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August 30th, 2010
10:58 AM ET

Catholic Church defends male-only priesthood

Barring women from being Catholic priests is not the result of sexism 2,000 years ago, it's because women cannot fulfill a basic function of the priesthood, "standing in the place of Jesus," a leading British Catholic thinker argued Monday.

"This teaching is not at all a judgment on women's abilities or rights. It says something about the specific role of the priest in Catholic understanding - which is to represent Jesus, to stand in his place," argued Father Stephen Wang in a statement sent out by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

It's rare for the Catholic Church to defend its fundamental positions in this way.

Wang was responding to the announcement that campaigners for female priests will plaster posters on London buses next month during the pope's visit to London.

The ads read "Pope Benedict - Ordain Women Now!" and will be on 15 double-decker buses running in some of London's main tourist areas, including Parliament and Oxford Street, said Pat Brown, a spokeswoman for Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO).

The group spent "in excess of 10,000 pounds" ($15,500) on the ads and is hoping donations will help make up at least part of that cost, Brown told CNN Friday.

Wang rejected both the tone and the content of the ads, saying that while an atheist ad campaign last year was "hesitant and ended with gentle exhortations," this one ends "with a shout."

And it's based on a fundamental misunderstanding, said Wang, the dean of studies at London's main seminary for Catholic priests, Allen Hall.

Pope John Paul II declared in 1994 that the church has no authority to ordain women, a position confirmed a year later by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI. At the time, Ratzinger was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the arbiter of Catholic Church dogma.

Wang called the late pope's position "surprising," saying John Paul had meant he did not have the power to change "something that has been such a fundamental part of Christian identity from the beginning."

The bottom line is that Jesus chose 12 men - and no women - to be his apostles, Wang argues.

The choice was "deliberate and significant, not just for that first period of history, but for every age," Wang says.

Men and women are equal in Christianity, he continues, but "this does not mean that our sexual identity as men and women is interchangeable. Gender is not just an accident."

He compared the role of a priest to that of an actor playing King Arthur or British soccer star Wayne Rooney in a movie.

"No one would be surprised if I said I wanted a male actor to play the lead," he said, admitting the analogy was "weak."

But, he said, "it shouldn't surprise us if we expect a man to stand 'in the person of Christ' as a priest, to represent Jesus in his humanity - a humanity that is not sexually neutral."

The Catholic women's group says that in addition to its bus campaign, it plans to hold a vigil September 15, the day before the pope's visit, outside Westminster Cathedral.

The group also plans to demonstrate at Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury - the head of the Church of England - during his meeting with the pope.

And members plan to hold a banner along the route of the popemobile, the secure vehicle which carries the pope, in London.

Pope Benedict plans to visit England and Scotland September 16-19. It will be the first state visit to the United Kingdom by a pope, according to the British Foreign Office. John Paul's trip in 1982 was officially a pastoral visit.

CNN's Richard Allen Greene and Melissa Gray contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Catholic Church • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI • United Kingdom

soundoff (1,334 Responses)
  1. blackcurry

    As an ex-Catholic, I don't, for one second, believe priests "stand in the person of Christ." Those who translated the Bible were from patriarchal societies and had their own reasons for translating the way the did. Jesus was very close to women and it seems to me that in the "Mary and Martha" story, he gave women the same status as men. Besiides, God is neither male or female. He merely created us in a way that our insignificant little minds could understand. Don't ever pretend to know the mind of God. He is so far above us, we are totally incapable of understanding Him or his ways.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • Catie

      Beautifully said. Well, except the ex Catholic part. I belong to a wonderful Parish. God is wonderbread, you will find him in most grocery stores. Just find your comfort level

      August 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Mike in KC

      It was only when I stepped away from the Church that I began to really understand who God is.
      It was at a conservative Bible College that I took a class on interpreting scripture, and began to really question what I was raised to believe. Once I did that, I found that most of it was doctrine created by men who had interpreted scripture in their own way.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Mike in KC,

      I think that those who put the Bible together, the Catholic Church, are the proper interpreters.
      Your interpretation is just your personal opinion.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Why are there so many differences of opinion among those who read the same verses?
      One reason is because each person has a built in filtering system. What we hear enters the ear, and what we read enters the eye, and both are filtered by the brain and stored. Since each person is a unique human being, these filtering systems can vary from person to person. What one interprets after it is filtered can be different from what another interprets, thus a difference of opinion results. Let us take a look at some typical verses as examples of opinionated filtering systems:

