A lesson on women ordination to the presbyterate by one who was there in 1998.

Screen Shot 2018-06-16 at 06.02.28“In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner.  In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time”. Mulieris dignitatem.  St. John Paul II

The disruption, confusion, antipathy this subject brings to the Universal Church seems to be unending.  As my mother used to say to my sister “don’t give up until you get exactly what you want and on your own terms.”  As a young lad this used to make me feel as if they both had some kind of an unspoken and secret code.  It also made me feel sorry for my father, who would then either storm off after hours of arguments or relent.  But then my mother bless her soul was Evangelisch-Lutherisch and I honestly feel that she remained so even after her conversion to Catholicism and thus teaching liberal attitudes to my sister.

Writing this gives me no joy at all.  In fact it saddens me greatly.  In this article I share what Christ’s idea for the Church is, what the scriptures say, what the Apostles have already expounded on, what the Church Fathers have discussed, deliberated and taught and written about, what the church has taught and teaches still.  These are not opinions that I have formulated myself, they come from personal experiences and what I have been taught at catholic school, university and seminary. 

Lets get to the point; I was actually part of the ordination team that ordained Mother Frances some years back and I was duly excommunicated (I had been warned) for

Ordination of Mother Fr. Frances 1998

not listening to the advice of the Apostolic Nuncio’s Office in Dublin who wrote several times in an attempt to desist me.  My cousin in Rome and my family and friends had asked me to rethink seriously.  And the 7th Earl of Longford Francis Pakenham a long time friend through my prison chaplaincy days asked me to reconsider, but to no avail.  Yet my then Diocesan insisted that all would be  well, to relax and not worry.  It’s something new so will attract attention.  So for blind obedience to my Bishop and my sheer unwavering stubbornness I was excommunicated (I even received a lovely certificate from Rome to tell me so) the excommunication lasted until January 2005 (5 years, 1 month, and 21 days).  And I can tell you, though it might seem mediaeval and most people would think nothing of it, to me it made an immense impact that filled me with pain, sorrow and shame.  It was only through the intercession of Cardinal Cathal Daily, the Abbot of Buckfast, the Archbishop, the Vicar General, even a Church of England Bishop very Kindly got involved (he asked me not to identify him) and an extremely lengthy 2 day interview in Rome, 38 letters later that Saint John Paul II saw fit to forgive his wayward sheep and welcome me back into the fold.   I genuinely  regret my actions, I’m still ashamed of my actions today.  I regret them because of the confusion it caused the laity and other clergy, the misrepresentations by the media were terrible, I even read an interview of me in a South American newspaper that I’d never given.  The damaged that was caused not only effected the parish and the  diocese but also the people in Ireland and other places around the world.  My regrets began to surface at the pseudo-ordination itself.  I knew it would not be Sacramentally valid.  I felt that it was wrong.  All I could think was run.  But I could not walk out mid service as I was too much of a coward.

Irenaeus writes as follows:

[The dispensation of God which gives the Holy Spirit] has been entrusted to the Church, as breath was to the first created man, for this purpose, that all the members receiving it may be vivified and the communion with Christ has been distributed throughout it, that is, the Holy Spirit . . .. “For in the Church,” it is said, “God has set apostles, prophets, teachers,” and all the other means through which the Spirit works; of which all those are not partakers who do not join themselves to the Church, but defraud themselves of life through their perverse opinions and infamous behaviour. For where the Church is, here is the Holy Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace; but the Spirit is truth.

Scripture does not say that a woman should not be ordained or that she should not be a priest or a bishop. It does say she should be submissive and that she should be silent in the church and should not teach or have authority over a man.  Whether she does these things as the holder of a specific office or not is irrelevant. The questions is whether a woman can serve the whole congregation in the position of priest or bishop without acting in a way which would place her in violation of the scriptural commands which we must obey.

Although the priest is to labor in his congregation with the attitude of a willing servant, it is very clear in Scripture that he is also to be regarded as an authoritative leader of the congregation. “Obey” (πείθεσθε) your leaders and submit to their authority (ὑπείκατε). They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.” (Hebrews 13:17). “These then are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority” (ἐπιταγῆς) (Titus 2:15). The very nature of the pastoral office is to be an “overseer” (ἐπίστκοπος).

