A Local Document Gives No Precedent.

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I have ceased my involvement with the blog All Along the Watchtower due to the now constant insidious polemics written by its founder towards the Catholic Church. I will not get into much detail about what was said; however, the topic that allowed me to conclude that my involvement with such a place is no longer needed was Women deacons in the Catholic Church.

Many of the opinions of those who do support the idea of women deacons present the evidence, which is minute, and interprets it in a non-sequitur way. The supporter will then demand the objector to provide evidence for their conclusion knowing full well that lack of any evidence. However, the blog, Canon Law Made Easy, breaks the evidence in such a simple way that one must conclude that if they interpret the evidence to make clear that women deacons in the early Church, they do so without any actual evidence to support them.

As Canon Law Made Easy explains, “A big argument that is often used in support of women ordination to the diaconate is the undeniable historical fact that the deaconesses existed in the early Church.” The most key piece of evidence for this is a document of church instructions called The Apostolic Constitutions. As I have read, from the Latin Community’s Servus Fidelis, these women’s role in the Church was to assist the conversion of other women in a time when a man had to have a woman present with another woman, and with nude baptisms.

The document makes references to the word “ordaining” with these women, which naturally the supporter of women deacons concludes that the case is now closed. Now it’s important distinction that Canon Law Made Easy explains that the Apostolic Constitutions was church rules specific to the region of Syria. Thus, this is why one cannot at all dismiss the contradiction found in the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., which involved the entirety of the Church.

However, regardless of how the Apostolic Constitutions are interpreted in error by declaring these women deacons were ordained clerics. Canon Law Made Easy clears this up by declaring it a moot point.  “Whether they were ordained clerics or not, in 411 A.D., A Local Council in Orange, France forbade deaconesses altogether (Canon XXVI)” The post also reminds us that any further documentation is often just reflective of local communities and often times are contradictory of each other. The Apostolic Constitutions, as a local set of rules, does not make it right or create a precedent as other councils like Orange and Laodicea had made the practice forbidden. Again, it sets no precedent.

I ask everyone to please visit the site (http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2014/02/06/could-women-ever-be-ordained-deaconesses/) to get a much clearer understanding of the role of women deacons in the Early Church.

50 Comments

  1. I barely understand bits and pieces of the Catholic Church, what I can glean here and there from the internet. As far as I know, the county where I live is 80% Southern Baptists, the rest are Methodists and even the Amish congregations outnumber the sole Catholic church on the far side of this county. I saw that it was founded in the 1950s for travelers mostly. I don’t know of anyone who actually goes there or can explain to me why they believe what they believe. All Along the Watchtower is generally able to dialogue with me, tolerate my strange protestant point of view, and help me learn a thing or two about Catholicism. Even your contribution to the conversation showed me that there is always another side to the issue. You’ll have to understand that it’s quite confusing that our fractured Christianity can end up on opposite sides. Canon Law doesn’t exactly carry much weight on this side of things and church history isn’t always fully researched or documented. Here’s what I do know, in the past, women could do something in Christianity. Today, only men can do something in Christianity. Women do not seem to have a place or a function aside from watching the men speak on behalf of God (women can’t), speak unto God (women can’t), officiate and sanctify the Lord’s Supper (women can’t) – increasingly it makes me wonder what’s the point of women being Christians if they can’t do anything except sit there and watch the men preach, pray, and break bread.

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    1. Jamie, regardless, I want to begin by thanking you for your congenial explanation. In regards to Canon Law, what I did document in my post here–and which the post I linked does a much better job than myself– is that it explains that these laws do have historicity to them. My academic career is in history, I would furthermore assert that when viewing historical documents, these documents must also be viewed with a proper historicism.

      According to the historical documents, women could never officiate over the Lord’s supper, in fact, presently to the Catholic Church and its sacrament of Holy Orders; a man to ‘officiate’ over the Lord’s supper–the priest must be ordained through Apostolic succession. In regards to the Anglicans, when Henry VIII left the Church from Rome, they severed this succession, thus making their Mass null and void. Furthermore, they are not universal (catholic) with the Bishop of Rome.

      Now, I am by no means a traditionalist, I have no issue with women as extraordinary ministers, lectors, and altar girls; however, there is zero indication that any of the Early Church’s women function is in anyway greater than what women do now in the church. In fact, perhaps one could argue they have a greater role, as they can physically touch the sacrament.

      Again, the problem with some over at the other blog to me is that they are merely focused on themselves. I ask, “Do you serve God or yourself?” In this regard, The Church as the bride of Christ has full discretion to disseminate what Christ wishes through its doctrines and development of doctrines as to what is proper for a woman’s role is in Christ’s church.

      Regardless, it does not matter if women see no point to be Christian. If God, The Son, and the Holy Spirit is the truth. If God calls us to serve and to worship in certain vocations, then we must do so regardless of what ‘we’ feel is ‘right’.

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      1. I’m not sure what to make of it all. In recent years, complementarianism has surged in popularity, compartmentalizing men and women into separate spheres that are different and yet somehow equal, but the virtue of being born male opens up every single door in Christianity; while having been born female closes and locks those doors shut tight. It’s always made me wonder what flaw God created in women that they couldn’t preach or teach or pray. Then I realized that God was the source of Adam’s masculinity and Eve’s femininity, it’s just that God’s feminine side/nature is completely overshadowed by His Father/Son side/nature. Whatever femininity there is in the Godhead is sort of like the role of women in church, ought of sight, out of mind.

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      2. There are those theologians who take a more critical look at the Biblical theology. In many analysis, they have concluded that every time in the Old Testament when God is the source of creation it appears that God in the feminine gender form.

        In this respect, God has given women the greatest vocation that men could never have and that’s motherhood. In a sense, creation. However, modernism that seeps into Christianity has condemned such a thought. A woman must have more than what God has deemed worthy of her dignity.

