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Monday, March 05, 2012


Ed Peters

I’m a big fan of folks reading canon law and seeing what it has to say about XYZ. I am less enthusiastic about amateurs trying to build their own canonical arguments for XYZ from their first reading of the Code, lest canon law itself appear amateurish. Here, for example, Canon § [sic] 235 is NOT the go-to norm for restricting ordination (not just priesthood) to males, not when Canon 1024 is sitting right there. And the assertion that “According to both Canon Law and Old Testament law, given by God, who is Goodness and Truth” might be just be an exercise in odd syntax, but, to the degree it lends support to the myth the canon law is given by God, the phrase should have been toned-down.

Lauri Friesen

I think this article provides a persuasive case for a male-only priesthood. I was particularly pleased by the emphasis the author always laid on the theology and Christology of the all-male priesthood, as in these summaries:

"That said, it’s important that the matter of the male priesthood not be reduced to canon law. The richer meaning behind the all-male priesthood is the image of Christ giving his life for his Bride, the Church (cf. Eph 5:22-32). The priest acts in persona Christi, hence the maleness of the minister is appropriate."


"The mystery of the Incarnation is the revelation of God the Father, becoming man for us, in the form of the second person of the Blessed Trinity. God did not become a woman. God was carried in the womb of a woman...Men cannot claim the right to the priesthood either, as God chooses and calls his priests. But, by nature, they have been bestowed with this service."

So much of the "controversy" surrounding the priesthood in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church seems to based on human ego and misunderstandings about rights, especially in the relationship between Man and God. I can't say I've ever been struck by the love that permeates the arguments of opponents such as Sr. Joan Chittister and Fr. Roy Bourgeois.

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