, equal justice, mercy, dignity, respect as proof we love God. Jesus is both Mercy And Justice in the flesh which is why no christian should ever teach that Christians should not seek justice for themselves or others. These two virtues work together. They are not meant to cancel each other out. It is merciful to be just and it is just to be merciful.

Like Tim, Allen, maybe you should try actually reading the Gospels since it is pretty clear you have not done so and if anyone on this thread seems full of rage and self righteous antagonism, it is you far more than I.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

That is the astute observation. Even in mathematics, difference always means "less than".

Alan Johnstone
1 week 2 days ago

Mathematics expert too?
So, a triangle is different from a circle.
which is inferior, Professor Bolcon?

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

That is nonsense and this is not only not found in the bible - God never said he made women complimentary with different roles, and Christ always has demanded and commanded that we treat all others the same as we wish to be treated. So this leaves no room for any form of discrimination. Sexism, like racism is grave sin and deeply damaging to all humanity and the church.

I will re-state what is based on the bible, as I did for Tim in my comment below to explain how off scripture you are and why - and yes our Church is too. . (Be careful the words you declare to be God's - He will hold you accountable for them, if they are false, and you do not repent.)

(My comment to Tim)

Dear Tim,

If you can't agree what is accepted in English for English words than you will find yourself only having dialogue with yourself because if brown can mean green but only when Tim wants it too, is how you converse, no one will find any point in interacting with you. If founded in scripture means "only to Tim": to be found in church teaching while being completely absent and even taught against and commanded against, in the actual Gospels, in the Actual Bible, then your concept of founded (which means can be found) is not relateable to the rest of the English speaking world. Your definition (only your definition) of reading the bible superficially is described as one who reads it according to the actual words in the actual text, (which is bad because you Tim, and some bishops would prefer to interpret those texts, as including imaginary unicorns, of which only the yellow ones matter), and if I don't agree this is somehow heresy, and I am now a fundamentalist, is absurd!

In fact, your version of scripture study altogether leaves out scripture! I neither omitted or twisted anything I quoted, nor did I take any of the passages out of context. I stated them as supporting my stand because they clearly support my argument that Jesus wants all people to treat all other people the same as they wish to be treated, and this leaves no room for imagined stereotypes, and gender roles, which Science and society have already proven only ever came from the imaginations of highly sexist, misogynistic, narrow minded, and oppressive, often religious men.

For the record, these are the accepted definitions other English Speaking People agree on for the
word Sexism:

Definitions: from various accepted English Language Dictionaries:

From the Explorer online Web Dictionary:

sex·ism
[ˈsekˌsizəm]
NOUN
1. prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
"sexism in language is an offensive reminder of the way the culture sees women"
synonyms:
chauvinism · discrimination · prejudice · bias · machismo · laddishness

From Merriam Webster's Dictionary:

sexism
noun
sex·ism | \ ˈsek-ˌsi-zəm \
Definition of sexism

1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex especially : discrimination against women
2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

From Wikipedia:

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it systematically and primarily affects women and girls. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence.
As for priestesses, you are the only one hot for that word - I am not seeking anyone be ordained a priestess. So please keep that personal fantasy to yourself.

God did not make man and women differently, except for reasons of procreation, and he did not make them differently in punishment outside of procreation events. The fall which was caused by sin of both sexes equally, is the first time we see a man treating a woman differently than he wants to be treated, as he has decided to blame her for his own lack of obedience to God. This is when the disunity of man began - literally with the first sexist man refusing to be held accountable for his own actions. Adam and Eve are actually having described to them in Genesis, by God, more a consequence rather than a punishment for their actions. Much like a parent who is human, if one's child sins and disobeys and touches a hot stove, the child's hand is burnt, this crushes the parent, it does not please him/her. From the point of that first sin and on, both male and female mankind are stuck toiling harder to gain from the land that which came more easily before the sin. God can't make the one without a uterus bleed or experience more pain in child birth because he does not have a uterus. However, most men who have lost a wife due to a bad birth will tell you they feel crushed by that loss. (an Aside: It is a curious fact that human heads are uniquely disproportionate to their bodies when born which is why they can't hold their own heads up. This is not true of any other animals or mammals. Since the sin was a matter of obtaining forbidden knowledge perhaps that sin increased the brain matter, in size, and therefore head size of all mankind, one could wonder is this the consequence of that first sin and why it resulted in greater pain and blood in childbirth? (this is my mere theological hypothesis).

However, what is certain, is that man and women are the same, not complimentary creations, according to Genesis. They are made of the same material, for the same exact purposes, by the same God who never assigned different tasks, according to gender, whether spiritual, physical or ministerial period. This simply cannot be found in the bible anywhere unless there was a specific need to do so like physical strength being necessary for the task or blood laws being kept, etc.

As for physical strength, I don't deny that women can't become NFL football players. However, neither can well over 98% of all men, either, so this means nothing. If priesthood demanded extreme physical strength to perform the tasks necessary that could be a reason to restrict women and many men but it does not.