It should be very clear that the principles that man is to be the head, that woman should submit, and that woman is not to have authority over man forbid a woman to exercise the office of pastoral leadership over the whole congregation. However, many of the functions performed by a priest may be performed by women under certain extreme circumstances.

If “ordination” simply meant being installed into the ministry of the church, there would be no theological reason why we could not “ordain” women teachers, who are considered to be members of the ministry of our church. However, such a practice could be very confusing since it would be contrary to the traditional understanding of the term ordination. Although the historical evidence is not completely clear, it seems that in the early church there was a divergence of practice concerning the “ordination” of such women ministers as deaconesses. In some places ordination of women was explicitly denied.  In other places, especially in the East, an “ordination” of sorts (that is, a laying on of hands) was practiced, but it was kept distinct from the ordination to the pastoral ministry.  Women, of course, can share the Word with others privately as part of the priesthood of all believers.  Women can share the Word as called evangelists with other women.  In some cultures, such as many Islamic cultures which practice strict separation of the sexes, it may be necessary for most or all of the catechetical instruction of women to be done by women.  In penetrating a culture with strict separation of the sexes in worship it might be necessary for a time to have a separate women’s service which was conducted entirely by women. Women can, of course, lead the devotions for women’s groups.

Since baptism is normally administered by the deacon or priest, baptism is not  performed by women.

The Sacrament of Mass likewise is normally administered by the priest of a parish or congregation.  Therefore it would not be administered by a woman. It is conceivable that it might be administered by a woman in a congregation which consisted entirely of women, such as a convent, and some parishes do have women as Eucharistic ministers.

Leadership of the worship service will rest in the hands of the priest or in his absence, of another male called by the diocese to lead. Preaching in a congregation certainly is to be authoritative teaching (Titus 2:15) and therefore should not be done by a woman. Such preaching would also conflict with the command of silence set forth in 1 Corinthians 14, where the situation which called forth this application of the principle seems to be parallel to the public preaching in our services.

More difficult questions arise concerning areas of auxiliary service in public worship.

At least in recent times-there has been little question about women singing in church choirs whether in group or solo roles. Choir music is not independent or authoritative teaching at the discretion of the singer. It is (or should be) selected by or in consultation with the parish priest or his curate to advance the theme of the service. Women choir directors have been widely accepted among us, but this issue is not so clear cut. A woman could certainly lead the choir in a way which was domineering or authoritative, but the office could also be understood and practiced as assisting in the musical performance of the congregation much as an organist does. In such circumstances the pastor still has overall responsibility for doctrinal soundness and appropriateness of the music of the service.

Most congregations have traditionally used male ushers for services, but there are no theological reasons why women cannot serve as ushers and greeters since the function of these offices is to assist worshippers, not to exercise any kind of authority.

Most congregations normally have the deacon or priest read the scripture lessons as part of their role of leading the worship service. There is though no consistency in this, in so far as parishes permit children to present portions of Scripture in special services. If we accept this practice and the presentation of musical solos by women, it would be inconsistent to claim that reading Scripture inherently and inevitably involves authoritative teaching. In churches which use lay lectors, the lectors read not only the lessons, but also some of the prayers such as the litany. Although the Catholic Church does not ordain women, many parishes allow women lectors to read the Scriptures and the general prayers.  Reading is seen as a subordinate assisting role which does not involve authoritative teaching. The priest “presides” over the service and normally reads the gospel as an expression of this leadership. 