      1. "All have sinned", Rom 3:23

      A. The fundamentalist would take this verse literally as he reads his English translation of the bible. He would say by the use of the word "all", it surely means just that, everyone who has ever lived has sinned. There is no doubt about it.
      B. Another person, knowing that this verse was not written in English, but in Greek, might question the English translation for using the word "all" from the Greek word "pas*". His filter system has brought him to the conclusion that it could not mean everyone, but "a great many". After all, he reasons, did Jesus sin? Have babies sinned? Can a comatose person sin? He has come to the conclusion that since he has found three exceptions to the word "all", might there not be more?
      So, have all really sinned?
      Which one has the correct opinion if either? In this example it is seen that where there is a translation from one language to another, there could be variations in the meaning of the verse.
      *The Greek word Pas, indeed can mean 'a great many', or 'any'.

      2. "So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;" John 6:53

      A. The fundamentalist, who takes almost the whole Bible literally, would drop the literal translation of that verse in favor of an opinionated symbolic translation. He uses eisegesis which means, reading into a text something that simply is not there. In no way did Jesus say that he was speaking symbolically.
      B. The other person, knowing that it was said by "truth" Himself would take the verse literally. Jesus said it, therefore it has to be true.

      So, which interpretation of that verse is the true interpretation? The fundamentalist would say that Scripture is clear and is easily interpreted.
      Well if Scripture is so clear, then why are there so many differences of opinion as to its interpretation? And not only that, but why does Scripture itself say that it is not clear?
      "So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures."
      2Pet 3:15-16

      In this little exercise with the examples presented, you can readily see how personal opinions can make accurate study of Holy Scripture problematic, and can be the root cause of division.

      So what is the answer regarding personal opinions? How can we determine which one has doctrinal truth, and which one is merely expressing a misguided personal opinion?
      We can be sure by having only one authority, bestowed by GOD, to separate what is truth from what is error. Read Matthew 16:13-17 again, for the perfect Biblical example of personal opinions of men versus doctrinal truth given by GOD to the one and only Simon Peter.

      --------------------------–

      "What is truth comes from GOD. What is false comes from man."
      Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

      --------------------------–

      "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding."
      Proverbs 3:5

      --------------------------–

      "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion."
      Proverbs 18:2

      --------------------------–

      Written by Bob Stanley

      August 31, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • Kate

      @CatholicMom

      Nice post, good to have the "real" you back.

      But how do *you* see those things? Some of the things you've posted do come across as fundamentalist in tenor, so I'm curious – especially as the last two quotes in the article you reposted seem to contradict each other on the virtues of understanding. Is there a contextual mixup?

      Just askin'

      August 31, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Kate, thank you for writing…

      With regards to the Bible I would say read it….if you find yourself questioning what a verse really means, ask the Church how it is to be interpreted since they are the one who put the Bible together and are as close to the Author as one can get.

      Also while reading, if you find yourself completely disagreeing with how the Church interprets a verse, the likelihood of you being right and the Church is wrong is probably a misinterpretation on your part.

      I think history has proven this….35,000 ecclesial communities and still dividing….all because of personal opinion. If you believe the words of the Bible and that there is only ONE Truth….who has it?

      My ‘personal opinion’ is that it is the Catholic Church and not an ecclesial community.

      September 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • Diane

      CatholicMom, you bring up some very good logical points and then end with saying to follow what the church says and not your own understanding. If the church is so perfect, then why has there been death in the church's name? Why have children been allowed to be abused? What happens if two different priests in your church have two different interpretations? If your church asked you to drink Kool-Aid laced with cyanide, would you blindly follow? Overall, the RC may be a good organization that has helped a lot of people (and hurt a lot of people) and offered spiritual guidance to those who need it. But to say that the church is absolutely perfect and can never make a mistake REALLY worries me about you CatholicMom. People run the church and just because they are ordained does not mean they are perfect. Jesus was the only perfect human being to walk this Earth. Hasn't the Bible warned you of false prophets? Thinking your church can do no wrong makes you vulnerable to manipulation by false prophets. Who is to say someone meaning to harm others isn't masquerading as a holy priest? This has already happened. What do you think a child molester is? I hate to use that point to make my case, but it is the most obvious one that has been revealed lately. Do you really think taking the word of a child rapist is what God wants you to do? My church taught me to think for myself and interpret the Bible, not to blindly listen to what someone says. If the RCC doesn't do that, then that is really sad.