God designed Judaism as a non-sexist patriarchal society which was intended to lead to a non-sexist, non-patriarchal church, outside of Jesus being the only true leader of the Church and being male in the flesh. This is why Jesus refers to the whole church as female (all of us represent the "she" in the wedding, equally, and this includes our hierarchy - they are part of "She" too- the bride). The Patriarchy begins with Abraham who makes himself a friend of God (Sarah is actually promised this inheritance to enjoy also and she benefits everything promised to Abraham as well thru marriage. There is nothing Abraham owns that is something Sarah can't also enjoy, as his legal wife). The descendants of Abraham are Sarah's descendants too. The Old Testament is written primarily through the male story due to lineage rules and inheritance laws. In order for Abraham to claim the promise made to him by God which is that his offspring will be as numerous as the stars and cover the whole world, the gentiles eventually have to become a part of his legal inheritance. To explain how God ends up pulling this off, we have to see Abraham's literal blood be attached to the Messiah who is the only one capable of making anyone a child of God. So patriarchy is created with Abraham to legally track his bloodline to the Messiah. God secures this through Abraham's descendants or blood lineage. Just as all people are actually considered equally man and therefore equally Adam (Think of it as a ball of play dough being continually separated into more and more balls, and those balls are also separated and multiplied, and so on, and so on - none of these balls didn't come from the original, so officially they are all the original ball, in a literal way still. In the creator's eyes they are the same thing, merely with different names for its parts or balls or sections - This is why in Genesis, God refers to both male and female as Man which translates also from the Hebrew into Adam.) Now God at no point states that women should be treated lesser than men in any way or be kept from doing any works. When men have made such decisions, it was never assigned them to do so by scripture, unless due to matters of extreme strength or issues of following blood laws during menstruation. So this was not designed as a sexist patriarchy but instead as one that allowed bloodline to be carefully tracked, so to ensure it would be tracked, they made bloodline lineage, the avenue through which to achieve inheritance. There are pluses and minuses to both ends: Women don't officially own anything but have legal right to use and enjoy whatever their husbands own and inherit, this includes priesthood for a Levite. (which is why it is interesting that Leviticus never states a woman can't be a priest or serve as one. Also wives and children of priests are the only ones legally allowed to eat of the sacred bread only priests are legally allowed to eat.)

Men are stuck with the tribe they are born into but women are not. If a woman does not want to be a Levite anymore then she can marry out of it, into another tribe. She can't bring any possessions with her because ultimately even what men own, in a tribe (especially land), is restricted as to who they can or can't give or sell it to. However, she can freely enjoy whatever her husband and his tribe have in ownership. This way no tribe is weakened or lessened by another thru loss of possessions by marriage. Since all of the blood descendants of Abraham are considered to be Abraham himself in a new form (this includes women Jews but they are unable to pass down lineage) when Christ picks the 12 as Judges for the 12 tribes of Israel (not priests) according to Jesus, in two Gospels, in essence, Abraham has inherited the church, by blood, because the twelve represent the tribes of Israel who encompass the inheritance of Abraham, by blood, and they are reborn by baptism and faith in Jesus Christ. So Abraham and Christ become one body, through the twelve who contain Abraham's blood, and also drink the blood of Christ - Holy Eucharist, and become physically and spiritually one life in the melding. Now that they are one body and the church belongs to Abraham and Abraham belongs to Christ literally, and legally, in blood and Spirit, there is no longer need for any leader of the church or any presbyter, to be either male or Jewish. If this merger did not satisfy the law, then Gentiles could not be priests or leaders of the church either. However, if gentiles can be priests or church leaders, then there is no reason women cannot, equally.

God did not pick priests for Judaism - they were born priests. In Christianity, however, they are chosen by faith, and so bloodlines, and therefore gender also, is null and void as a requirement in any way. This makes our patriarchy unnecessary and harmful because patriarchy with no purpose can only serve to support misogyny and this is a form of hatred.

The Holy Spirit does not teach in error - That is true. However, our Pope(s) and our religious leaders most certainly can and they have many times. This is why many laws, doctrines, traditions have changed throughout our church's history. This ban against women being ordained priests and bishops is not ex cathedra, and it is not by agreement of all bishops, in the world, over a long period of time, or agreement without papal coercion of bishops, which does not count as an agreement of bishops (agreement must be voluntary), so we cannot claim the Magisterium has decided this ban is infallible truth either. This makes it a changeable teaching and tradition.

As for bathrooms, I don't think any bathroom should be one gender or another. I personally don't enjoy pooping next to women in the next stall any more or less than if a man were in it. It is perfectly possible to put up sheet rock type stalls with doors on each stall so everyone may do what they need to do in privacy. As it is, I work in Massachusetts and transgender women do use the ladies room and nothing bad has happened on account of this.

As for maternity and paternity leave, these should definitely be for the same amount of paid time off. When I had my two kids, both I and my husband were working for government and did have exactly the same amount of time off and this helped us both enormously. Fathers and newborns need to bond just as badly as mothers and newborns. Many of our societies' problems with men come from our pretending that parenthood is a girl thing, or that men don't need to nurture and bond with their children as much as women do and this creates cold, unfeeling fathers who do nothing but spout rules and dish out punishments. Parenthood is about loving, nurturing, teaching, feeding, clothing, diaper changing, cleaning, by both parents, equally. When I nursed my children, I let my husband feed them their bottles of other fluids once they started having juices added to their diets because he really wanted to know what it was like to feed his babies. As far as lactation rooms, any private room will do for this. Many of our attorneys use their own locked offices.

Treating men and women the same does no damage to anyone and you can't just spout lies without real evidence to support your statements.

Women cannot act like men or vice versa because there is no standard way that women act or men act. Stereotypes from sexism try to claim women are more emotional or nurturing but these beliefs have already been proven by science to be completely false. People are all unique, and there are women who are more and less emotional, nurturing, tempermental, depressive, smart, bold, wise etc. as men and vice versa. Gender does not decide these things - personality does. In fact, recent gender studies in England have proven that groups of men disagree more with each other on fundamental issues than do groups of men and women. So men and women do not have a feminine or masculine wisdom or genius any more than black and white people have a genius based on race. This is just more false, already debunked, stereotyping made to oppress women.