        Why? In fact, my wife, often speaks that as a Christian, her most cherised desire and vocation is to be a mother. In fact, her word that she used and uses often is “vocation.” It was a word that I rarely used until I married her.

        So I ask, through her wisdom and understanding, “Why isn’t the greatest role that God has to give to anyone that dignifies all of his creations, a Mother, good enough for these ‘modern’ women? A door that is completely shut to men, and not possible for them to even consider them changing it.

        Why do these women see a flaw? Where I am envious? I will never have the influence over my children the way that their mother does. My name will never be the name of God from their lips before she can preach,teach, and pray with them. In the Catholic school system, women dominate the teaching. They are a satelliate of this motherly vocation to instruct the body of Christ’s children to learn to follow the words of God.

        So, again, I ask, why is this role, which God did not believe men were worthy enough to accomplish, not good enough?

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      3. Protestantism also idolizes motherhood, I spent Mother’s Day wondering how my cousin was dealing with the loss of her only child, an infant born with a fatal birth defect whose life lasted a total of eleven hours. I wondered if any thought was given to the infertile women whom God had chosen not to bless with children. The ones who spent every dime they had on failed IVF treatments and cannot afford adoption. What of the women who are single who have no prospects for marriage, let alone motherhood as they turn thirty and forty? So very often, single or childless women are ‘less’ than those who are living the ideal and Christianity marginalizes them or forgets them. If motherhood is all there is – then those who miss out or are left out or who lose their status/station have nothing to look forward to. Seems like an odd play to declare that all woman are called to the vocation of marriage and motherhood and then decide that a large swath of them just aren’t ever going to be asked or able to have kids. Like in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life” the worst-case scenario is that Mary never married George and she’s an old maid who never had kids. You do realize that it’s through George that your Mary has her status and meaning as George’s wife and the mother of George’s kids? On her own, she’s not a whole person or individual who can speak for herself. She’s a shadow of God’s femininity and not nearly as great as God’s masculinity.

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      4. And not all men are called to the vocation of the priesthood. We are called to service in many ways.

        You say, “So very often, single or childless women are ‘less’ than those who are living the ideal and Christianity marginalizes them or forgets them.”

        I do not believe this is the case. I pray for those who lose children. I pray for those who want children. I pray for those who want and can never have. However, this all works with the framework of the institution of the family. Woman are still called to be Sister, Aunts, and Cousins. If women have felt less then we must pray for them to feel whole, if we the body of Christ have made these women feel this way, then let us pray for forgiveness. Furthermore, When men are not called to the vocation of the Holy Orders and not to fatherhood/husbandhood. What else is left for them? Is not the same for the woman? Take, Dorothy Day for instance, did she not finally answer the call of God to help the poor? Did she not use a motherly nature for her vocation?

        Pope St. John Paul II answers that all women have dignity, so again, we must do our best to raise them to that dignity. He writes in his Mulleris Dignitatem, “In this broad and diversified context, a woman represents a particular value by the fact that she is a human person, and, at the same time, this particular person, by the fact of her femininity. This concerns each and every woman, independently of the cultural context in which she lives, and independently of her spiritual, psychological and physical characteristics, as for example, age, education, health, work, and whether she is married or single.”

        Too often, when the world says that Christianity does not dignify women, it’s because the world values nothing more than materialism, we must be careful to measure the standards of God’s creations and vocations through him and not by the world.

        God calls us to serve other to store riches in the Kingdom of God, a vocation that all are called to action.

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      5. In the world, women are free to pursue whatever they feel called to do. C.E.Os and even as our president. It’s only in the church that there’s a ‘no’ just because they’re women. The world has a word for that and equality of different roles is not it. What the world sees is not God lifting up women to higher standards and calling, but rather men drawing a line and pushing away women who dare to toe it or cross it and the world calls it sexism. You rightly say that some men are not called to be priests or hold any ordained position in the church, but you give no thought to any women who are called to be as priests or ordained in the church. The Phoebes, Junias, Lydia, Syntches, Euodias, and all the other women who serve and have served. I learned that the early church used the instruction in 1 Timothy to create the Order of the Widows, there was also the Order of the Virgins, allowing an alternative to women who did not opt for marriage. As Christian maidens were so numerous, there weren’t enough men to marry them off to in their class. At this very moment, women tend to outnumber men in Christianity, and single individuals outnumber couples. Instead of trying to get everyone stuffed inside marriage/parenthood, there must be alternatives for those who are gifted with singleness and leadership, as Timothys, Pauls, or female equivalents thereof.

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      6. I would certainly say that that Christ declared it so, of who would be called to Holy Orders, and the Church merely followed and instructed as his Church.

        In regards to those specific women, take Phebe for example in Romans 16:1, why do I need to address her? She is a servant of God, true, a noble cause, but nothing more.

        I give no thought to women called to priestly vocations because it is impossible. Christ never called a women to a priestly vocation and neither did his Apostles.

        Christ did not call any women for the twelve, and none of those twelve ordained woman priest. Who am I to declare that I am better suited to judge Christ’s plan than Christ?

        The Catholic position’s foundation resides at the Council of Nicaea (325). At this point, it declared:

        “Similarly, in regard to the deaconesses, as with all who are enrolled in the register, the same procedure is to be observed. We have made mention of the deaconesses, who have been enrolled in this position, although, not having been in any way ordained, they are certainly to be numbered among the laity”

        Furthermore after that at the Council of Laodicean it declared: “[T]he so-called ‘presbyteresses’ or ‘presidentesses’ are not to be ordained in the Church” (Canon 11 [A.D. 360]).

        All of which are prior to the Apostolic Constitutions. So at this point, it’s natural to ask, what is scriptural on the topic? We could way through the mountains of Church father’s who declare that women should not be ordained, but let’s examine scripture.