Nevertheless, many parishes refuse to adopt the practice of having women as lectors. It would be unwise from a practical point of view. It would be a source of confusion and offence, especially since some people have used and are using such roles for women as stepping stones toward the assumption of the presbyteral ministry by women. Such a practice would also be doubtful from a theological point of view. It is difficult to reconcile the role of reading and leading the assembly in prayer with the spirit of the command of silence in 1 Corinthians 14, which excludes women even from asking questions. Furthermore, 1 Timothy 2, specifies that “men (ἄνδρας) everywhere are to lift up holy hands in prayer.” It does this in the same context which says, “God wants all people (ἀνθρώπους) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” and that “a woman should learn in quietness and full submission.”  It is often asserted that 1 Corinthians 11, contradicts this position since it tells women to have their heads covered when they lead in prayer.  However, 1 Corinthians 11 is vague about the specific circumstances involved. It is not clear that leadership of the public congregational worship is involved in the praying and prophesying spoken of in 1 Corinthians 11. Individual personal prayers in a setting somewhat similar to a prayer meeting may be involved, or perhaps the mutual admonition and teaching that is done in joint hymns and prayers (Col 3:16). Since the circumstances of 1 Corinthians 11 are unclear, and the prohibitions in 1 Corinthians 14, and 1 Timothy 2, refer to the leading of the public worship, it is dubious hermeneutics to use 1 Corinthians 11, to overrule 1 Corinthians 14, and 1 Timothy 2.  This leads me to conclude from a theological point of view that the use of women lectors would be doubtful and a danger to many consciences and that from a practical point of view it would be very confusing and offensive under present circumstances.  The practice should therefore be avoided.  

It is clear that the Lord’s Supper should be administered by the priest  who is authorised by the faculties given to the individual by the diocesan to administer the Sacraments under his authority.  But can a distinction be made between administration and distribution? The Church uses a number of lay altar assistants at several stations to speed the distribution of the elements to the entire congregation.  In some parishes women can distribute both the wine and the host. In view of the roles assigned and the need for faculties to be given to perform the Sacraments validly within a diocese and therefore prevent errors and confusion I would argue that the deacon or priest must retain distribution of the bread since it is at this point that the authority to exclude someone from the Lord’s Supper must be exercised, but that women could distribute the wine since admission has already been determined by this point.  If the form of celebrating the Mass among us was such that the distribution of the elements was understood as simply assisting all of the congregation in receiving the elements (sort of the opposite function of gathering the offering) and if some other means of upholding the scriptural principles of closed communion was in place, it would be possible to defend the position that there are no theological grounds for excluding women from assisting with the distribution. For example, in the ancient church women were sometimes permitted to carry the consecrated elements to the sick. This was considered to be a form of distribution of the elements which enabled home-bound members of the parish to participate in the sacrament along with the congregation.  Although there are some precedents for the practice in the history of the church, I do not believe women altar assistants should be in Catholic Churches under present circumstances without causing problems or offence.  In fact in the Archdiocese of Plymouth [and many other UK dioceses) several members of the congregation point blank refused to accept female altar servers and Eucharistic ministers.  The same happened in Italy, Spain and Mexico.

1 Timothy 2, clearly states that a woman should not teach a man in the church.  I see no way of evading the conclusion that a woman should not teach the adult catechetical and bible classes in which men are involved, and that there should be no exceptions.  Biblical teaching is not just leading a discussion in which all the participants throw in their own opinions, and the teacher moderates and throws in an opinion once in awhile. Biblical teaching is an “authoritative proclamation of truths from God’s Word.”

This fact would further raise questions about women counselling men in many areas of scriptural pastoral care, which by definition is not simply a matter of non-directive listening or advising, but which is authoritative teaching which may ultimately result in church discipline.

We consider secondary school students to be minors who are still under the authority of their father and mother, so few questions or problems should arise over this issue at the secondary school level. The question is not so simple at the college level when we consider the students to be men and women with adult responsibilities.  Many catholic colleges therefore avoid placing women in positions which would make them responsible for disciplining adult male students or for determining whether they are qualified to serve in the public ministry of the church.  Care should be taken in such areas as the assignment of supervisors for practice teaching.  The same concerns should apply to giving women teachers, deans, chairmen or department heads supervisory authority over male teachers at any level.  As proof we have many catholic educational institutions that have found themselves in hot water and have faced legal redress in the past.

Our system of church hierarchy is the authoritative governing body of the universal church. Among its more important responsibilities are the calling and removal of priests and teachers, calling the leaders of the diocese, and the acceptance and removal of members.  Participation in this and other governing boards in the church and its organisations should be limited to the hierarchy who are able to properly exercise authority over others.  A few dioceses have attempted to evade this reality by suggesting the board of the diocese become an advisory body.  This I’m afraid is “a cure worse than the disease” since such a redefinition of the nature the churches authority and the role of the parish councils would amount to the establishment of superfluous extra-hierarchical church polity, I am of the opinion that once the hierarchy have made a decision and promulgated that decision then there is no further requirement for further discussion. The same would be true if a Church Council were made anything less than the authoritative governing body of the Church Council.

