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Extending the cloth for Catholicism

Published: Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

The recent sex abuse crisis surrounding the Roman Catholic Church has opened up a forum of discussion. Protestors are calling for priesthood to be opened up to women and to withdrawal all celibacy requirements.

Our generation has grown up in a world where we are taught, despite race or gender, we can grow up to be anything we want to be. It's the American dream, right? So why does the Catholic Church refuse to allow the ordainment of women? It is time for a change. It is time for women to be allowed every right and opportunity that a man is given, and it is time for the church to recognize women having a calling to become ordained. Women as well as men deserve the right to serve the church if they believe they are meant to.

Although many groups are pushing for women to become ordained, many are also pushing to remove the celibacy codes for priests. While both are valid changes that the Catholic Church should carefully consider, advocates should focus on the issue of first allowing women to be accepted into the ranks of priesthood.

Although altering the tradition of a male leading mass will take effort, especially as they aim to reverse thousands of years of tradition and doctrine, leaders of these groups are making the first steps in the right direction. Let us remember that it was in 1974 when women were first accepted into Texas A&M and it was because of advocates fighting for equal acceptance. If we are to one day tell our daughters that they will be able to grow up and become anything they wish to be, shouldn't it be the truth?


The Battalion's editorial opinion is determined by its Board of Opinion, with the editor in chief having final responsibility.

Editor in Chief: Vicky Flores

Managing Editor: Megan Ryan

Opinion Editor: Ian McPhail


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11 comments Log in to Comment

Sat Jun 12 2010 16:10

You can look up the history of celibacy in the Church on any number of websites. Thie following is taken from Wikipedia:

1. It is undisputed that the earliest Christian leaders were very largely married men.

2. The First Lateran Council (1123):
Canon 3: We absolutely forbid priests, deacons, and subdeacons to associate with concubines and women, or to live with women ....

Dudeman '11
Fri Jun 11 2010 13:30
If the Church wishes to continue in the future as an organization they will most assuredly have to accept at least one of these changes. The number of priests is shrinking rapidly as the elderly retire and new recruits dwindle.
The argument for celibacy is at least understandable. They are married to the church. In theory, they should need no other family but that. Concern should be for the entirety of his or her flock, not having to focus especially on any one member.
The argument for male only priests is much more shaky. The only reason it occurs, frankly, is tradition. And that tradition was only started after the 3rd century CE, when Christianity started getting popular in the Roman empire. Before that time there were many female deacons and apostles. Of course there was nothing beyond that, misogyny was the norm for the majority of the world Christianity went to at the time. Doesn't mean we have to fall to the same levels. A woman can lead just as easily as a man.
Oh and by the way, DOGMA (as you so happily put it in caps) changes all the time. We had a rather big one recently, did we not? The Second Vatican Council or something like that? Furthermore, if that's not an acceptable answer for you, let's look at the Catholic view on other religions. A couple centuries ago we'd have happily destroyed anyone who refused to believe differently for their "evil ways". Now, as John Paul the Great so rightly put it, we say that all religions hold some light of truth to them, though they may not be as correct. Bit different, isn't it?
Just saying
Fri Jun 11 2010 12:02
"Different but equal" sounds exactly like the doctrine of "separate but equal" that was used to oppress African Americans. Maybe this article hit a nerve among misogynists?

Just saying.

Daniel '07
Fri Jun 11 2010 11:15
The Catholic Church does not, will not, and should not, allow women to be ordained priests. Women and men are different but equal. We have different purposes in life and different opportunities, but both have the ability to lead people closer to Christ.

Trying to compare enrollment by women at A&M on the same level as taking a life long vocation to the priesthood debases the importance of the priesthood. Imagine if I compared getting a magazine subscription on the same level as getting accepted to A&M. Both give you the opportunity to be a part of something, but they are are completely different levels.

Remember, celibacy is a choice that a person makes, just as entering the priesthood is a choice. There are many other ways to serve Christ and His true Church, such as being a deacon, a missionary, or a volunteer.

Wed Jun 9 2010 18:01
Again, I repeat, the church cannot change this, it is DOGMA, not DISCIPLINE, there is a difference in Cathollic teaching. Those who think that they know what the Catholic Church teaches without having studied it thoroughly, are in the least ignorant, at worst arrogant. I don't go around and act like an expert on Methodism, stop acting like experts on CATHOLICISM!!!
Wed Jun 9 2010 16:08
Certainly the Catholic Church is based on tradition but just during my lifetime their have been changes.
Including going from an all Latin mass to the language spoken by the community, from only altar boys to now altar boys and girls. The Catholic Church does change and will continue to change. Women in the priesthood is not unthinkable.
Mark '08
Wed Jun 9 2010 13:23
I think the Catholic church is more focused on keeping quiet about which members of power in their religion use that authority to rape children. There is already plenty of evidence the current pope helped systematically repress investigation, prosecution, or even removal of child rapists from around the globe when he was in charge over the last 20 years.