        1 Corinthians 14:34-38 “women should keep silent in the Churches”

        1 Timothy 2:11-14 “I do not permit woman to teach or to have authority over a man.”

        Of course, if the Pauline tradition is too harsh for folks, we can simply go to where Christ ordained and sent out the twelve. Mt. 10:1-4

        The Mission of the Twelve. 1 [a]Then he summoned his twelve disciples[b] and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. 2 The names of the twelve apostles[c] are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; 4 Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

        Christ was a rebel, so I would certainly surmise if he wanted to call a woman and send her, he would have. After all, Christ challenged the temple practices, which led to his death.

        At this point we can certainly address all the Church Fathers, but the vast majority all say no on the topic.

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      7. You’re forgetting about the rest of Jesus’ disciples – the women followed Jesus and supported his ministry out of their own means. He also had seventy two whom he’d sent out and about. Given the gender-segregation back in the day, if Jesus wanted women to to be told about the Kingdom of God, it stands to reason that he would send some of the women that followed him to go tell the other women that they met.
        There’s some question as to whether that verse in 1 Cor. 14 was a quote from the letter that was written to him from more conservative elements who didn’t like the less conservative elements in their church. Some manuscripts show them at the end of that letter, others in the margins. After all, it refers to a law that says that women ought not speak and must be in submission – no such law exists in the Old Testament, though the oral law could be construed to say such a thing, that wouldn’t be considered trans-culturally binding. As to the letter to Timothy, Paul isn’t God. What Paul doesn’t permit doesn’t follow that it’s something that God forbids for all time. Ephesus was near the center of worship for Artemis, Paul might simply be suggesting that ex-priestesses need to learn for a time and not just expect to be the Christian equivalent right away.
        There’s also the question of what Jesus intended, would he prefer the status quo of his day, male headship, as the trans-cultural and trans-temporal ‘anchor’ for all morality? Or did he hope that over time, people would end slavery, correct injustice, lick poverty, and finally treat everyone as equals without a gender hierarchy?

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      8. The women disciples and others for that matter weren’t part of the twelve, and they were not a part of Apostolic succession, which is what Catholic Holy Orders is founded on. Therefore, this is ultimately why Pope John Paul II declared the priesthood to women impossible.

        Of course, you’re not Catholic, you’ve chosen a different path, I invite you to let the truth in your heart, but again that is up to you.

        Did God not make clear by creating man and female, Did Christ not make it clear about the roles of man and woman when discussing divorce in Matthew ch. 19?

        “4 [e]He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” 7 [f]They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss [her]?” 8 He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 I say to you,[g] whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” 10 [His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word,[h] but only those to whom that is granted. ”

        Did Paul not make it clear the role of Christian man and woman in Ephesians 25?

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      9. Matthew 19 was a question about the debates between Rabbis Hillel and Shammai; one of them said that it was permissible for a husband to divorce his wife for whatever reason, even if she were a bad cook. The other disagreed. This was a debate from the oral law deduced from the Old Testament. Once you understand that context, then you have to wonder other tough questions like: “Is it permissible for a wife to divorce her abusive husband?” The Bible doesn’t say so, but our society is for it as we don’t feel it is right to require one person to remain in a harmful environment. We’re not the same society that the Bible was written to. Were Jesus around today, he wouldn’t be answering a question about the debate between rabbis, he’d be dealing with the questions we ask him in our own context. Had somebody not asked about that debate, then odds are it wouldn’t have ended up in Scripture. The role of men and women need not remain unchanged over two thousand years from one culture to another. I don’t think Jesus wants us to be theological clones of his day and age, rather, his ethos was that we humble ourselves, promoting male-only leadership doesn’t humble men, whose pride can often cause them to be blind to the needs and experiences of women. Protestants have been rocked by scandal in that their male-only leadership covered up abuse and pressured victims to be silent and let the church handle it rather than let it go to courts. They didn’t hold abusers accountable and they didn’t listen to the concerns of the women when they saw that something terrible was going on. That kind of Christianity is the sort of Christianity that we just don’t need.

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      10. Mais c’est Impossible.

        The sort of Christianity that we need is the Christianity that Christ dictates– and to declare that Christ’s message should mean other things because of our ‘modern’ society has changed is relativism. Any who make such declaration the truth is not in them. Honestly, I could care less what Christianity any person thinks the world needs, I only care about what Christianity that Christ thinks we need. Christ made this explicit, ““I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Furthermore, the one true Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is the only authority who can determine how Christ’s teachings relate to the world. He also declared it by giving Peter authority over his Church–Mt.16:18

        Notwithstanding, In regard to Matthew Ch. 19, I am simply focusing on Christ making the distinctions between man and woman. “Man leaves his mother to cling to his wife.”–in the context of our previous comments–surely you realized this? I wasn’t attempting to create a red herring or make you fall into one of your own.

        However, to Christ’s point on divorce, it’s another issue; however, these are the words of Christ. He makes clear that marriage is forever and divorce is not possible. If my wife were to divorce me, I could not remarry if she is still alive and I must be celibate to receive communion.

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      11. From the protestant prospective, much of what the catholic church claims doesn’t necessarily have a Biblical basis. There’s no instructions for the position of Pope, and not once is there a list of qualifications for cardinals or things like that. Sometimes we recite the one creed that says: “I believe in the catholic church …” which is to say that every church is a part of the one church of which Christ is the head. If I’m not mistaken, Junia was counted among the apostles, and since Paul considered himself least of the apostles, then there was a woman who had an apostleship, then that would mean that she had authority to speak on behalf of God. As I understand Church History, the proto-Catholic church declared the first few popes were just that after the fact, none of them saw themselves as having greater authority or as head over everyone else. It’s odd that Jesus had told them “not to let anyone call you father for you have one father …” and yet the word ‘Pope’ comes from the Latin word for ‘father’. Jesus said that the greatest will be last, but the Pope is greatest and made first.
        I think that Christ’s words exist in a context. It doesn’t do that God permitted divorce in the OT and Jesus contradicted God in the NT by forbidding it. I think that Jesus was against ‘putting away’, the kind of divorce where men would kick their wives out but keep all her belongings, money, children, and wouldn’t give her the certificate that would let her remarry. But if Jesus can contradict God, then that must mean that the Holy Spirit can contradict Jesus and ‘update’ these teachings for our day and age.