Participation in governing bodies includes both voting and joining in debate. In most cases, the purpose of voting in and other governing bodies of the Church is not to express personal preferences or needs, but to establish authoritative policy for the Church. In

Women Bishops?  Not Sacramentally valid.

Christian decision making which aims at best meeting the needs of all of the members of the congregation, including the minority, gathering and assessing the needs and desires of the members is done prior to the decision-making, the church often invited outside periti of both men and women where their opinions are heard and acted upon.  The public domain or the media are not the right forum for such discussions as the media be they of the Church or lay do not have the full grasp of what the concerning topics really are.  They have a tendency to side on the politically correct platform (which always seems to be contrary to Church teachings, or the feminist view “where the tendency leans toward ‘you are denying us our rights” The responsible governing bodies make decisions on the basis of an informed concern for the universal Church, and not merely on the basis of personal preferences. The Congregations often use quite democratic and professional mechanisms such as questionnaires, discussions, or informative meetings to obtain input about the needs and desires of all concerned.  The purpose of debate is to sway opinion, to challenge and refute those in authority against those who hold opposing views. A person cannot truly and freely participate in debate without challenging and contradicting the teachings of the Church and of other parties legitimately involved in the debate. It is very difficult to see how women can do this and yet claim to adhere and be in harmony with Paul’s commands in 1 Corinthians 14; that women are to be silent and not to ask questions in the meeting of the church. There Paul seems to be applying the principle in a situation parallel to the exchange of views which takes place in decision-making processes in Diocesan or meetings.  Debate very often involves only one thing, that is to challenge and assert authoritative viewpoints.  Even questions asked during debate are implied challenges to the authority of the Church.  Submission to headship,  (and this should not be difficult as we do this every day of our lives) not teaching men, being silent and not asking questions are hardly compatible with free participation in debate.

There is no scriptural reason why women cannot be present at Diocesan councils or parish meetings, in fact in the past their presence has been of extreme value, but as a regular practice?  No.  It has been proven that this often causes more problems than it solves.  It happened in the Anglican feminist movement, debating for women to be allowed into the diaconate, then the presbyterate, followed by the episcopate, and what happened? Church attendance declined, a gender neuter God began to appear in the Lutheran church, which is attempting to convince everyone with their very public arguments and teachings that the Blessed Virgin Mary was impregnated by a woman or neuter God and not God the Father.  What utter nonsense.

To be present at such meetings, but to be unable to debate or vote tends to increase frustration and hurt feelings rather than to decrease them. It is therefore not wise to promote this practice as a way of deflecting causing offence and anger on the part of women who feel excluded from the government of the church.  Unfortunately the second Vatican Council flung the doors wide open by not reigning in or correcting the ultra liberal periti that infiltrated the Council.

We seem to have made considerable progress toward reaching agreement among ourselves concerning the biblical principles governing the roles of men and women in the church.  Although this work was completed an hour after reading our Bishop Primus’s posting on facebook, I felt that for once instead of remaining tacit on the subject, that I would use scripture, the Apostles teachings, the Church Fathers, Tradition, my seminary and university training to good use and express what I have been taught, have learned and know and hold to be true.  

At this time in the Church we should be achieving harmony concerning the application of the the churches taught principles, mending the divisions in the church, addressing the

The fake Pope Joan created by Protestant Reformers.

wrongs that the Church has allowed to continue whilst keeping silent, addressing world poverty, hunger, lack of water, shelter, clothing.  Society has become more and more secular whilst religion has been placed on the back burner.  These are the things that are important today, here and now!  We should therefore not be preparing and arguing about the next woman Bishop, Cardinal or Pope.  Because that would be next on the agenda.

Furthermore a decision was made… several times in fact in answer to this question.  So the point in history during which special attention was given to the question on the ordination of women has come and gone.  