You are only lying to yourself Tim and it is hurting you and our church. Stop it.

We will change, or our church will indeed become the church that hated itself to death. What a sad outcome. God will give our strength to another church if we refuse to act according to his command to treat all members the same and that means same opportunities and sacraments be made available, equally, to all members.

Equality does not take anything from men, Tim, and it adds greater enjoyment to their relationships with women. You need not be so terrified of it.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Nora, Nora, Begorra - now you are getting lazy, just re-copying your previous logorrhea (>2500 words) because you have run out of smart things to say. Haven't you considered that all your ideological demands can be met in the modern Episcopalian Church. Yet, you seem to have the attitude of Groucho Marx about them (Groucho said he would refuse to join a club whose standards were so low they would have him as a member).

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

Nope not lazy but why re-write the same truths which you were never able to refute. Obviously, they suited the purpose intended.

Groucho Marx - how old are you Tim? 101 years old today? yikes - that would explain a lot of your answers. As for the Episcopalians - I think they are great people but God Almighty told me, in prayer, plainly, you are to stay and fight for Justice and the Truth of the Gospel to prevail in the future in the church you were born and baptized into. Especially, my commands to love God with all one's heart, soul, mind and strength and to love one's neighbor as oneself and treat no person differently than you wish to be treated you will teach until all men and women act with complete equality and no one raises him/herself over another. Roman Catholicism contains many unique gifts in its religion in Christianity but where she is sinning and harming people, she must change. Sexism, God has told me, is her greatest affliction as it acts like a cancer on her heart destroying her from within and draining her of all strength. But you can always leave . .

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

So, you think God Almighty speaks to you? and you think you hear a message to "stay and fight"? Perhaps, you misheard or is it a different spirit than the one Jesus promised the Church? But, if you do hear messages, you can compose your Book of Nora, and someday, perhaps, someone will put it to music on Broadway (like "The Book of Mormon"). Just so you know upfront, we already know your book is fallible (it's not my birthday).

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

I believe God Almighty speaks to anyone who believes in his son Jesus Christ and seeks to hear His counsel.

Nothing God has ever spoken to me in prayer has ever been contradictory to what Christ taught in the Gospels. So No I don't believe I have mistaken the Holy Spirit for Satan or some other spirit? I also don't assume a calling to stay in Catholicism, by necessity, is somehow demonic.

Yes, God has told me to stay and fight to see the day our church regains it's Christian integrity, by casting out all its demons of sexism and it's partnering demons of pedophilia and sexual violence and hatred toward any of its members.

God hasn't asked me to write any books, but if he does, as much as God is infallible, I am not, and just like with the actual bible, written by man, who can never fully avoid keeping their imperfections out of what they produce, it would not be an infallible book but merely one inspired by The Holy Spirit.

So it's not your birthday but you are 101 years old?

Dale Athlon
2 weeks 3 days ago

I believe in God Jesus Christ and will counter you totally. I don’t believe Jesus would support your positions.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 2 days ago

Well he already did, according to what is written in the Gospels but it does seem true many people on this thread have not actually read what Jesus said according to the Gospels and would likely not follow him if they did decide to read them. However, it makes no difference if you believe me since I know I am speaking the truth of my experience.

Jessica Pegis
2 weeks 2 days ago

Nora, you can usually go to the sources Tim quotes to confirm whether they back up what he claims. Often they don't. For example, buried in the article on the Stanford University research that he is so enthusiastic about is this telling caveat: "All these measured differences are averages derived from pooling widely varying individual results. While statistically significant, the differences tend not to be gigantic. They are most noticeable at the extremes of a bell curve, rather than in the middle, where most people cluster. Some argue that we may safely ignore them."

No one really knows how these brain differences pan out in real life or how they are exaggerated or distorted by social control or mediated by genetics. Male and female are evolutionary adaptations; there was no male and female at the beginning of time. In other galaxies, the picture would likely be quite different since evolutionary adaptations are tied to environment. I agree that the notion of complementarity is ridiculous and for it to be valid, it would mean it must be universal, i.e., all women everywhere have exactly the same spiritual and psychological traits that are universally lacking in males and vice versa (the original meaning of complementary referring to the oppositeness of two things). The science clearly doesn't bear this out and never will because it's a man-made idea.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 2 days ago

Thanks Jessica😁

Alan Johnstone
1 week 2 days ago

Neuroanatomy. Are people with schizophrenia neurologically different from the rest of us.
Answer for years - all studies have failed to demonstrate a difference. Hypothesis not proven.
Huge study done with a certain population - identical twins where one suffers schizophrenia and the other does not.

CT, MRI and SPECT scanning done on this population.
No doubt about it, significant and identical changes in a couple of brain areas.
Hypothesis proven. Schizophrenia is associated with brain abnormality.
As Einstein said, it only takes one experiment to settle the truth and destroy an hypothesis.
The hypothesis was, "there is no brain abnormality in schizophrenia".

Real scientists, both male and female, have now established the neurological difference between the sexes not only of humans but a number of other mammals. Fierce antipathy has been unable to destroy the correctness of the work by peer review.