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      12. Seriously!? First off, in regards to Junia or rather Junias– framing the assertion as an indicative statement is intellectual dishonesty in my book. It is a clear controversial subject. Notwithstanding , let’s be clear about “the 12 Apostles”–there are only 12 commissioned for miracles. Also, to equate Junia with Paul is a false equivalent, because unless your Acts is written differently then mine–possible– Paul was commissioned by Christ himself. I hope that your comment is not a blatant misrepresentation.

        Let’s be clear, Christ is “the living Torah,” “The New Moses,” and the “Living Law.” Christ does not contradict God he is the embodiment of the law and this is how and why he can speak with authority. It does not allow YOU to determine what the Holy Spirit’s role within the Trinity. Your argument is a strawman–intellectual dishonesty.

        If you believe that Christ’s world; ergo, his message are in a “context,” or relative. The truth is not in you. Such thoughts create an image of Christ in each person’s image.

        The comments about the Pope are a red herring argument, they have nothing to do with the role of Deacons in the Church or who preformed these tasks. There is biblical basis for the Pope. Do you really need me to cite the Petrine Primacy scripture?

        John 21:15-17? Although, it’s possible that some Protestants may have cut this out of the Bible, it’s hard to keep up.

        Furthermore, Acts 15 is further confirmation of Peter’s sole leadership of the early church.

        Finally, Mt. 16: 18-19 declares Peter the rock, and this rock, Christ will build his Church.

        All of which is the fulfillment of prophecy from Isaiah 22.

        Now, I’m well aware of how Protestants try misconstrue these passages to fit their theology, but to say their is no Biblical basis is a lie. I have no patience for comments that knowingly misrepresenting the truth. However, this is the Biblical basis for the office of the Pope which is the succession of the office of Peter. As this is completely off topic, I will conclude this to be a red herring and a low blow attempt towards Catholicism.

        I will not tolerate any Anti-Catholicism on this blog, you are welcome to retract, if not, there will be no further discussion.

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      13. Luke 10 says that even the seventy two were commissioned for miracles such as healing and driving out demons. I took Paul’s own words seriously when he said 1 Cor 15:9 and Romans 16:7. Technically, Paul isn’t the 12th, that was Matthias who was voted to replace Judas in the first few chapters of Acts. Jesus appeared to hundreds after his death, men and women, we don’t have it recorded what he said to all of them so we can’t be sure that none of them were promoted to apostleship.
        John 21:15-17 is interesting because the English word ‘love’ has four possible counterparts back in the day, in order the sequence used was – agapaō, agapaō and then phileō. That agape love is a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances. Whereas phileo love is a strong affection between friends or compatriots. The context of this scene is forgiveness, that’s all I see here.
        I’m not sure what exactly Acts 15 proves, if he were the sole leader, then it shouldn’t have been necessary to call together a council with all of the leaders together, he should have summarily rendered judgement and everybody obeyed him on the matter. The fact that there was disagreement shows that the leadership was not one single person and the leadership did not entirely agree at the start.
        I still don’t see anywhere Jesus says that a succession of leadership has the authority to make decisions on behalf of Peter. It reminds me of that interview I saw, a priest was saying that the men in charge, the Pope, doesn’t have the authority to make any changes to permit women to have an increased role in the Church. That’s odd, I thought, because since they trace their authority back to Matthew 16, by refusing to ‘loose’ women, they have ‘bound up’ women in Christianity just as the verse says. Then they conveniently say that they don’t have the authority to change things when they’re the ones who write all of the rules including that one.
        That’s how/why Protestants came to be, the saw some serious misconstruing going on the Catholic church, so I guess it’s only fair to say you see misconstruing from the other side of the same coin. I’ve been taught to understand the Bible verses differently, in light of culture or history, and without the emphasis on the Catholic Church that you’ve been raised to see and believe is there. When I see Rhoda as being mentioned as having believed that Peter was just outside of the door, or that Lydia hosted a church in her home, I don’t say: “they’re holding a Catholic meeting!” I see they’re just meeting together in house churches and that the Catholic church is barely seeds in the ground, they have yet to sprout into a plant.
        I don’t understand what you charge to be anti-Catholicism. I personally have no hatred or ill-will toward Catholics. I even attended the Catholic wedding of my dear friend a few years ago. I visited a number of Catholic churches while I was there, and was enlightened while I marvelled at the majesty of La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús. My friend was patient with me and explained to me about icons and Mary. If there is a list of subjects that can’t be talked about because they equate to anti-Catholicism, then I’m afraid I didn’t know that being an exceedingly curious person is the same as anti-Catholic. I didn’t mean to give that impression. I guess there are just some things I’ll never learn. How are Protestants and Catholics ever to bridge this communication gap? What, are all Protestants born wrong, in the wrong faith and destined for eternal torment because of it? Aren’t Protestants right about some things?

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      14. Like I said I know the assertions of Protestants in regards to the objections to Catholics Biblical evidence for the Pope–they are false, or at least to you, simply I don’t believe them to be true.

        Are Protestants right about something?

        Protestants are only right when what they believe agrees with the one true Apostolic Church.

        The Pope, the origins and his authority, comments are a red herring, they have nothing to do with our discussion in regards to the content is this post. I take this as a common Protestant affront against the Church, in regards to our conversation, more or less an attempt at a cheap shot. If my post was about the Pope’s authority and biblical origins, it would have been fine, but the post isn’t about that topic. Furthermore, having “Catholic” friends doesn’t give you a pass. Even folks with friends of other races can make comments from their “privilege”, or whatever is PC nowadays, that are racist or insinuate racism.