  1. Pope Gelasius I (died 19 November 496) condemned the practice of women officiating at altars; 
  2. There is also the church of Santa Praxedis, where “Theodora Episcopa” — episcopa is the word for “bishop” in the feminine form — appears in an image with two female saints and Mary.  Ecclesiastical tradition explains that Theodora was mother of Pope Paschal I, who built the church in her honour and graced her with the honorary title of Episcopa due to her being the mother of a Pope.  
  3. Pope Zachary also condemned the practice of allowing women to serve at the altar.
  4. In 1976, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued the Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood which taught that for doctrinal, theological, and historical reasons, the Church “does not consider herself authorised to admit women to priestly ordination.” The reasons given were the Church’s determination to remain faithful to its constant tradition, its fidelity to Christ’s will, and the iconic value of male representation due to the “sacramental nature” of the priesthood. 
  5. In April 1976, the Pontifical Biblical Commission released a study examining the exclusion of women from the ministerial priesthood from a biblical perspective: “The masculine character of the hierarchical order which has structured the church since its beginning … seems attested to by scripture in an undeniable way.” “As a matter of fact, we see in the Acts of the Apostles and the epistles that the first [Christian] communities were always directed by men exercising the apostolic power.”  
  6. In 1994, Pope John Paul II declared in his letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, stating: “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance…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.”  
  7. In 1995, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explained that  Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, though “itself not infallible, witnesses to the infallibility of the teaching of a doctrine already possessed by the Church. … This doctrine belongs to the deposit of the faith of the Church.”  Pope Paul VI, quoted by Pope John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, wrote, “The Church holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church.”  Pope John Paul II did not mention the question of ordination of women to the diaconate in this document, and reintroducing women to the ordained diaconate was expressly left aside in Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood.
  8. Concerning the “constant practice of the Church“, in antiquity the Church Fathers, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Epiphanius, John Chrysostom, and Augustine all wrote that the priestly ordination of women was impossible. 
  9. The Council of Laodicea prohibited ordaining women to the Presbyterate.
  10. In the period between the Reformation and the Second Vatican Council, mainstream theologians continued to oppose the priestly ordination of women.
  11. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued and published on May 29, 2008, in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, a decree signed by Cardinal William Levada, on the existing ban on women priests by asserting that women “priests” and the bishops who ordain them would be automatically excommunicated “latae sententiae“.
  12. Pope Francis said “that door is closed” regarding women’s priestly ordination, affirming the teachings of his two predecessors, Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He expanded on this in a November 2016 informal statement on the return flight from his papal visit to Sweden to commemorate the Reformation,: “On the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the final word is clear, it was said by St. John Paul II and this remains.” Pope Francis added that women are very important to the Church, specifically from a “Marian dimension. In Catholic ecclesiology there are two dimensions to think about,” he said. “The Petrine dimension, which is from the Apostle Peter, and the Apostolic College, which is the pastoral activity of the bishops, as well as the Marian dimension, which is the feminine dimension of the Church.” The Church is depicted as the bride of Christ, as a woman.  Pope Francis has authorised a commission to see if women could be made deaconesses.

Who am I therefore, to argue against these enlightened people? 

In conclusion: The biblical principles were given in order to be applied. We cannot be satisfied to come to agreement on the principles, but then being negligent or indifferent in applying them. 

images 20.31.26
A triumph for feminism? or an Ordination which requires a humble heart?

I ask my sisters who seek the priesthood to carefully and prayerfully consider what they are doing.   Is it a victory for feminism that you are seeking? because the photographs seem to imply just that.  We see that the women being ordained (in the photograph) seem to have more more of a triumphalist attitude than the humbleness required for the office that has just been invalidly bestowed upon them. 