In case you haven't noticed or have forgotten, puberty in both males and females is a turbulent time when both sets of brains are dramatically changed by the huge hormonal changes which happen at that time. Hormones are naturally occurring powerful neurotrophic and psychotrophic substances, like heroin and LSD.

Vince Killoran
3 weeks ago

Yes, the Church is "The People of God." I get that. But these "People" must be everywhere--in the pews, ushering, lectors, lay eucharists, school principals, members of Catholic Worker houses, etc. This includes on the alter, in ordained roles.

Tim O'Leary
3 weeks ago

Excellent article. I particularly note the phrase about the deacons " I admire the selflessness with which these men serve." I think the whole push for female deacons and female priests is a hangover of clericalism and an urge for power and control and fame, dressed up in the phrases of "justice" and "equality" and "recognition." They are fundamentally driven by a spirit that is alien to the Gospel. There is no accompanying willingness or even interest to "take up their cross and follow me" (Mt 16:24). There is no humility at all, only power and honor. It is much more like the mother of the Zebedee sons asking for them to sit on the Lord's right and left (Mt 20:21). The specific clamor for deaconesses is also just a cover for the real motives. I know of no one in these combox discussions who wants women deacons without also wanting women priests, which is a heresy. So, even if there were supporting evidence for women deacons in Church history, I think now would be a terrible time to introduce it. It would attract all the wrong women, and for the wrong reasons.

Ellen B
2 weeks 6 days ago

So any woman who has a calling has no humility? Only wants "power & honor"? And a man who has a calling, of course shows humility. And women who claim to have a calling are "the wrong women". Huh.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 6 days ago

LOL. Yes that is the world according to Tim. Only women are bad people for seeking equality in church.

Alan Johnstone
2 weeks 6 days ago

I is my understanding that all "callings", regardless of the sex of the person believing they had that "calling", is subject to rigorous and sometimes lengthy discernment.

It seems that such claims in the present are correctly discerned as mistaken.

May I remind everybody that the Little Flower, a saint, a Doctor of the Church revealed that she wanted to become a priest too.
It seems this hero of the faith, this immensely gifted woman, made the same mistake.
Guess she did OK without it, eh?

Jay Zamberlin
2 weeks 6 days ago

Thank you, one more voice for "logical" assessment. If the "truth" is that women are perfectly "ordain-able" that would mean that the Church has been in denial of "truth" for 2000 years. It would also mean we serve a very 'mean' God, who would "call" persons of both sexes, equally, to virtually any job, role, ministry, etc, and be the author of their subsequent frustration. The other "take away" from some of these comments is that "truth" is malleable, and/or it "progresses" to match some sort of collective societal sensibility, subject to change through time. Another, there are not 'fixed' or more suitable roles for men nor women. Another takeaway: men are liars, hijacking the Christian religion to suit themselves. another take away, so are the saints, many women, who held up that system, that ruse, for so many years. Also, Jesus Himself must accept a BIG part of these hoodwinking, as He should have put a couple of women, at least, into that group in the Upper Room.

We need not progress into arguments about the nature and sacramental roots of the priesthood itself, about which Catholics do not have any sort of "in depth" understanding: I.e., the "order of Melchizedek," the priesthood of the OT Temple, the requirements of suitable sacrifice, going back to Able, and so forth.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

I will let the evidence below speak regarding were our male church leaders really willing to treat women as less, and keep them from ordination merely because they were sexist, and didn't like or trust women for almost 2000 years? Yes!

ALSO - I have added the actual scripture from Acts I think you will find enlightening Jay at the bottom of my comment.

I believe you will see that neither - God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit had a problem with women - Men, and in particular those in our church hierarchy definitely did. I don't blame God for sexism anymore than I blame him for racism and slavery of black people. In your opinion, Jay, should black people remain slaves because God allowed them to be enslaved, and this equates to how God wanted them and designed them to be treated? As for the frustration, I blame women like the writer of this article, as much as I blame men. You get what you put up with! So don't put up with oppression - Fight it! and don't stop rocking the boat until you have same and complete justice as all other members. This is what Christ intended - a just and equal Church for all members.

Statements on Women
by Church Fathers, Doctors, and Saints

Clement of Alexandria, Pedagogues II, 33, 2
With women "the very consciousness of their own nature must evoke feelings of shame."

Origen, On the Apparel of Women, chapter 1
"And do you not know that you are (each) an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil's gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert--that is, death--even the Son of God had to die."

St. Augustine, Soliloq. I 10
"I consider that nothing so casts down the manly mind from its heights as the fondling of women, and those bodily contacts which belong to the married state."

St. John Chrysostom
"The whole of her bodily beauty is nothing less than phlegm, blood, bile, rheum, and the fluid of digested food... If you consider what is stored up behind those lovely eyes, the angle of the nose, the mouth and cheeks you will agree that the well-proportioned body is merely a whitened sepulcher."

St. John Chrysostom, On Priesthood, VI, ch. 8
"There are in the world a great many situations that weaken the conscientiousness of the soul. First and foremost of these is dealings with women. In his concern for the male sex, the superior may not forget the females, who need greater care precisely because of their ready inclination to sin. In this situation the evil enemy can find many ways to creep in secretly. For the eye of woman touches and disturbs our soul, and not only the eye of the unbridled woman, but that of the decent one as well."

Petrus Cantor (d. 1197)
"Consider that the most lovely woman has come into being from a foul-smelling drop of semen, then consider her midpoint, how she is a container of filth; and after that consider her end, when she will be food for worms."