      September 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Kate

      @CatholicMom

      I have, cover to cover, several times.

      The Church doesn't like questions very much – when the answers you get from the priesthood boil down to "Because.", then there can be neither understanding nor faith.

      It goes back to my differentiating between "religious" and "dogmatic". Love of God, and faith, should be conscious, and someone should be able to explain the "why" of their faith. It's not whether or not the questioner understands, or believes, but rather the faith of the one asked should be strong enough to be able to answer, or say "I don't know".

      It's even more important that they be able to ask those in positions to guide the faithful, that answers not fall back on dogma. If the priesthood doesn't understand the "why", then the faithful have no chance, and it becomes dogma.

      It's kind of ironic when you have a Jesuit education, are taught how to question everything, you use it to question the Church itself, and you get "Because." as an answer.

      In context, it might be that there was a flaw in the seminary curriculum back in the 80's. But let's be honest here, how many people in your congregation do you know could answer the challenges to Catholicism you've been fielding here?

      September 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Kate

      @Diane

      I'm uncomfortable putting it this way, but there are worse examples of the Catholic Church being led by people who were, in the end, seriously flawed humans. The Sack of Rome, the handling of the Albigensian Heresy, the Templars, all of those things were acts committed under Papal authority that were, in the end, for purely human reasons – especially greed.

      The Pope isn't supposed to be infallible. But he's not supposed to order atrocities that have human motives in the name of God.

      September 1, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • Diane

      @Kate,
      Thanks for those specific examples. I just kind of lumped most of that in with people dying in the name of the church. Not martyrs, but people being killed in the name of the church.

      September 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Kate

      @CatholicMom

      To clarify, yes I was raised Roman Catholic, and was taught by the Jesuits, and did ask, and did get "Because." – and why I couldn't be a priest was one of those questions so many years ago (I didn't want to be one, but I did want to know why I couldn't be one)

      I follow a different path now. I never get "Because." as an answer – maybe I just ask better scholars this time 🙂

      Just clarifyin'

      September 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Kate and Diane,

      Most of us know that a person is not/should not be expected to know all there is to know about everything, but should know how and where to search for answers to their questions. [Talking about teacher/student situations.] As an example: trying to teach a child how to spell every word in the dictionary most likely isn’t going ‘to happen,’ but teaching him how to use the dictionary can be of greater value.

      When you were given the reply of ‘because,’ that is not an answer to any question; it sounds like you had a very poorly educated priest as far as knowledge goes concerning Catholicism. He should have been able to help find the answer if he didn’t know. But if I may add here, that his lack of knowledge does not diminish his ability to make valid the Sacraments.

      I may not be explaining my point very well about the Catholic Church as being an inst tu tion, and us persons as being the body of Christ. But here is another attempt.

      The Catholic Church is the dispenser of grace to all of us, the members. The Church which is the pillar and foundation of Truth was founded by Jesus Christ. He placed the Apostles in charge of His Church…promising to be with them, guiding and guarding the Church until the end of time and said the devil will not prevail against Her.

      We are the Body of Christ through Baptism. Everyone, which includes lay persons, Priests, Bishops, and the Pope, are capable of sinning and need the Church as a means of receiving the graces Jesus Christ wishes to bestows on us to help us endure to the end…. this journey to our ever-lasting life in eternity.

      When we [any member] sins, the whole body suffers. Sin wounds the whole body just as when you stub your toe…does not the whole body shriek with pain? Sometimes it is more than a stubbing of the toe…. perhaps the foot is severed…this is extreme, the body suffers dearly. The Sacraments can heal the body of Christ….without the Sacraments the healing may take much longer or may never heal.

      So we need the Church and we need holy Priests who validate the Sacraments; this is Christ’s way of delivering up to himself a Bride that is without stain or wrinkle or any such thing. It is Jesus Christ who absolves us of our sins. The Bible clearly says we are to confess our sins one to another. [James 5-16] The power to speak the words of absolution were given to men [John 20-23]. The Holy Eucharist and all the Sacraments bring us into the life of Jesus Christ…it is really Him working through the Priest. Any time we do any good, it is the Holy Spirit working through us; so Jesus Christ can work through all of us once we are Baptized.

