If Women Can be Rocket Scientists, They Should be Priests As Well!

women equality in church

Protesters outside St. Peter’s Basilica on the day of the opening of a global child protection summit for reflections on the sex abuse crisis within the Catholic Church, at the Vatican. The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles on the theme of women rights

Why the Priesthood Needs Women

Source: New York Times

By Alice McDermott, who is a novelist and essayist.

Far more than celibacy or sexual repression, barring one gender from the Roman Catholic Church’s highest ranks provides the implicit rationale for clerical abuse.

No Christian should need to be reminded of the moral error of discrimination. We hold at the center of our faith the belief that every human life is of equal value. And yet the Roman Catholic Church, my church, excludes more than half its members from full participation by barring women, for reasons of gender alone, from the priesthood.

The moral consequences of this failing become abundantly clear each time another instance of clergy abuse, and cover-up, is revealed. It is the inevitable logic of discrimination: If one life, one person, is of more value than another, then “the other,” the lesser, is dispensable. For the male leaders of the Catholic Church, the lives of women and children become secondary to the concerns of the more worthy, the more powerful, the more essential person — the male person, themselves.

The Catholic Church needs to correct this moral error.

I was visiting a Catholic university in Boston in 2002 as the clergy abuse scandal involving Cardinal Bernard Law was breaking. I was there to discuss a novel I had written, but the questions from the audience at my talk — and at the book signing after, and on the sidewalk as I walked to my car — were mostly, if passionately, rhetorical: What do we do now? Where do we go from here? Do you think the church understands our pain? Do you think the church understands what we’ve lost? How much corruption should we tolerate?

At the time, I could offer only small commiseration — as well as my regret that these Catholics had been so betrayed by their spiritual leaders that they were left to seek solace from the likes of me, a reluctant and often contrarian Catholic, a novelist, a woman. “Awful, yes,” I said. “Outrageous, yes.” “Hope,” I said now and again. “Hope for change, perhaps.”

Read further

Suggested Reading for the best understanding of personal religion in the 21st century

Pope Francis: Satan Is Stalking The Catholic Church

A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible

Deciding to Leave: The Last Straw that Broke a Catholic’s Back!

Why it’s so hard to hold priests accountable for sex abuse

If the Atheists and the Christians Debate, Islam Wins!

Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man

Americans are depressed and suicidal because something is wrong with our culture

Videos: Let Joel Osteen Breathe Hope, Optimism and Success in Your Life

What Can a Quarter of Unaffiliated US Population Find in Islam?

Father testifies in Australian court cardinal abused son

How Islam has Influenced Christian understanding of God

World Leading Christian Apologist, William Lane Craig Always Presents God of Islam and Judaism

24 Video lectures: The Great Courses: How Jesus Became God?

Video: The most famous Christian apologist, William Lane Craig, accepts there is no Trinity in the Old Testament

Book Review: The Dark Box: A Secret History of Confession

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

8 replies

  1. In any mosque women are not permitted to lead prayer (even at their home or outside mosque they cannot do it) and they must sit at the back, separated by screen. Can you call that gender equality?

    • There are many reasons for this, the main one being the respect of women. When offering salat there are different postures one goes through like “sajdah” and if a women is standing infront of many men, this would not be resepectful to her and niether would she feel comfortable. This is why women read salat behind men because this allows them to have freedom and read their salat without having to worry. Also this being said, if there is no male present a women can lead the congregation of other women and children. Islam is a religion of ease and we always realize there are reasons for the rules that have been made.

      • Well, one other possible solution is all males at one side and all females at the other side separated by screen. They still cannot see each other and the women can perform their rituals without being watched by other males.

    • Why do males and females not play together? Why do women not race together with men in Olympics?

      Can you call that gender equality?

  2. In my opinion there’s a lake of beliefs behind this question.
    If you don’t believe that your religion is true and these are the true teaching or commandments of God almighty then obviously you will think that this is not equality and this discrimination.
    In other hand if you believe that this is the true teachings of our God who created us (males & females) and he knows better than us.
    We can’t say about other religions teachings and books that they are in the same conditions since they were revieled or written but we know that Quran is the only book which is proven to be same as revieled. Further it’s my strong belief that in each and every teaching of Islam there’s a genuine reason behind and it’s another matter of fact that our minds might understand or not the wisdom behind that commandments.
    One more thing that in reality, males and females are different in many aspects, everyone knows women responsibilities and work which a man can’t do …can we name it discrimination….? Of coarse not

  3. We can think in black and white or dogmatic fashion or understand religious teachings in the context of the time.

    If we keep our eyes open we can see the male and female roles have been changing in every sect and every Muslim country in the last two centuries; all we are suggesting, it could change some more and Islamic teachings will be still true, but it will bring us closer to demands of justice in our era.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.