St. Albert the Great, Quaestiones super de animalibus XV q. 11
"Woman is less qualified [than man] for moral behavior. For the woman contains more liquid than the man, and it is a property of liquid to take things up easily and to hold onto them poorly. Liquids are easily moved, hence women are inconstant and curious. When a woman has relations with a man, she would like, as much as possible, to be lying with another man at the same time. Woman knows nothing of fidelity. Believe me, if you give her your trust, you will be disappointed. Trust an experienced teacher. For this reason prudent men share their plans and actions least of all with their wives. Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison with his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she herself cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one's guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil.... In evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I q. 92 a. 1
"Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence, such as that of a south wind, which is moist."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II q.70 a.3
"The reliability of a person's evidence is weakened, sometimes indeed on account of some fault of his...; sometimes, without any fault on his part, and this owing either to a defect in the reason, as in the case of children, imbeciles and women, or to personal feeling..."

AND FOR THE PRO-LIFERS IN OUR GROUP:

St. John Eudes (d. 1680)
"It is a subject of humiliation of all the mothers of the children of Adam to know that while they are with child, they carry with them an infant... who is the enemy of God, the object of his hatred and malediction, and the shrine of the demon."

Actual Scripture regarding the Upper Room: (for those who assume but do not read)

Acts 1:12-14 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near the city, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they arrived, they went to the upper room where they were staying: Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. With one accord they all continued in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.…

NOTICE VERSE 14, the last verse has . . ALONG WITH THE WOMEN . .

However, you are correct Jay! Most priests give the Pentecost Homily - preaching only the 12 apostles were there in the upper room . . hmmmm . . I wonder why? Could it be Sexism? or as the Church Lady would ask: Could it Be Satan? One thing is for sure - It wasn't Jesus who left women out.

B TS
2 weeks 5 days ago

Alan,
Regarding the Little Flower, who wanted to be a priest, maybe she was not mistaken at all...

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

Or Alan, this incredibly gifted women might have done even more than she had if she was not oppressed out of ordination by only her flesh. The person with God is suppose to discern their vocation or calling. Any man or woman called to priesthood should deeply examine their life, character and vision with God and a spiritual director - That is discernment. However, discounting someone based on gender or race is not discernment but discrimination. Discernment is wise for all called. Discrimination is sin perpetrated against a person immorally as you have raised a person's flesh as more important than the Holy Spirit which resides in them.

From The Gospel of John: 6:63 63 (Jesus tells us) The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you-they are full of the Spirit and life.

So why then Alan do you account the flesh as more important?

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Wait - Now even a Doctor of the Church is disparaged by Nora, and seen not to have reached her full potential because she wasn't ordained? How crazy is this - clericalism gone mad. See how hard feminists work to diminish women.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

Again Tim, you need to look up clericalism, as you obviously don't know what that word means either. Feminism merely seeks same treatment for all people of all genders. You know, like Jesus commands in the Gospels. (oh that's right - you don't know because you have never read any of the Gospels!)

It is not disparagement to point out that oppression limits even saints and doctors of the church. Again, that would be called observation. Yes, sexism, like racism limits people and that is one of the main reasons it is a mean and bad thing to do to people.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Ellen - Many men also think they have a calling and are wrong. Look at how the sons of Zebedee (or at least their mother) grasped for the right and left seat next to Jesus in His glory. Anyway, the feminist ideology is now coming to a head, being turned against itself by the transgender ideology (where the most superficial attributes like makeup, voice, walking, clothes, etc. are coupled with an exaggerated sex-role playing). This is why, to paraphrase Yeats, the LGBTQIA center cannot hold, everything falls apart and gender anarchy is loosed upon the world.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

The Zebedee comparison does not fit the argument for same treatment of sexes. The Zebedee kids wanted better treatment than their brothers, not equal or same treatment. They did not claim to be called to those positions, they merely desired the positions they esteemed as more important. Women are called by God to ordained priesthood just the same, not differently, than their male counterparts. The quest for same treatment is justice the Zebedee kids wanted more than what was Just.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Nora - Where in Church documents or Holy Scripture is the statement "Women are called by God to ordained priesthood?" Perhaps, it is in the Book of Nora but I haven't read it and doubt it is inspired. I think you just made this up.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 2 days ago

Really Tim,

First, to answer your question, Holy Scripture says women are called by God to ordained priesthood in the same exact place where it states men are called to ordained priesthood, namely, Nowhere! There is no word for ordination to priesthood in the Bible. Melchizedek was shown his priesthood without any ordination among man, Levites were born priests not ordained priests by man, the royal priesthood which is the only priesthood the apostles described, as their being a part of, came by baptism and by faith for any believer no matter gender equally, and that is it - no other priesthoods are listed in scripture.

The church started ordaining presbyters hundreds of years after the Ascension of Christ and there were female presbyters. There is not enough evidence absolutely proving there was or was not ordained women priests, or ordained female bishops but there does exist early paintings and murals depicting both at the time the church started ordaining presbyters priests.

Again, You need to read the Bible if you are going to try and use it to support your arguments. The information you seem to think is there, just isn't.

As for church teaching not allowing women to be ordained now - it is this sexist bias that God told me to stay and fight to see gone from our laws as they come from men's abuse and hatred of their sisters and they should never have been allowed into our laws in the first place, as they directly break Christ's command to treat all the same and with love. It is this bias that is the cancer eating away at the heart of our church, leading our church leaders towards pedophilia and sexual abuse of nuns

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 1 day ago

F

Roberta Lavin
2 weeks 6 days ago

Your comment comes across and demeaning to women. I believe equality is justice and without it we are ignoring half of the population. While I'm sure there are some women who want to be Deacons that are power hungry I'm sure there are some men that are Deacons that are power hungry, but they would be the exceptions and not the rule. Women want to be Deacons because they feel called by God to offer themselves to the church in that manner.