Let me therefore close this lengthy reply by using the Apostle Paul to the Romans 16:1-4; commend — Rather, recommend; unto you — That is, To your love and assistance; Phebe our sister — The bearer of this letter; a servant — Or deaconess, as the Greek word signifies; of the church at Cenchrea — Which was a church distant from that at Corinth.  This place, being situated on the Saronic gulf, was about seventy furlongs, near nine miles, distant from that city; therefore those Christians that lived there could not with convenience, at least generally, assemble with such as resided at Corinth. In the apostolic age, some grave and pious women were appointed deaconesses in every church; and it was their office, not to teach publicly, but  to visit the sick, the women in particular, and to minister to them both in their temporal and spiritual necessities.  The apostle calls Phebe his sister, because she was a true Christian, a genuine believer in our Lord Jesus, and consequently a child and heir of God, and joint heir with Christ. For the appellations of brother and sister, which the disciples gave to one another in the first age, were founded on their being all the children of God by faith, consequently the brethren and sisters of Christ, who acknowledged the relation by publicly declaring, Matthew 12:50, Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. That ye receive her — Entertain her, and treat her with affection; in the Lord — For the Lord Christ’s sake, and in regard to her relation to him, our common Saviour; as becometh saints — According to the duty which Christians owe one toward another, and as it is proper they should act who profess to be saints, separated from the world to the honour of Christ’s name; and that ye assist her — With counsel, and every necessary aid; in whatsoever business she hath need of you — This implies, that she had come to Rome on business of importance; perhaps to seek the payment of a debt owing to her by some of the inhabitants of Rome, or to complain of undue exactions by some of the emperor’s officers in the province.  For she hath been a succourer of many — Probably supplying their wants, if not also entertaining them at her house.  The word προστατις properly signifies a patron, a name which the Romans gave to persons who assisted with their advice and interest those who were connected with them as clients.  Therefore, as Phebe had this name given her, it is reasonable to believe that she was a person of considerable wealth and influence.  Or, we may at the very least suppose the name was given her on account of the offices she performed to many as a deaconess.  

The apostle’s direction implies, that all the faithful ought to be particularly attentive in giving assistance and relief to those who have been remarkable for assisting and relieving others. In Romans 16:1-16, Paul recommends Phebe to the Christians at Rome. It becomes Christians to help one another in their affairs, especially strangers; we know not what help we may need ourselves.  Paul asks help for one that had been helpful to many; he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Though the care of all the churches came upon him daily, yet he could remember many persons, and send salutations to each, with particular characters of them, and express concern for them. Lest any should feel themselves hurt, as if Paul had forgotten them, he sends his remembrances to the rest, as brethren and saints, though not named.  He adds, in the close, a general salutation to them all, in the name of the churches of Christ.

I commend – It was common then, as now, to bear letters of introduction to strangers, commending the person thus introduced to the favourable regards and attentions of those to whom the letters were addressed; 2 Corinthians 3:1; Acts 18:27. This Epistle, with the apostle’s commendation, was designed thus to introduce its bearer to the Roman Christians. The mention of Phebe in this manner leaves it beyond a doubt that she was either the bearer of this Epistle, or accompanied those who bore it to Rome.

Our sister – A member of the Christian church.  Which is a servant – Greek, “Who is a deaconess.” It is clear from the New Testament that there was an order of women in the church known as “deaconesses.”  Reference is made to a class of females whose duty it was to “teach” other females, and to take the general superintendence of that part of the church, in various places in the New Testament; and their existence is expressly affirmed in early ecclesiastical history. They appear to have been commonly aged and experienced widows, sustaining fair reputation, and suited to guide and instruct those who were young and inexperienced; compare 1 Timothy 5:3, 1 Timothy 5:9-11; Titus 2:4. The Apostolical Constitutions, book iii. states, “Ordain a deaconess who is faithful and holy, for the ministries toward the women.”  Pliny in his celebrated letter to Trajan, says, when speaking of the efforts which he made to obtain information respecting the opinions and practices of Christians, “I deemed it necessary to put two maidservants who are called “ministrae” (that is “deaconesses”) to the torture, in order to ascertain what is the truth.” The reasons of their appointment among the Gentiles were these:

    1. The females were usually separate from the men. They were kept secluded, for the most part, and not permitted to mingle in society with men as is the custom now.
    2. It became necessary, therefore, to appoint aged and experienced females to instruct the young, to visit the sick, to provide for them, and to perform for them the services which male deacons performed for the whole church. It is evident, however, that they were confined to these offices, and that they were never regarded as an order of ministers, or suffered “to preach” to congregations1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 14:34.

There is only one word for women ordination, and that is: Heterodoxy!

I am your brother in Christ.

Fr. Ugo-Maria ESB (csr)

Friday, 15 June 2018