      I could go on but am afraid this is getting too long to post…..hope this was helpful……

      September 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Diane

      CatholicMom,
      You say that your church is perfect and quote scripture you says proves it. Fine. But you are never going to convince me that women not being allowed in the priesthood because the interpretation of the Bible by the RCC (i.e. your Pope, Bishops, Priests, etc who sin and can interpret Bible verses with their own biases) is right. There is no amount of excuses and biased interpretations that is going to make me believe that it is anything other than prejudice. I think we are going to have to agree to disagree, because neither one of us is ever going to change the other's mind.

      September 1, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • Kate

      @CatholicMom

      I think it was more that I asked questions for which there were no scripture-based answers – many of them were why things were condoned that weren't in scripture at all. When a Canon can't answer with anything but "Because.", it can only go one way really.

      I'm happy with where my heart took me after. it was a good chance to learn about spirit and faith without having to be chained by the rituals of the religions I examined, and my choice is "cleaner" for me, being by choice than simply "because you were born into it". I'm at peace with that choice and the world 🙂

      We'll only know when the time comes and we face the consequences of our chosen paths. If I'm wrong, I'll stand there with my head high and accept I was wrong – but I'm sure I was right, I'll just hope that the ones who were wrong can be forgiven not being able to see what I see.

      On topic, I have to agree with Diane – the explanation being offered in this article with regards to priests being male only I think is spurious and not supported by scripture, only by prejudicial extrapolations of the Bible. If it had been offered as explanation when I was a kid, I'd still have found it sorely wanting – it's not *that* far away from a "Because." answer, really.

      September 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
    • Diane

      CatholicMom,
      While I realize it is pointless to continue debating this, I can't help but to ask a few more questions.

      1) If the Bible supposedly says that women are not allowed to teach men or to teach in public, why is it that that you are teaching both women and MEN on this PUBLIC forum? I have posted a link a few times that I think offers a different interpretation of 1Timothy 2.
      2) Why is it that you assume that YOUR church, the Roman Catholic Church, is the perfect church that is referred to in the Bible?

      Someone else posted this link in their comment that explains better than I can the objections against the perfection of the RCC and the infallibility of the Pope: http://www.whatsaiththescripture.com/Fellowship/An.Earnest.Appeal.html

      September 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Diane,
      In reading 1Tim 2, I believe St. Paul means that women should not teach as a preacher or an Apostle, such as himself. I will try to find out how the Church inteprets 1Tim 2. We have women teaching Catechism and if that is what is meant here literally, we would not be teachers as such; so I am positive it is not meant the way you suggest.

      Do you really think my posts are 'teaching'?

      September 3, 2010 at 1:25 am |
    • Kate

      @CatholicMom

      Why wouldn't you be? You're debating and everyone is getting an education – some of them getting well and truly schooled by you 🙂

      Just sayin'

      September 3, 2010 at 1:29 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Diane,

      This is how to find the Church that the Bible is talking about......
      Use this guideline as a measure...

      *It was founded by Jesus Christ Himself in Mt 16:18.
      *It would be built on Simon Peter, Mt 16:18.
      *It would be defended by GOD Himself, Mt 16:18-19.
      *It would have authority given by Jesus Christ, Mt 16:19,18:17-18.
      *It would be guided by the Holy Spirit who will dwell within it, Jn 14:15-17, Act 15:28,16:6.
      *It would be one and undivided, Mk 3:24-25.
      *It would have one fold and one shepherd, Jn 10:16.
      *It would have Priests, Bishops, and Deacons, 1Tim 3:1-13.
      *It must have the Holy Eucharist celebration, Jn 6:42-70, Act 2:42.
      *It must be found in all nations, Mt 28:19.
      *It must be found in all centuries, Mt 28:20.
      *Jesus Christ said He would be with His Church every day, in every year, until the end of the world, Mt 28:20. This means no gaps in time.

      Examine your Church to see if it meets ALL of these requirements.
      It must NOT have a human person founder.
      It must have a continuous history going back over 1950 years.