I think you said it all when you said even if there were evidence we shouldn't do now. When is a good time?

Jay Zamberlin
2 weeks 6 days ago

"We" are not the determiners of all things Catholic. Jesus Christ instituted the Church, so while some practices might be left up to human discretion, the non essentials, the centralities of the faith would not, i.e., who are the ordained.

In the OT, God determined - as He does about all important liturgical questions - who would serve in the temple, and it was ONLY men from the tribe of Levi. Well, what about the other eleven tribes? Not to mention women. God does discriminate, for HIS reasons; remember the Scripture, 'as high as the heavens are above the earth are His way higher than OUR ways'......??? So, man never determines how God is to be worshipped. Cain made that mistake, and anytime man oversteps his "realm" that would be termed "Cain worship." God told Moses how he was to be worshipped, and he told Solomon, and who could enter the Holy of Holies, and how big to make the Temple and which trees to use, and so forth, the point being that NONE of it was arbitrary, Solomon did not gather a "liturgy committee" to make such determinations, which is what you (Roberta) seem to be advocating for with the questions you raise. Not picking on you, most Catholics use this same rationale, (so this is really aimed more towards them and not you as such) and it is not "nonsense" or dumb - according to almost any human standard it 'makes sense' - but it is none the less, ill- informed because of our poor formation of the last several decades. Sorry, that is the truth. Recalibrate in the light of "God's ways."

B TS
2 weeks 6 days ago

Jay, Adam and Eve were not real people. Neither were Cain and Abel.
I know that the Catholic Catechism makes believers hold fast to Adam and Eve as actual individuals, but a convergence of scientific evidence from various disciplines is making a very clear case that an actual first couple would be impossible.

There is even a good case to be made that Moses did not exist. There is no historical or archeological evidence of a migration of Hebrew slaves out of Egypt. That makes basing anything solely on OT stories, um, problematic, I would say.

Jay Zamberlin
2 weeks 5 days ago

Um, you're an educated fool. Of course Moses existed. IF what you say is true, then Jesus, or certainly ALL of the apostles, are LIARS.....now, which one is it? "If You Believed Moses, You Would Believe Me, for He Wrote of Me."

B TS
2 weeks 5 days ago

It does not follow logically that Jesus and the Apostles were lying. The other very real possibility is that they were mistaken. There is no way they could have know for sure that Moses truly existed. You may not know this, but as Catholics we don't even have to believe that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.
https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/who-wrote-the-books-of-moses

Jay Zamberlin
2 weeks 5 days ago

Well, sir, if Christ could "rise from the dead" (and otherwise, according to Paul, our preaching, our faith, everything IS IN VAIN) and He could, we could assume raise the dead, change water into wine, command devils and demons, heal the blind, and fullfill ALL of the OT prophesies concerning Himself; we MIGHT extrapolate that His meeting on Mt Tabor WAS a real one (otherwise they ARE LIARS, sir)....and that the Last Supper coinciding with PASSOVER, and Him being the Passover LAMB was not all just a big, Game of Thrones well written script. Why are you, (or are you) a Catholic. If we don't belong to a supernatural Church, why bother. Are you just part of the "new church" i.e., the world's biggest SJW meeting hall network? What is the point.... serious question... You have to assume/account for/own ALL of the logical "follows" to what you are asserting here. So, please, account for ALL of the ones I am asserting, or take a seat.

B TS
2 weeks 5 days ago

Not sure what I am. There's definitely Catholicism in my blood somewhere.
I'm just being open-minded. I want to believe in a religion because I personally find it to be true, not because I was told it was true when I was 7. I started reading and learning. It is so liberating. I am just seeking the truth.

Everything you said assumes the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, which they were not. We don't really know if there was a meeting on mountain.

Regarding OT prophecies...you are counting the hits but not the misses. And the "hits" were written by motivated writers. Jesus probably wasn't born in Bethlehem. Anyways, that's a discussion for another day.

You sound angry, what with the all caps, and the "take a seat." I am sensing you get into lots of caustic online arguments, perhaps? I'll bow out and let you have the last word. I have a good book to read.

Jay Zamberlin
2 weeks 2 days ago

Well, one thing, sir, is people promote myths and legends, perhaps, if there would be a payoff of some sort. People don't "conspire" to hoodwink people otherwise, not with the stakes so high. (That is what you would be asserting here, if you simple allow your arguments to play out paired with the KNOWN facts). Most reasonable people would agree on that basic principal, but now add to that the "dis-incentive" of a near certain death, and usually a torturous one, often hideously so, for ALL of the twelve except for John, who was tortured none the less, all BECAUSE OF what their were preaching, and NOT ONLY those twelve, but hundreds of thousands of their direct followers in the first few centuries A.D. So, twelve persons concoct a narrative that confounds twentieth century rationalists in order to procure their own tortuous deaths. Please read up on the life of a Christian in Nero's Rome or Diocletian's Rome and other unbenign Roman Emperors.

