Sexism in priesthood not part of “Christ’s plan”
This letter is in response to Jonathan Pohl’s Dec. 12 guest column, “Female priesthood ban is Christ’s plan.”
First, to address Mr. Pohl’s statement (which is a standard Catholic argument) that the priesthood is based on the example of the 12 disciples and therefore excludes women: If the priesthood were truly based on the examples of the disciples, priests would be allowed to marry, since we know that at least Peter was married (Mark 1:30).
The truth is that women are excluded from the priesthood because that’s just the way it’s been done for centuries by the Roman Catholic church (though not from its inception).
For Catholics, church tradition is of equal importance to the Bible’s teachings.
As for Pohl’s claim that we (those who oppose excluding women from the priesthood) argue that Christ was bowing to “the cultural prejudices of his day” and therefore accuse him of sexism is preposterous.
Christ’s decision to call men was not his acceptance of cultural practices, but simply a matter of practicality. Think of all the other “cultural injustices” that Christ “bowed” to by not explicitly addressing them.
Are we to believe that by his omission of topics like spousal abuse and slavery, they are part of “his plan?”
Even the Son of God could not tackle every injustice in his three year ministry. That’s why he ordered his disciples (who were not limited to the 12 named in the gospels) to carry on his work after him; a work that is still incomplete.
If one wants to know what God’s plan is for his church, one needs to look to the Bible.
From Deborah leading Israel in Judges 4, to Huldah being the one who could interpret the lost Book of the Law, to Esther saving the Jews from genocide, to Priscilla correcting the spiritual teachings of Apollos in Acts 18, to Lois and Eunice being Timothy’s spiritual mentors, the Bible is full of examples of how God entrusts the spiritual well-being of his people to women.
The prophet Joel is quoted on the day of the Pentecost by Peter when he says, “Your sons and daughters will prophesy.”
The original definition of a prophet is “someone who speaks the word of God:” In essence, a preacher. That is why my church and many others allow women to preach.
This is not coming from a church that has bowed to pressure from feminist political movements. This is a church that from its inception allowed women to preach (half a century before our country allowed them to vote) because it was founded by men who had a thorough understanding of the Scriptures.