Women in Clergy

Daniel Santos

It seems that the Catholic Church is lagging in its bid to modernize itself and be more relevant to the world particularly in the assignment of women clergy compared with other Christian Churches.


It seems that the Catholic Church is lagging in its bid to modernize itself and be more relevant to the world particularly in the assignment of women clergy compared with other Christian Churches.


As far as I see it, Pope Paul VI’s aggiornamento or updating of the church policy in line with reforms initiated in Vatican II had come to a standstill even with Pope Francis’ liberal outlook. The updating howerver began with the more active participation of women in the liturgy as readers and announce during Mass. There are even Priests who allow nuns and other laywomen to distribute the Sacred Host in the Novus Ordo. But this all fall short of assigning women in the clergy even among other post conciliar popes. The church of England had long been able to assign women as priests while the Iglesia ni Cristo had long been able to designate women deacons (diakonesa). Moreover, the Philippine Independent Church of IFI had just assigned a transwoman as its first non-male deacon or a deaconess.


Sad to say, while all the churches pray for more active participation, it behooves that fundamental aspects of belief as practiced by people of the book still practice the patriarchal system. In fact, Orthodox Churches (Russian Eastern, Greek, etc.) still call their church heads patriarchs and simply doing so, exclude women. This practice manifests that no women could ever be called a Matriarch in charge of the church.


Feminism is a movement that calls for owmen to practice “fundamental rights” such as church leadership to establish a better implementation of equality. Of course, the establishment of nunneries and/or monasteries for lady novices in the Catholic Church seemed to have made it more equal. But the beauty of feminism lies in the fact it recognizes the Spirit of God as neither male nor female and even God therefore may be recognized as feminime. There was even a moment to produce of copy of the bible which would refer to God as a woman. The Anglican church and the Philippine Independent Church are therefore on the right track. The Iglesia ni Cristo however will remain a patriarchal system choosing from the Felix Manalo bloodline. The Church of England will always have its sovereign King or Queen as Head of the Church.


On the other hand, this calls to mind the powerful personalities of Jezebel and Athalia who are queens ruined their kingdoms before God. And historically even the Papacy was affected during the reign of Harlots proving that the power behind the throne may be the real power. This could be the reason why high priestesses are forbidden in the most renowned world religions and are only apparent in some perculiar sects such as the Rosa Mistica of the colorum movement.

But we rather say say that the race in the wide road to perdition and apostast is never an option for the Catholic Church for the mass when instituted by Christ as a perpetual sacrifice did not include women, not even His beloved Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary who was as the Magnificat prophecy state is blessed among woman and will ne called blessed by the generations to come.

Even before the coming of the Messiah, the order of Melchizedek, mystical as it is, and the Sevites, set aside by God, as the tribe where the priesthood should come, as recognized by the Torah, never included women. Such exclusion should never be interpreted as aggressive to women for the role of women had always been dignified by the traditions of Judeo-Christians societies.

Even the Quran which also recognizes the Virgin Mary in a very high esteem spirtually never allowed women. Imams, ayatollahs, emirs or caliphs at any rate Mohammed had to simply follow the faiths which were ahead of islam or the faithful might find Allah a bit strange for it was already uncomfortable for some to find Aysha rebuking the Prophet, even as a wife should.

But we are not envious of the Anglican Church for its modenism for Elizabeth I was a foretaste (poor taste) of a female church rule. Her posturing of the Blessed Virgin Mary while secretly grieving for her boyfriend indeed made people notice the Queen such that Edmund Spenser had had to write “My Faerie Queen” without knowing perhaps that fairies are demons. And why are we not surprised with transwoman deacons? Didn’t Gregorio Aglipay consider woman as “heaven on earth”? Of course, these churches need more recognition even at the expense of spreading heresey since they are running a rat race for more “crediblity” and therefore, membership.

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