Liars, fools or lunatics are all of these, and Jesus Himself, by logical extension following your premise, OR truth tellers. That's it. And in the case of the former, certainly not people to follow, in any sort of quest for religious certitude or truth.
We ARE NOT discussing people that just couldn't remember well or had flights of fancy or whimsy, or wanted to concoct an interesting screen play for Cecil B. Demille, that's off the table baby. Have a nice day.

extension, and no, I'm not mad, search away, but don't try to deny basic logic to make sure you comport with arguments of twentieth century "wise persons" who actually don't know their ass from a hole in the ground, as my dad used to say. You can add to those "arguments" on the side of the apostles' testimonies the irrefutable miracles through time permeating that Catholic religion, impossible to simply "explain away."

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks 5 days ago

What is in the Gospel is what Jesus instituted and he commanded same treatment for all so no discrimination allowed:

Below is the answer to your wrong assumptions which I first used to answer to Tim's similar sexist comments but it answers many of your comment's questions as well regarding the Old Testament and the New:

And for the record no non-Levites ever claimed to be called to serve as priests unlike the many women who have claimed to be called in our church. This is evidence The Holy Spirit wants women priests in our church but never wanted non-Levite priests and so never called them.

I will re-state what is based on the bible, as I did for Tim in my comment below to explain how off scripture you are and why - and yes our Church is too. . (Be careful the words you declare to be God's - He will hold you accountable for them, if they are false, and you do not repent.)

(My comment to Tim)

Dear Tim,

Your version of scripture study altogether leaves out scripture! I neither omitted or twisted anything I quoted, nor did I take any of the passages out of context. I stated them as supporting my stand because they clearly support my argument that Jesus wants all people to treat all other people the same as they wish to be treated, and this leaves no room for imagined stereotypes, and gender roles, which Science and society have already proven only ever came from the imaginations of highly sexist, misogynistic, narrow minded, and oppressive, often religious men.

For the record, these are the accepted definitions other English Speaking People agree on for the
word Sexism:

Definitions: from various accepted English Language Dictionaries:

From the Explorer online Web Dictionary:

sex·ism
[ˈsekˌsizəm]
NOUN
1. prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
"sexism in language is an offensive reminder of the way the culture sees women"
synonyms:
chauvinism · discrimination · prejudice · bias · machismo · laddishness

From Merriam Webster's Dictionary:

sexism
noun
sex·ism | \ ˈsek-ˌsi-zəm \
Definition of sexism

1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex especially : discrimination against women
2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

From Wikipedia:

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it systematically and primarily affects women and girls. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence.
As for priestesses, you are the only one hot for that word - I am not seeking anyone be ordained a priestess. So please keep that personal fantasy to yourself.

God did not make man and women differently, except for reasons of procreation, and he did not make them differently in punishment outside of procreation events. The fall which was caused by sin of both sexes equally, is the first time we see a man treating a woman differently than he wants to be treated, as he has decided to blame her for his own lack of obedience to God. This is when the disunity of man began - literally with the first sexist man refusing to be held accountable for his own actions. Adam and Eve are actually having described to them in Genesis, by God, more a consequence rather than a punishment for their actions. Much like a parent who is human, if one's child sins and disobeys and touches a hot stove, the child's hand is burnt, this crushes the parent, it does not please him/her. From the point of that first sin and on, both male and female mankind are stuck toiling harder to gain from the land that which came more easily before the sin. God can't make the one without a uterus bleed or experience more pain in child birth because he does not have a uterus. However, most men who have lost a wife due to a bad birth will tell you they feel crushed by that loss. (an Aside: It is a curious fact that human heads are uniquely disproportionate to their bodies when born which is why they can't hold their own heads up. This is not true of any other animals or mammals. Since the sin was a matter of obtaining forbidden knowledge perhaps that sin increased the brain matter, in size, and therefore head size of all mankind, one could wonder is this the consequence of that first sin and why it resulted in greater pain and blood in childbirth? (this is my mere theological hypothesis).

However, what is certain, is that man and women are the same, not complimentary creations, according to Genesis. They are made of the same material, for the same exact purposes, by the same God who never assigned different tasks, according to gender, whether spiritual, physical or ministerial period. This simply cannot be found in the bible anywhere unless there was a specific need to do so like physical strength being necessary for the task or blood laws being kept, etc.

As for physical strength, I don't deny that women can't become NFL football players. However, neither can well over 98% of all men, either, so this means nothing. If priesthood demanded extreme physical strength to perform the tasks necessary that could be a reason to restrict women and many men but it does not.

God designed Judaism as a non-sexist patriarchal society which was intended to lead to a non-sexist, non-patriarchal church, outside of Jesus being the only true leader of the Church and being male in the flesh. This is why Jesus refers to the whole church as female (all of us represent the "she" in the wedding, equally, and this includes our hierarchy - they are part of "She" too- the bride). The Patriarchy begins with Abraham who makes himself a friend of God (Sarah is actually promised this inheritance to enjoy also and she benefits everything promised to Abraham as well thru marriage. There is nothing Abraham owns that is something Sarah can't also enjoy, as his legal wife). The descendants of Abraham are Sarah's descendants too. The Old Testament is written primarily through the male story due to lineage rules and inheritance laws. In order for Abraham to claim the promise made to him by God which is that his offspring will be as numerous as the stars and cover the whole world, the gentiles eventually have to become a part of his legal inheritance. To explain how God ends up pulling this off, we have to see Abraham's literal blood be attached to the Messiah who is the only one capable of making anyone a child of God. So patriarchy is created with Abraham to legally track his bloodline to the Messiah. God secures this through Abraham's descendants or blood lineage. Just as all people are actually considered equally man and therefore equally Adam (Think of it as a ball of play dough being continually separated into more and more balls, and those balls are also separated and multiplied, and so on, and so on - none of these balls didn't come from the original, so officially they are all the original ball, in a literal way still. In the creator's eyes they are the same thing, merely with different names for its parts or balls or sections - This is why in Genesis, God refers to both male and female as Man which translates also from the Hebrew into Adam.) Now God at no point states that women should be treated lesser than men in any way or be kept from doing any works. When men have made such decisions, it was never assigned them to do so by scripture, unless due to matters of extreme strength or issues of following blood laws during menstruation. So this was not designed as a sexist patriarchy but instead as one that allowed bloodline to be carefully tracked, so to ensure it would be tracked, they made bloodline lineage, the avenue through which to achieve inheritance. There are pluses and minuses to both ends: Women don't officially own anything but have legal right to use and enjoy whatever their husbands own and inherit, this includes priesthood for a Levite. (which is why it is interesting that Leviticus never states a woman can't be a priest or serve as one. Also wives and children of priests are the only ones legally allowed to eat of the sacred bread only priests are legally allowed to eat.)

