Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium slammed the door shut on female ordination,
The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion,, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general.
Poor Francis caught in a dilemma..
You can sense his embarrassment
He “readily acknowledge that many women share pastoral responsibilities with priests, helping to guide people, families and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflection,”
But priesthood —a step too far.
He twists in agony.
“The legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity. This presents the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded.
But female priests —not yet.
Many people were disappointed with Francis Maybe this is a bit naive. A sitting pope can hardly be expected to contradict his two predecessors who were both over the top with their “nyets” to female ordination. Anybody with an understanding of church history should know this.
But accept it? No.
In the hierarchy of truths a church discipline can be changed. As Pope John 23 said he could waive celibacy wit a snap of his fingers.
Female ordination is simply a blind spot in heretofore male hierarchical church. The old boys club sadly is on the wrong side of history and in he future will be made to look reactionary. Particularly John Paul ll: Inn Ordinatio Sacerdotalis JPII said:
”Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
Interesting—the Church–but who is the church?.Not JP ll and/or the bishops. They are a a very tiny part of the church. The sensus fidelium will decide otherwise.
Most Catholics particularly in educated realms have already accepted the total equality of males and females. Institutions however will always lag. The time bound utterances of church giants like Augustine(d.430 CE) (”Women are not made in the image of God),Aquinas (d 1274) (Women are misbegotten males,incomplete beings” etc) should be seen for what they are, reflections of an earlier epoch. Forgivable and hardly binding.
Harm will be one and is being done. Priests who have stated the obvious rights of women to all seven sacraments and every church office males are heir to, men like ex Maryknoller Roy Bourgeois and now Irish Redemptorist Tony Flannery are the first of many sacrificial sacerdotal l lambs being led to the slaughter on false charges.