Social Justice and the All-Male Priesthood

When you frame the argument that an all-male priesthood violates the norms of social justice, you are completely missing the point of what it means to be a priest. It further indicates that you hold no responsibility whatsoever yourself. For being in the role of priest is a huge responsibility. They function as gateways to Christ on Earth. They are an icon of his presence. The sacrament of priesthood is a sign of participation of God in the church through the priest. Jesus was incarnated as a male human being–the icon depicted is therefore male.

But when you start portraying this idea as just an excuse that those in some sort of alleged form of power are trying to argue in order to keep their power in check, you are interpreting the priesthood wrongly. It shows that you should not even be making statements about what the priesthood is all about. God forbid the priesthood ever become a power-grabbing movement as it has in Protestantism.

Matthew 20:25-26 – “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,” (RSV Catholic Edition)

In considering the all-male priesthood, the only way I can see this iconography argument argued against is if we strip away icons from the church. But icons are themselves gateways to God. Which means to get rid of the icons, we essentially disconnect ourselves from God. This may be more permissible for the deistic/atheistic movement of Protestant Christianity, but for a theistic Christian, this should sound revolting. One more reason to dislike Protestants–they turned Christianity into nothing more than an earthly power-grabbing movement completely disconnected from God. They interpreted the priest to be the only legitimate contributor to theology.

This may sound anarchistic but if you actually want to be a contributor to theology within the Catholic Church, you should join a religious order, pose an argument currently up for question within the Church, present your side for it, then petition to have it made orthodox (don’t vote, just protest). This is actually the way that theology has always been developed in the Church–and women were a huge contributor to the immaculate conception.

*On the question of women priests in the early church, Elaine Pagels (although a religious pluralist) actually covers this briefly in pp. 58-69 of her book, The Gnostic Gospels. To interpret further–there were women priests in early Christianity, but they were part of heretical movements. There are advocates of women’s priesthood existing in the early church–conservative egalitarians like to frame this to the New Testament (this is flawed since the Bible is ambiguous in and of itself and the NT as we have it today was ruled on by people not too big on women priests), or religious pluralists trying to contend it was later and later that women were finally ejected from the priesthood (none agree with each other, Gary Macy–middle ages when this happens–Giorgio Otranto–5th century is when this happens–etc.). Women priests were out of the picture as early as the fourth century.

Advertisements

About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
This entry was posted in Atheism, Catholicism, Christology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Social Justice and the All-Male Priesthood

  1. Sue says:

    The truth about the Christian Idol and what it hides.
    http://www.aboutadidam.org/articles/secret_identity/beyond_hidden.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s