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      15. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I believe about much of anything anymore. Calvinism and complementarianism are popular among my former denomination, but I felt that it didn’t fit either. Nothing seems to fit. What I do see is that Jesus respected women, and went above and beyond what was ‘appropriate’ in his culture to do right by them. If that’s an example the church is meant to follow, the church has let many opportunities to follow suit slide … the only people who don’t see that seem to be the church itself. I don’t know which way is right, but since Jesus is the way – I’ll stick with him wherever he goes and he was the one that didn’t send Mary back into the kitchen.

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      16. Instead of simply declaring that in Luke 10 that there was 70 commissioned for miracles which constitutes healing and driving out demons, we should actually take a look at the text, as the 70 have declared that Christ is responsible. Perhaps the confusion is that I that I notice when the 70 reference in Christ’s name, and therefore actually place importance on the Pentecost event.

        “10 After this the Lord appointed seventy[a] others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

        “The Return of the Seventy
        17 The seventy[b] returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

        1 Cor 15:9 states: 9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men;” Quite frankly, I don’t see the connection our topic, perhaps a warning for me? Furthermore, Romans 16:7 is another false equivalent. It, again, doesn’t indicate that any other men were commissioned for miracles like the original 12.

        In regards to Paul, didn’t you noticed I made a clear distinction between the commissioned 12 and Paul? If I believed Paul was commissioned to be a part of the 12, I would not have addressed him directly. Again, you are reading your own interpretation into whatever text you read, not what is actually said. I singled out Paul because like I said, “Paul was commissioned by Christ directly.”

        Nothing is relative. You simply can’t determine that your way is Christ’s way because it is not. Christ’s central mission was to reveal the Kingdom of God, and his words profess the manner to obtain your treasures in heaven. In fact, scripturally, you’ve already admitted your rejection to Christ’s commands on divorce, so in fact, you do not “stick with him.”

        However, let’s pull the entire quote out:

        “but since Jesus is the way – I’ll stick with him wherever he goes and he was the one that didn’t send Mary back into the kitchen.”

        Why didn’t you just state this in your first comment? It’s your feelings toward the Catholic Church, for it had been written subtly in every comment. Regardless, It could not be more wrong. Your religion it appears isn’t Christianity, it’s feminism, because you certainly don’t follow Christ’s lead–your comments about “culture” show you goal is to quantify Christ to follow you rather than for you to follow Christ.

        In regards to our culture vs. 1st century Judea culture in regard to divorce–it simply doesn’t matter. Matthew 19 echoes the same as Mark 10, in fact, the Disciples object, so Jesus made it even more simple for them:

        9 Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” 10 In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

        One of the great Church Fathers in the Catholic tradition, Gregory Nazianz, writes in defense of women in accordance to this:

        “The majority of men are ill-disposed to chastity and their laws are unequal and irregular. For what was the reason they restrained the woman but indulged the man, and that a woman who practices evil against her husband’s bed is an adulteress and the penalties of the law severe, but if the husband commits fornication against his wife, he has no account to give? I do not accept this legislation. I do not approve this custom”

        In regards to the roles of man and woman, Christ makes distinctions all over the gospels, and to ignore it is simply ignorance. The problem is that YOU have chosen what are important roles–not what God has chosen for you, this isn’t sticking with Jesus, it’s separating from him.

        For example, when you read Ephesians 5, your worship of modernism has convinced you that when it is said, “22 Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord” It means to go to the kitchen. The world, liberalism, and ‘rights’ have convinced many people to reject the word of God. Notwithstanding, in the same chapter, God asks men to give up their own lives for their wives. Yet, no feminist objects, or deems it important. It’s mainly because the focus is inward, modern society has created an influx of narcissism. For example, you write, “but I felt that it didn’t fit either. Nothing seems to fit.” Excuse me, but in accordance to the divine, it doesn’t matter what “you feel” is “right.” It only matters what God has declared is right. The sentiment begs the question if God came down in incarnate form right now and declared what I said to you to be true, would you follow it then? After all, the world’s previous answer was to crucify him.

        However, the idea of gender theory and the blending of roles to oppose complementarianism is totalitarianism. It’s relativistic society bent on abolishing traditional Christian institutions to ultimately abolishing Christianity. Of course, making divorce easier is also a tactic for the same goals–another issue where you seem to have sided with the relativist and the city of man.

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      17. Jesus sent out the seventy is that not commissioning them? They did miracles. If you’re going to point to Pentecost, then a careful reading will prove an interesting point: Why would Peter say that it was the fulfillment of Joel 2 if only men were speaking in tongues? Were only men filled with the Holy Sprit? Later on, in Cornelius’ household, all who heard were filled with the Holy Spirit, sounds to me like that includes women even if it’s not explicitly stated.

        1 Cor 15:9 says “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” You confused it with 1 Cor 5:9. Taking Paul at his word, he considers himself inferior to the other apostles, including Junia, a woman. In 1 Cor 12, Paul says that the body has different kinds of gifts and works, including miracle working, and since everyone is comissioned to the fulfil the Great Comission, that makes it possible for anyone even today to become an apostle. Which, I suspect, is why some Protestant churches maintain the title and office. As you can see, it all comes down to a matter of interpretation. That’s what it was in Jesus’ day. The Scriptures Jesus inherited when he was born into Ancient Israel had been debated back and forth for centuries. Same goes for us, only it’s been millenia.

