On Nov. 17 at the Eastman Theatre, Spiritus Christi claims to be ordaining Mary Ramarman a Catholic priest. This has caused much debate. However, the issue of women’s ordination in the Catholic Church is not open to debate.

Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter, “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,” contains the statement “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.”

According to “Responsum ad Dubium,” issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the letter has “been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

In other words, no matter how much griping, letter writing or marching is done, it will not make a difference. You see, the Catholic Church is not a democracy. Even if everyone agrees that God is a rabid purple emu, it does not make God a rabid purple emu.

The Catholic Church is founded on, and is responsible for preserving through Scripture and Holy Tradition, the actions and teachings of Christ.

As stated in the Cathecism of the Catholic Church, “the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.”

This means we cannot deviate from what Christ taught or did, regardless of what the majority wants.

The sacraments, as stated in the CCC, were “instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord.” With its centralized structure, “the Church, by the power of the Spirit who guides her ‘into all truth,’ has gradually recognized this treasure received from Christ and, as the faithful steward of God’s mysteries, has determined its ‘dispensation.'”

The question being posed is whether women can validly receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. This question has been answered throughout the past 2,000 years by Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium with a resounding no.

As outlined in the Cathecism, scripture shows us that “Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry.”

In fact, as stated by Pope John Paul II in “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,” “the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God’s eternal plan.”

John Paul upholds Catholic Church Tradition as laid out by Pope Paul VI in “Insegnamenti XV” that women cannot be ordained because “Christ established it this way.” This teaching is reinforced by the Magisterium in Canon Law 1024, which states, “Only a baptized man can validly received sacred ordination.”

Some would claim that this teaching is oppressive to women. However, neither of us, as Catholic women, feels oppressed by this. We are aware of the significant role that women have always played in the Church. Enter Mary, Mother of God. The Catholic Church honors Mary, a woman, as being closer in her relationship with God than any priest, bishop, or pope will ever be.

Yet Mary, the first Christian and greatest disciple, was not one of the twelve ordained by Christ and the Holy Spirit as the first priests, nor were the other women who were present throughout Christ’s ministry, (Mark 3:13-19).

As our Holy Father explains in “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,” “The fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary ? received neither the mission proper to the Apostles nor the ministerial priesthood clearly shows that the non-admission of women to priestly ordination cannot mean that women are of lesser dignity, nor can it be construed as discrimination against them. Rather, it is to be seen as the faithful observance of a plan to be ascribed to the wisdom of the Lord of the universe.”

As women faithful to the Catholic Church, we recognize the dignity of our role among the Catholic faithful, a dignity that is not dependent on being ordained.

Muckerheide and Twardzik can be reached at jmuckerheide@

campustumes.org and jtwardzik@campustimes.org.



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