      September 3, 2010 at 1:36 am |
    • Diane

      CatholicMom,
      That is still not a reason to defend the church at all costs, especially when it is doing something wrong. Once again, you are not going to convince me that RCC is perfect. There have been too many things in its past that it has done wrong.

      September 3, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  2. Objective Realist

    So sexual discrimination is not a sin, well no one ever said that religion was socially or politically correct.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  3. Liz

    I don't believe all gay men or priests molest little boys. I do believe any man – priest or not – who molests little boys is gay and a pedophile. Straight priests who molest little girls are pedophiles. Straight priests who have relationships with adult women are men who shouldn't have become priests. Please don't tell me that a straight man, in or out of the priesthood, finds little boys attractive.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Catie

      You are right, Liz. 90% of the accused are gay. I dont know what that says but it is the data out there

      August 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • FastEddie

      @Liz

      So there are no bisexual pedophiles? Srsly? I'll bet there's a few of them out there. SEX is more than some people can handle.

      August 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • FastEddie

      @Liz

      So there are no bi-s-e-xual pe-dophiles? Srsly? I'll bet there's a few of them out there.

      August 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  4. maestra

    yeah...women cant stand in the place of Jesus...but child molesters and pedophiles can. They just move those "Jesus'" around from parish to parish

    August 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • Barry

      totally agree

      August 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  5. Barry

    The Catholic Church is a Boy's Club. Look how the priests get their own homes with plenty of room, a car, vacations etc. The nuns live in poverty and cannot have possessions. Many of the rules of the Catholic Church were made by men and not God, therefore they have defined the rules to meet their needs.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • Catie

      Barry, it depends on what vow you take. Some do take a vow of poverty. However, the home they live in, they share and they dont own, unless someone donates a home to a retiring priest. I dont know what parish you attended but in 3 years the only time my priest has been gone, has been for surgery

      August 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  6. worldroamer

    as Wang argues, "The bottom line is that Jesus chose 12 men – and no women – to be his apostles", so it also seems clear that none of his choosen ones had the name WANG, so why is he a priest? For that matter, I believe that they were all Jewish, so maybe only persons of Jewish extraction shoould be allowed to become Priests, using Wang's logic, or only persons from the Middle Easy. What flawed logic!!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  7. Jake

    Am I wrong to find the good Father's last name funny, given the topic of this article?

    August 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • Catie

      no, Jake, God gave you your sense of humor 😉

      August 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  8. tweezer

    Of course women weren't chosen as disciples. They were even less "equal" back then! Plus, they were holding the family together while the guys had fun.
    I would love to see an end to cults and societies based upon mythology.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Catie

      That is not true. Mary Magdalene was Jesus' manager, if you will. She was vitally important to his ministry

      August 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  9. 1 Ti 2.10-15

    10 Women who claim to love God should do helpful things for others, 11 and they should learn by being quiet and paying attention. 12 They should be silent and not be allowed to teach or to tell men what to do. 13 After all, Adam was created before Eve, 14 and the man Adam wasn’t the one who was fooled. It was the woman Eve who was completely fooled and sinned. 15 But women will be saved by having children, b if they stay faithful, loving, holy, and modest.

    Holy Bible : Contemporary English Version. (1 Ti 2.10-15).

    August 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • LadyMiniMe

      Who was the bible's author again?

      August 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • ParkerNC

      Women had a much greater role in the early christian church than what they are given credit for. The role was purposely downplayed after the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD when the bible was cannonized. They really did not like the fact that Mary Magdalene (and other women) was such an important part of Jesus' ministry.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • mella

      Is this the first Eve or the second one? Read some of the other "books" in the bible to see the 2 different creation stories. I strongly believe in God but I can't blindly follow a 2,000 +, year old story. God and Jesus are perfect but anything that humans have interpretted from oral traditions, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English might have a few translation errors.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Diane

      http://www.churchofgoddfw.com/monthly/women-teach_printer.htm

      September 1, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  10. mella

    I am speechless. If priesthood is based on the "fact" that only men were apostles then what is the justification of hiding priests who molest children. Jesus never molested young boys.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Catie

      fact: .8 to 1.6 % of priests have been accused of child molestation. 1-3 % of protestant pastors have been accused of child mosestation. What is your point?

