“Women hold up half the sky” is an ancient Chinese proverb.
Women comprise over half of 7.2 billion people in the world of 2015. Discrimination against gifted females on the basis of gender can easily lead to a legal problem.
In 1972 the Anglican Church (of England) in Hong Kong ordained Joyce Bennett as the first female priest in the former British colony. There was no problem among either Chinese or international members of the worshiping community. Since the first female ordination went smoothly, one year later a Chinese woman was ordained in the Anglican Church. Again, there was no opposition to this logical inclusion of women in pastoral roles for which they seem very qualified. Are not women generally deemed more compassionate than males? Believers seek out compassionate ministers/priests.
Theologians refer to Jesus Christ as Compassion of God in the flesh. Who was the very first person to say – “This is my body, this is my blood” if not Mary, the mother of Jesus? (Des Moines CATHOLIC WORKER. 2013)
Pope Francis will visit the USA in September 2015. Prior to his arrival in Philadelphia, a group of women will hold their Women’s’ Ordination Worldwide (WOW) conference in Philadelphia.
There could be a sociological /psychological division of priests in the Catholic Church.
*There are priests who personify the Compassion/charity of Christ.
*There is another group of Catholic clerics who could be called “the enforcers.” Of this second faction, Fr. Michael Crosby wrote: “Preservation of the male clerical state has become more important than the mission and message of Jesus Christ.” (The Dysfunctional Church, Ave Maria Press) “Enforcers” do not welcome females in the club.
Ordination of women is a forbidden subject in the Catholic Church which could lead to “excommunication” (severing from the community) if a priest dares to broach the subject. Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest from Lutcher, LA was excommunicated by Vatican authorities for expressing support to ordination of women. Bourgeois will be present at the WOW gathering.
History is on the side of Bourgeois and women who challenge discrimination against ordination of females. In the 1970’s Fr. David Stanley,( a Jesuit, as is Pope Francis) was summoned by the pope to form a group of biblical scholars into a Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC) to examine ordination of women from a scriptural perspective. The PBC concluded “There is no obstacle to ordination of women in the bible. The 17 PBC members were not excommunicated for their just conclusion and support of female ordination. Stanley returned to his native Canada and announced his resignation from the PBC because of Vatican insincerity. (See 1972 ORIGENS documentation)
Archbishop John May of St. Louis, MO said: “Sexism is a sin, but we don’t commit that sin.” (ST.LOUIS POST – Feb. 9, 1989) May and all officials in the US church must decide on painful closure of churches because of the priest shortage. Catholic satirist Mark Russell plays the piano as he said: “When we can get all the US priests into a Dodge mini-van, we might think of ordaining women.” Excommunication is not from Jesus Christ, the Compassion of God for all. Gender discrimination is illegal.