        I do follow Christ’s ethic, be humble, live at peace, love your neighbor, honor God, but I understand that I can’t live as a 1st century Judean might. His culture and ours are distinctly different. For one, we don’t live under the oral law or the written law that existed back in the day. We’re also not under the control of the Roman empire and subject to it’s law about the paterfamilias or it’s customs regarding the role of women. I take Jesus’ interaction with women to be an example of the sort of conduct that best represents him in our culture – treating women in the church far better than in the world. The problem is that the church lags behind the world in the fair treatment of women. I do follow christ in the context of the culture in which I live, not in the context of the culture in which the Bible was written into and in which Jesus was born into, lived in, and died because of. Throughout human history, the ancient world was a patriarchy that gave men all the power and denied women agency. The woman at the well, for example had been married multiple times. Oh, and the woman who married her son, she wasn’t condemned for that. I think God knew that when it came to marriage and divorce 2,000 years ago, women didn’t have very much of a choice. Darned if you and darned if you don’t sort of thing. So they did what most women did, marry for survival, not necessarily for love. It was men who had the power to initiate divorce and for them it was as simple as saying “I divorce you.” three times in public. Women could ask, but men had to be the ones to allow it. He might not agree. But all of that points to the picture of marriage/divorce in an ancient Judeo-Roman context 2,000 years ago as described in the oral law/Talmud. I just refuse to take these verses out of their historical/cultural context. I see them as belonging to their place and time, not a transcultral/transtemporal teaching.

        Usually I start with Ephesians 5:21 – I think it is connected to the rest of the passages that follow it in theme and content. Some say that verses 22 onward are ‘zoomed in’ on the big picture teaching of verse 21, but I think that it ought not be overwritten. The problem is that protestants call servant-leadership the idea that a man is the head of the household and he ought to die to self and make the final decisions and have the last say on everything. It seems a contradiction in terms to me. Some have pointed out that the household codes, including Ephesians 5, are similar to Aristotle’s teaching about household management, in ‘Politics’, he wrote about three pairs of relationships: Master/Slave, Father/Children, and Husband/Wife as he taught that the household was the smallest unit of the state, it was important that households be managed properly so that the state functions well. Once again, when Scripture is understood in it’s historical and cultural context, then the meaning one draws from it differs than a literal, plain reading of the text. To me, in order to accept these verses, then I’d have to accept the sources from which they came, the Talmud, Aristotle’s ‘Politics’, and even the Torah / Law of Moses. But I know that as a gentile / Christian, some of them obviously don’t apply to me and that Aristotle was working off of a rudimentary knowledge based on observable reason in his culture which Paul was trying to answer with principles that would keep Christians out of trouble with the people who made household management a matter of law. I just don’t see how the specifics of it is all that applicable to today other than to love one another, be humble, put others before yourself, help everyone where you can, that sort of thing. And that’s always a good idea no matter what culture you’re in. It doesn’t do, for example, to make your neighbor upset and then to run to him/her for help only to be sent away. Sure, you can mistreat people for a temporal monetary advantage, but when it comes time to reap what you sow, then you shouldn’t expect anything less than for others to do what you did to them – the golden rule. Now me, I plan to sew peace, joy, forgiveness, happiness, and that sort of thing so I should expect to reap likewise.

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      18. No proper reading of scripture allows for your conclusions, simply non-sequitur. In Acts 2 there are no women. The Holy Spirit coming upon the Apostles is not the same as the spirit coming to people in other forms. It’s again a false equivalent.

        I mean you’re honestly adding things or subtracting to justify diabolical narcissism. You make grand assumptions here and there and then in other texts you claim, ” I take what he says seriously.”

        It’s subject that is true one can not be sure of because it doesn’t explicitly say either way. However to justify what YOU have deemed acceptable for your cultural relativism. I accept Christ’s word not as cultural, but as mandate for moral behavior. If there is any discretion, I leave that up to the Church that he established on earth.

        This cultural argument quite frankly is BS. It’s the foundation of relativism that justifies the whole sale genocide of the unborn in the name of Feminism. “Ahh well our culture is different.” The human story is fairly the same, and truth is absolute.

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      19. Huh? Oh a Another strawman.

        All He did was quote Joel, you fail to understand his context. Again, you’re interpreting something into the text that isn’t there. Acts says also before the quotation that he stood up with the eleven, a clear indication of who was affected by The Holy Spirt in a specific manner during Pentecost.

        There’s absolutely no indication that women were speaking like the Apostles. The only quote from Joel is an indication that women “prophesy.” Somehow to you that makes Peter say something that he doesn’t… …?

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      20. Furthermore, Now I assume that you believe because Acts 1 indicates 120 folks that women must be included in Pentecost; however, again you assume something that’s not written into the text of Acts 2. It references the “Galileans” which is a clear reference to the 12.

        All references to women being a part of Pentecost with the 12 is analysis that puts into the text something that isn’t there.

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      21. It goes back to the cultural knowledge of the day. Gender segregation was the norm. Even the temple had a Court of the Women beyond which women could not go. Men could go even further in, getting even closer to God. Even then, they couldn’t reach God all the way, they had to deal with the priests and only the high priest could communicate with God. Then Jesus became our high priest, one through whom we all have direct access to God; men and women. There’s no longer any need to go through any human mediator, be it a priest, or a husband. Though Christianity’s gender role teachings do put a husband between his wife and their God. If Jesus or Paul wanted a Christianity where there were no women, then there would have been no need for Junia, Phoebe, Lydia, Syntche, Euodia, or any of the others who would go where men could not go to speak to those whom men could not speak to. You saw this in the ancient church with the need for deaconesses in some capacity. It’s what happened when Clement was given one copy of a teaching to teach one group and Grapte another. It was what happened when one of the church fathers told them that there was a woman who could explain the passage to them if any of them had any trouble with it as “any old woman” was better versed in theology than any philosopher. If this was a church of no women, then their names wouldn’t have been remembered and their deeds copied by the women who followed in their footsteps.

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      22. The court of the women (Hebrew: ezrat hanashim עזרת הנשים) was the outer forecourt of the Temples in Jerusalem into which women were permitted to enter.[1] The court was also known as the “middle court,” as it stood between the Court of the Gentiles and the court of Israel, i.e. the court of the men.[2] – Wikipedia.

