Women’s Ordination: Critical Arguments

I post here for your perusal several links to articles critically examining the arguments surrounding women’s ordination. (Props to David Mills & Co. at Touchstone)

Rev. Dr Rodney A. Whitacre, The Biblical Vision Regarding Women’s Ordination

Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ

E. L. Mascall, Women priests

And the Episcopal priest at Pontifications has written, Catholicity or female priests? Must the choice be made?

(I also commend to you, because God language is so often brought into these discussions, another of the Pontificator’s writings: I love my Mom, but I don’t want her to be my God)

8 thoughts on “Women’s Ordination: Critical Arguments

  1. I might need some rest before this, but I do have a question – do women in the Orthodox church teach men? I’m thinking of a woman leading a Sunday school class or bible study, for example. I’m fairly sure Catholic Churches don’t prohibit this.

    We disagree on much of this but I’ve appreciated your thoughts over on my blog, by the way.

  2. I asked because the Whitacre essay seems to argue against it.

    So how do you, Karl or Cliff or whoever, as men firmly committed to Scripture and Tradition, not have a problem with women teaching and thus having authority over men in church?

  3. I have to confess, I don’t know what is the Orthodox understanding of 1 Tim 2.

    Karl? Others?

    It seems to me that the argument for a male-only Euchristic ministry differs markedly from the Protestant one, which must rely on a specific interpretation of 1 Tim 2 so as to deny women leadership ministry.

    As I understand the matter, Orthodoxy does not deny women a role of leadership, since Orthodoxy has an understanding of authority that differs in quality from Protestantism. The denial of women a sacramental role in the Eucharistic ministry is not the same as denying them authority in the Church.

    But check with your local Orthodox priest. I’m only a wannabe after all.

  4. As Clifton noted, I think you’ll find us using the word “authority” in this context differently; it isn’t about “power” as is commonly understood, but about the charism of the Holy Spirit and held together by communal accountability.

    In other words, one does not become a priest or a teacher or seminary prof without being called by the whole Church…it is a communally discerned vocation. While each vocation may have certain *functional* requirements (for example, potential priests must be able to be spiritual *fathers*) this does not make any one vocation “better” than another.

    Some of the greatest saints were women and many had tremendous authority and influence in the life of the Church, even though modern people would say they had little “power”….St. Olympia, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Nina, and of course the Theotokos are great examples.

    My two cents.

  5. Still don’t understand. How do you get around “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man.” It seems you’re saying “authority” means presiding over the Eucharist or a parish. If I’m a professor in a seminary or leading a Sunday school class, that’s different. Is that what you mean? But I’m still teaching men!

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