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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What is the position of the Catholic Church on women priests? Will the Church ever have female priests as in the Anglican Church?

A. 1. The Code of Canon Laws states: "Only a baptized man can validly receive sacred ordination."

On the same matter, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination." [CIC, can. 1024] The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. [Cf. Mk 3:14-19; Lk 6:12-16; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 2 Tim 1:6; Titus 1:5-9; St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 42, 4; 44, 3: PG 1, 292-293; 300] The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ's return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible." [Cf. John Paul II, MD 26-27; CDF, declaration, Inter insigniores: AAS 69 (1977) 98-116] [551, 861, 862] (C.C.C. # 1577)

More recently, in 1994, Pope John Paul II formally declared that the Church does not have the power to ordain women. He stated, "Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. 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. Luke 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" (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 4).

And in 1995 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in conjunction with the Pope, ruled that this teaching "requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 25:2)" (Response of Oct. 25, 1995).

Finally, God has the final say as to who is ordained to the priesthood. The priesthood is a vocation, a calling from God. It is not a calling from oneself. It is not a career that one undertakes because he/she desires the religious prestige that comes with the title of "Father" or "Reverend."

In the Book of Hebrews, in the New Testament of the Holy Bible, we read, "And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was." [Hebrews 5:4] I repeat that, "you accept the honour to become a priest only when called by God."

These females who want to become priests, their personal desire does not result from a Divine calling. As many of them have said, "I always wanted to be a priest since I was a child." At that time, they were impressed with the role of their parish priest. They wanted to become just like him. To pursue that secret agenda, they joined a religious Order of sisters. From that moment, they strived to obtain all the free education that they could get in theology and other priestly studies. At some point, they felt that their education equaled that of those in the priesthood. They felt nothing should stop them from being a priest. So they went public on the matter. They announced what they wanted, to become a priest. They did not announce what God wanted, but what they wanted. When their personal agenda was opposed, their announcement became a demand upon the Church, a challenge to anyone who stood in their path to achieve what they wanted.

In the Holy Bible, in the canon Laws, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the Tradition of the Church, in all of the writings of the Fathers of the Holy Church, not one ounce of evidence can be found in support of God having called one female to the priesthood. But there is plenty of evidence in support of the male only priesthood that was instituted by God on earth.

May God's Divine Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

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