        Even today, the Western Wall is segregated, men get the larger portion of the wall, the women get the smaller segment that’s divided off. Since it’s not as spacious, it’s usually more crowded because there’s less access to the wall itself. Some women have tried to get access to the rest of the wall, but they usually get in trouble for that.

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      23. All of these last couple of posts will be deleted because you’re wasting your time. I’ve shown why I don’t believe you, you take scripture out of context and claim that’s it’s reflective of the context of the time and must be reflective of the context of our time.

        The context of Christ’s time and the Church’s declarations on the matter is good enough for me during my time. The truth then is the truth now. Did their culture have rules with women? Did it respect their dignity in regards to Baptizing with other women to help? Yes, it did, better than your culture. Perhaps we should learn how to dignify women again because your modern culture as manipulated women to believe that all liberalism is freedom.

        Everything you ‘claim’ is a manipulation of your relativistic philosophy. I could say, the Pope has declared from the Chair that all men and women die an earthly death.”

        Your response would be, ” culturally speaking death means different things… You see this scripture passage that I’ve taken completely out of context, well because of my modern culture…”

        Your modern culture is hedonism.

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      24. If it’s any consolation, a great many of the things you say sound exactly like the Southern Baptists and I don’t believe them either.
        It’s your right to delete whatever you wish as it’s your blog. I won’t be offended as I’m a devil’s advocate and I don’t really take anything personally. Though it would be wise if you wouldn’t image what my claims might be to hypothetical statements. I’d actually probably say something like: “Of course everybody dies, it’s what mortals do. It doesn’t take the authority of a pope to reach that conclusion.”
        At any rate, it’s a lovely day outside and I’m going to enjoy it. I hope your day is as pleasant as mine.

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      25. Yes, I don’t have time for those who play devil’s advocate, only those who are sincere, which is why I have stated my intentions. It would be “wise” for me to not to…I chose it wisely…Sense the hyperbole, there’s a reason why I chose the absolute.

        However, I will conclude you don’t believe them, the Baptist or Catholics, because you only believe yourself. As Thomas Merton wrote in his autobiography is an indication of a person being Spiritually dead.

        This is not strictly an apologetics blog, It’s a celebration of the culture of Catholicism, which rejects your relativistic philosophy. You may get some buzz off challenging the mission is the blog, but I am rather bored with explaining how you make things up that aren’t there.

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      26. Furthermore, consultation, I didn’t lose anything, so I don’t need any. You may think it amusing to compare Southern Baptist with Catholics. Ah…okay some Christians agree on certain aspects, and any of us should be surprised?
        I’ll say this do not waste your time with LCMS Lutherans, because they’ll tell you the same.

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      27. Again, in accordance to Paul, I make a clear distinction between him and the 12. I state that he received a direct commission from Christ according to scripture. Your point about 1 Cor. 15:9 doesn’t mean anything to what I have said, perhaps another red herring issue for you?

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      28. In many analysis, they have concluded that every time in the Old Testament when God is the source of creation it appears that God in the feminine gender form.
        ***
        Are you referring to grammatical gender? It’s a feature of some languages that everything has a gender, a potato is feminine (la papa) a dress is masculine (el vestido); but it doesn’t have any bearing on the object itself. While it’s true that ‘spirit’; ‘ruach’ is grammatically feminine, it doesn’t really point to God’s gender as being feminine. Same goes for ‘shekinah’. How can we say that God is feminine when we don’t use equivalent terms, Mother / Daughter? We don’t use feminine language: She, Her, Hers?

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      29. I am not discussing language at all.I am discussing how God through scripture describes God or how God is described through scripture. I meant in a female gender role rather than language.

        Take for instance:

        Hosea 11:3-4 (NABRE) God describes himself with how a mother feeds a child

        3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
        who took them in my arms;
        but they did not know that I cared for them.
        4 I drew them with human cords,
        with bands of love;[a]
        I fostered them like those
        who raise an infant to their cheeks;
        I bent down to feed them.

        Hosea 3:18 God described that he will fight as a mother for God’s children.

        I will attack them like a bear robbed of its young,
        and tear their hearts from their breasts;

        Psalm 131:2 Describes God as a Mother

        Rather, I have stilled my soul,
        Like a weaned child to its mother,
        weaned is my soul.

        Mt. 23:37 God protecting as a Mother hen

        There is plenty more images as God in the vocation of a mother that fully dignifies woman through Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Psalms, and the Gospel of Luke.

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      30. I couldn’t add this as a reply to Jaime but is whom this was intended.

        A thought on complementarity.

        First God is the creative and generative force and is complimented by His Bride the Church. God acts and the Church responds and hopefully becomes fecund as a marriage is fecund with children of God.

        The human marriage is an imperfect correlation to the supernatural reality. The man is the generative force and represents God (most perfectly as a priest upon the altar) and the wife represents the yes of the laity as well as each of our souls (which is always considered the feminine aspect of our nature) as that which responds to the beckoning of God.

        Both are necessary and the complimentary aspect is not simply symbolism but a reflection of the Heavenly reality.

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      31. A thought on complementarity.
        ***
        I thought that God was not a man in that he’s not in need of anything people can do and doesn’t have a need that people can fill.The idea of the Bride as being God’s feminine complement would suggest that inherit in God’s own nature there is no femininity from which Eve was a copy of that template or design. She would have had to been something brand new under the son. But since it takes both man and woman to image God, then there has to be something ‘woman’ in God for woman to be the image of.

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      32. I am not discussing language at all.I am discussing how God through scripture describes God or how God is described through scripture. I meant in a female gender role rather than language.
        ***
        If God reveals himself as both, then should it not take both men and women serving as both priests and priestesses, deacons and deaconess, elders and elderesses to honor both sides of him/her? Women used to serve women, men used to serve men. Now men may serve men and women, why not women serve both women and men? I though that it wasn’t good for adam (or men) to be alone, but now in church leadership, men are always alone. How is that good?