      August 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • Catie

      oops typo

      August 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • CSD

      The difference is that the entire hierarchy of the church, including two popes, knew about and protected rapist priests, moving them from one feeding ground to another.

      For DECADES.

      It's called criminal conspiracy.

      Oh, but this is the ONE true church....HAHAHAHAHAHA.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • mella

      Catie,

      Please post a link to the facts. I know for a fact that priets have been moved from area to hide them from the public. I am sure that other professions have molested children as well, but have they justified their behavior as emulating Jesus? If the Catholic church wants to say women can't be priests because the apostles were all men fine. But don't go as far as to say priests stand in place of Jesus. If I pray to a priest will I go to heaven? No, because a priest is NOT equal to Jesus and can not stand in His place.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      mella,
      No one is saying priests ARE Jesus, but Jesus is a priest and uses ordained priests to carry on His priesthood here on earth.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  11. Catie

    Oiiiyyyyeeee! Why is this such a hot topic. If you want to be a female priest go to a famale priest friendly denomination. It is what it is, deal with it. It does not make the church bad or good, it just is. For Pete's sake !

    August 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  12. Shannon Underwood

    The Church claims the right to discriminate against women, it seems a lot of relegions want that power. I say let them discriminate as a private club, take away all tax emeptions. Then they are equal!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • Catie

      Then you are just hurting the many many poor and lowly they help

      August 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • FastEddie

      @Catie

      That is what an ext0rtionist would say as they held the poor for ransom. Emotional blackmail is a very human thing to do.

      August 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  13. LadyMiniMe

    To Dan

    I believe in God, just not in the bible. God is good. God is kindness. God is love. That's all I need. That's all everybody should need and live by. If everybody would live being good, kind and loving the world would be a great place to live in.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Where did you learn about God?

      August 30, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  14. colum 1948

    God help us if the Catholic Church would belave that woman and childern are Equal to man .How upset they will be when they find out that God is a woman.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • Catie

      It has nothing to do with women and children being below a man. Hello, what other denomination honors Mary the way the Catholic church does. And, God is neither man or woman

      August 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • tweezer

      "God" is pretend. We don't need a thumb and a blankie anymore.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  15. juan

    This is the way my religion is if women do not like it they have other religions were they can go and be a priest.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
    • ParkerNC

      See, this is one of the big issues with our faith. We talk a big game about inclusion, but we are not inclusive.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  16. Michele Raye

    BS. Nuff said.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  17. Mike in KC

    I have never understood the teachings of the Catholic Church, and this gives me one more reason why I shouldn't even take the time to do so.
    I was raised in a Christian denomination that devalued the role of women in the ministry, and never understood why a woman was more than qualified to be a missionary, but God forbid that she would attempt to be a minister of a church.
    In addition, when I came out, the Church turned their back on me since I had the audacity to declare that I could be gay and Christian.
    I have found that since I left the Church, my relationship with God has improved significantly. This came from doing my own study of the Bible, and other teachings that didn't qualify for inclusion in the current version of the Bible.
    I think any church or religion that limits their leaders to male and heterosexual limit the understanding of who God is. I have found that by opening myself up to hearing the Word of God from all people, I have gained a better understanding of who God is, and how God works through people to help others.

    The Catholic Church and any other maile dominated denomination can keep their rules. I have moved beyond them and found God to be more present and more real as a result of it.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  18. Inclusion not exclusion

    let's remember that the church is the word of man and his misunderstandings and that and that God is over and above these misunderstandings. God is not in a book or in one religion
    It is truly time for a new Truth

    August 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  19. ParkerNC

    We don't know if Christ only chose men for his deciples. We assume that is the case, because that's what we have been taught. But we can't be sure. So many things are missing from the biblical cannon. I find it funny that we're willing to accept a burning bush that speaks, but we can't listen to the word of God from a woman. Come on, people...

    August 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mike in KC

      Parker,
      One thing to note is that at the time of Jesus' death and resurrection, it was the women who stayed until the end, and were the first to the tomb to find him not there. The men he had chosen were in hiding.
      Jesus was a non-traditionalist, so it would not be too far fetched to believe that among his followers were women.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • ParkerNC

      Great point, Mike. I agree.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  20. Tom

    Priests are standing in the place of Jesus? Ha, more like standing in the way.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.