Archaic rules about who gets to be in power seems kinda moot at that point. Can you think of another group on the planet that gets away with being the "moral compass" of what society should adhere to, and quietly condones child molestation? From the reports, they told the children they would go to hell if they ever told the police. So really, who cares that it's still a boys only club?

Wed Jun 9 2010 11:23
Women priests? Has not, is not, nor ever will be a female clergy in the Catholic Church. John Paul 2 put the issue to rest. The priest stand In Persona Christi, and since Jesus chose to incarnate as a man, and not as a woman, there is nothing we can do to change that. No where in scripture do we see women in the roles of priesthood, neither in the old or new testament. The only reference even to a deaconess in the new testament is unclear as to what is being referred to her role, and no where in church history do we find a female who was ordained. I am not talking about about protestant form of Christianity, but about orthodox Christianity, in which we have an ordained priesthood that can trace its roots to the Apostles, which is only possible in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Obviously, if you are a Bible believing Christian, you should look to the Bible for your direction, but this is one of those areas where Orthodox Christians can point to to demonstrate the invalidity of Protestant doctrine directly from scripture. The issue of celibacy was not a later invention and also can be directly pointed to in the New Testament, from Christ's words on those who chose to be eunuchs for the Kingdom, and Paul pointing out that Celibacy is the greater life to chose. Unlike the issue of women as priests, this is a discipline and not an issue of dogma, so this may change, but since this is not the cause of the abuse crisis and since the priesthood is to consider the Church his bride , since pedophilia is also an issue with ALL other denominations(yes even married clergy are capable of committing horrendous crimes against the innocent), then the solution is found in the selection of candidates, and in the preparation of Catholics to grow into mature sexual beings. We live in a fallen world and we will never experience perfection in it, as we are all prone to sin, and the priesthood does not make you perfect, to see human failures in the Catholic Church, only verifies that we are all in need of redemption, and the Church is a Church of sinners who are seeking a remedy for their sins, and that is only found in the mercy of God, and that IS FOUND in the Church, and is given to us in the sacraments that these priests who stand in the place of Christ, generously sacrifice their lives to bring us when we are most in need.
Nicholas J. Green '80
Wed Jun 9 2010 07:21
We need to stop telling children they can be anything they want to be. If this were true, the NBA would have 5,000,000 players and the Office of President of The United States of America would be occupied by dozens of folks at a time and the Blue Angels would feature 200 jets in their air shows. Children would be better served to be told that they can PURSUE any career or station in life that they choose to, but that the realities of competition and the market forces may prevent their ultimate success at doing so. Thus, coach them to have Plans B, C, and D. This concept is true for all stages and aspects of life, from childhood to old age. OBTW, wasn't it 1963 that the college became a university, Corp was made voluntary, and women were admitted?
Mike 00'
Wed Jun 9 2010 02:14
I am so happy this is an opinion piece. If you don't like the Catholic Church go to a different Church that fits in with your opinion. Isn't this the same paper that reported the hurt feelings of some members of the gay organization on campus as news instead of opinion? While we are attacking organizations: the Mormons should allow non-Mormon people to enter the tabernacle to watch a wedding, the battalion should offer a conservative to write articles and opinions, the NAACP should change its name to be all inclusive maybe the NAAForAllPeople or NAAFAP, the GLBT should become the GLBTS to include straight people, I could go on but you get the point. As a Catholic the Church does not need to change to serve your opinion. The sex scandals that are constantly brought up as a reason for your views on what the Catholic Church needs to do has been blown out of proportion. Did the Church handle it wrong, yes. Is it a widespread problem, no. There are thousands of priest in the Catholic faith and to base an opinion on the actions of less than 1/100 of a percent of clergy is truly asinine. This paper and its writers stand proud and preach to the masses about tolerance and acceptance, but when it comes to the Catholic Church or conservative issues you are all intolerant. In closing if you don't like the Catholic Church don't go. And due to your obvious ignorance of the Catholic faith you are not qualified to voice an opinion on something you know nothing about.. With that let the hate speech and intolerant comments fly as I am sure they will.
Wed Jun 9 2010 00:32
FIRST allow priests to be married, if they so desire. THEN tackle the other things. It wasn't until several hundred years after the formation of the Church that the celibacy law started. It should have been repealed hundreds of years ago. That will be a huge step. After celibacy is repealed, let that settle in for a time. Rocking the Church to the core once is enough for now. If women priests are allowed while the celibacy law is in place, then everyone will still be celibate. You have to understand that the Church is one of the oldest organizations in our civilization, and one of the largest. "Rome wasn't built in a day", and the Church will not physically or emotionally be changed in a "day". The "rights" of a certain group to barrel its way in do not even factor in this situation. Women may eventually be ordained as priests; but the most harmful thing to the Church right now is celibacy. IT should go away.

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