Men are stuck with the tribe they are born into but women are not. If a woman does not want to be a Levite anymore then she can marry out of it, into another tribe. She can't bring any possessions with her because ultimately even what men own, in a tribe (especially land), is restricted as to who they can or can't give or sell it to. However, she can freely enjoy whatever her husband and his tribe have in ownership. This way no tribe is weakened or lessened by another thru loss of possessions by marriage. Since all of the blood descendants of Abraham are considered to be Abraham himself in a new form (this includes women Jews but they are unable to pass down lineage) when Christ picks the 12 as Judges for the 12 tribes of Israel (not priests) according to Jesus, in two Gospels, in essence, Abraham has inherited the church, by blood, because the twelve represent the tribes of Israel who encompass the inheritance of Abraham, by blood, and they are reborn by baptism and faith in Jesus Christ. So Abraham and Christ become one body, through the twelve who contain Abraham's blood, and also drink the blood of Christ - Holy Eucharist, and become physically and spiritually one life in the melding. Now that they are one body and the church belongs to Abraham and Abraham belongs to Christ literally, and legally, in blood and Spirit, there is no longer need for any leader of the church or any presbyter, to be either male or Jewish. If this merger did not satisfy the law, then Gentiles could not be priests or leaders of the church either. However, if gentiles can be priests or church leaders, then there is no reason women cannot, equally.

God did not pick priests for Judaism - they were born priests. In Christianity, however, they are chosen by faith, and so bloodlines, and therefore gender also, is null and void as a requirement in any way. This makes our patriarchy unnecessary and harmful because patriarchy with no purpose can only serve to support misogyny and this is a form of hatred.

The Holy Spirit does not teach in error - That is true. However, our Pope(s) and our religious leaders most certainly can and they have many times. This is why many laws, doctrines, traditions have changed throughout our church's history. This ban against women being ordained priests and bishops is not ex cathedra, and it is not by agreement of all bishops, in the world, over a long period of time, or agreement without papal coercion of bishops, which does not count as an agreement of bishops (agreement must be voluntary), so we cannot claim the Magisterium has decided this ban is infallible truth either. This makes it a changeable teaching and tradition.

As for bathrooms, I don't think any bathroom should be one gender or another. I personally don't enjoy pooping next to women in the next stall any more or less than if a man were in it. It is perfectly possible to put up sheet rock type stalls with doors on each stall so everyone may do what they need to do in privacy. As it is, I work in Massachusetts and transgender women do use the ladies room and nothing bad has happened on account of this.

As for maternity and paternity leave, these should definitely be for the same amount of paid time off. When I had my two kids, both I and my husband were working for government and did have exactly the same amount of time off and this helped us both enormously. Fathers and newborns need to bond just as badly as mothers and newborns. Many of our societies' problems with men come from our pretending that parenthood is a girl thing, or that men don't need to nurture and bond with their children as much as women do and this creates cold, unfeeling fathers who do nothing but spout rules and dish out punishments. Parenthood is about loving, nurturing, teaching, feeding, clothing, diaper changing, cleaning, by both parents, equally. When I nursed my children, I let my husband feed them their bottles of other fluids once they started having juices added to their diets because he really wanted to know what it was like to feed his babies. As far as lactation rooms, any private room will do for this. Many of our attorneys use their own locked offices.

Treating men and women the same does no damage to anyone and you can't just spout lies without real evidence to support your statements.

Women cannot act like men or vice versa because there is no standard way that women act or men act. Stereotypes from sexism try to claim women are more emotional or nurturing but these beliefs have already been proven by science to be completely false. People are all unique, and there are women who are more and less emotional, nurturing, tempermental, depressive, smart, bold, wise etc. as men and vice versa. Gender does not decide these things - personality does. In fact, recent gender studies in England have proven that groups of men disagree more with each other on fundamental issues than do groups of men and women. So men and women do not have a feminine or masculine wisdom or genius any more than black and white people have a genius based on race. This is just more false, already debunked, stereotyping made to oppress women.

You are only lying to yourself Tim and it is hurting you and our church. Stop it.

We will change, or our church will indeed become the church that hated itself to death. What a sad outcome. God will give our strength to another church if we refuse to act according to his command to treat all members the same and that means same opportunities and sacraments be made available, equally, to all members.

Equality does not take anything from men, Tim, and it adds greater enjoyment to their relationships with women. You need not be so terrified of it.

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