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      33. Jamie, does Christ call His Father, a Father? Does He teach us to pray, Our Father? Was Christ male in His incarnation? Will He continue to have this maleness as part of His Risen Glorified Body? Does not every Word issued from the mouth (the action) stand in need of an ear to hear and thus respond to the Word? We were made to Compliment God’s plan for His Heavenly Family and the Church is Christ’s Bride in a very true sense. We, collectively and expressed perfectly in our Holy Mother Mary, are the answer to His Word, the Bride of the Bridegroom, the fiat of Mary (the yes to God) like the ear (our souls) would allow us to respond with our yes to the Word of God.

        Ritually, at the re-presentation of the Last Supper and Holy Sacrifice that Christ endured for our salvation, men are then chosen to represent Christ and the rest of us as another Christ (acting in the person of Christ) whilst the liturgy is performed. A woman cannot play Christ as it is not her role to do so. The Priests are specifically in the lineage of the Apostles and receive the power from their predecessors to this Ordained Ministry.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the suggestion. Sometimes I find it’s far more informative actually talking to Catholics about what they believe and why they believe it. I’m also currently reading the aforementioned blog’s comments and I had to chuckle at something you had written because it sounded exactly what I had heard from my Southern Baptist church, only you know, Catholic instead. Sometimes we’re a lot more alike than different. But sometimes we need to be more different than alike. God’s equally honored by both and all ways of glorification.

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      2. Indeed so. BTW I left another message for you under Philip’s comment because I lost the thread to be able to do so. Perhaps it will help you understand some of what we were speaking about today.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good job, Philip and I think you sum it up well as did the article from Canon Law Made Easy. As far as I am concerned the subject is closed . . . but that will not stop those who are pushing for this for various reasons. Some think of it as a push for equality or as an entry into their final desire to create a feminine priesthood and lastly the diabolic motivation to destroy the Catholic Church from the inside out. There is not much else that I can say outside what I have written at AATW which has become a hotbed of ridicule for all things Catholic.

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    1. Women already have the greatest vocation in the world, motherhood, quite literally, mother is the name of God before they can understand the concept of God. They are truly responsible for the rearing of a Child, more so than any man, yet the modernist world in the name of ‘equality’ had declared that they need more. In fact, I would assert this is because the modern world fails to truly believe in God.

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  3. I read the post on the blog you cited. I don’t find it offensive. These are questions that have been entertained by numerous Catholics.I do admit to finding your comments about women disheartening. I am a graduate student in French with an interest in historical theology. There are philosophical reasons why women have been considered ontologically distinct from men. I have the impression that it is these views that underpin the view that women cannot stand “in persona Christi”. Still, I can’t be sure. Maybe that’s why the pope has considered forming a commission on the the issue of female deacons. Being a mother is an amazing vocation, but it should not and never has been the only position female Catholics have occupied. Indeed, Bernard of Clairvaux gave Hildegard of Bingen permission to preach. Preaching among female religious was surprisingly frequent prior to the rise of Scholasticism. The universities changed the educational landscape of Western Europe. Cloistered orders lost their influence to the emergent friars. To ask whether there is a cultural basis for a particular Church practice is not anti-Catholic, but an exercise of our reason, which the Catholic Church has always praised. The universal suppression of the female diaconate (whatever the practices associated with that office were) may have been the right thing, but the pope has considered creating a commission to look into it, and I’m certainly not going to object. Perhaps being in a secular university has made me accustomed to entertaining challenges to my views (though I frequently conclude that the speakers just don’t understand the complexities of the Catholic faith). I don’t sense any hatred in the post you referenced but I definitely see anti-Catholicism elsewhere on that blog (maybe the administrators should be more discriminating when choosing writers. The clown, seriously?!).

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    1. I’m interested why you are disheartened by my comments, you’re a Catholic, am I not following Catholic doctrine?

      Women can do more than be Mothers, however, I do not take back with saying that it’s the most important vocation on earth, one that I am jealous of not being able to be apart. In regards to other vocations, do women not serve as missionaries, teachers, nurses, and heads of Catholic organizations?

      However, the priesthood–Christ did not consecrate for them, just as the Father did not Consecrate for men motherhood.

      Was Dorothy Day’s vocation not dignified? I too graduated from a secular university, which actually turned me more towards the Church’s teachings as I saw a world that did nothing but glorify hedonism.

      Yes, the Clown, is the embodiment of American Evangelicalism. The administrator, or the founder that is, use to be very welcoming to Catholic, however, something has changed, which has caused me to leave.

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    2. Furthermore, If you are disheartened and disagree with me, this is why I invited you and others to be a variety of different minds in a community. What am I to possibly gain if I only discuss things with Catholics that are in 100% agreement with me? Nothing.

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      1. You are following doctrine. I just don’t think every challenge to doctrine is necessarily anti-Catholic. They just encourage us to put into words the reasons for our views. It’s like St. Thomas’ objections. I understand the reasons against female ordination, but gender complementarity is quite another issue and doesn’t have anything to do with this question. We should keep them apart.

        I have considered joining you. A challenge from a fellow Catholic doesn’t feel as much as a threat as a challenge from a Protestant. That makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Also, The blog by itself, perhaps written by another person would have not felt anti-Catholic to some of the Catholics. However, the author and founder has written several other posts that I think avalanched this one finally. Furthermore, did you read any of her comments below? I try my best not to be rude, and when told she was rude, she continued the ridicule.

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      3. Understood. I was only speaking of the post itself. The internet is a troublesome environment. It is easy to say things you wouldn’t say in person and people can more easily be considered in the abstract.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Indeed, true, more valuable wisdom. The internet is also very valuable as I am connected to you fine people who are also thirsting for Christ.

        Nonetheless, there is wisdom in your comment, which is why your thoughts are vital to the community’s success.

        I must still remember that even if I believe the person’s who is challenging me heart is too hardened, someone else may be out there and needing my words.

        Liked by 1 person

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