Tuesday, November 25, 2008

St. Christopher, Pray for Me

I have a 7.5 hr. drive to Steubenville and then a 12 hr. drive to Portland, ME to spend Thanksgiving with Amy's family. It looks like there might be some snow and rain involved, too. So, please pray for me that my LOOOOOONG trip is a safe (and happy!) one.

UPDATE: I made it to Maine safe and sound. I thank you all for your prayers!

UPDATE #2: I'll be back in Owensboro on Monday night, Dec. 1st.

Pax Christi,

Monday, November 24, 2008

Exploring Catholicism: Part 4

[Also see Parts 1, 2, and 3]

Indefinitely, if I presented this argument to a friend, they would bring up the fact that in Matthew 16:18, in the greek, Peter –Petros- and rock –petra- do not agree in gender and so rock could not be referring to Peter. What is the rebuttal to that?
Matthew used the Greek word petros for Simon's new name, instead of petra because you can't use a feminine noun for a man's name. That would be like calling me "Nicole" instead of "Nicholas." At any rate, by the time Matthew's gospel was written, the words petros and petra had lost their distinction in meaning. In other words, both words meant "rock." If that weren't enough, in Aramaic, which was the language Jesus was speaking, the same word kepha would have been used both for Simon's new name and for the rock of the Church. So, Protestants who try to force a distinction between petros and petra in order to show that Peter isn't the rock of the Church are really making a whole lot out of nothing. Actually, there's a wealth of Protestant biblical scholarship that confirms everything I am saying here. See for yourself.

In general I could accept [the development of the papacy], the talk in the churches I am a part of now is how do we be relevant without sacrificing the truth. Now you may have to help form the following question as well as answer it, but through the lens I have always looked at the Catholic Church it seemed a development of role. What I mean is there seemed to be no clear indication of a papacy in the early church, then around the 300’s or 400’s (I can’t remember) it is defined. Then it becomes very prominent until very recent in which we have the definition of ex cathedra seemingly giving more strength. I glossed over many events but the question is what is the Catholic lens at which to look at this role and see it as a constant as opposed to a role created over time?
Well, I think the key here is to understand that the papacy has developed organically into what it is today, and that there is nothing wrong with organic development. Nothing of the prerogatives of the pope were ever invented. The belief that he is the head of the bishops and he has the authority to speak infallibly have always existed. Just because the Church, throughout the years, may provide a definition or a clarification of what She believes about the papacy, that does not mean that the topic in question is being invented at the moment. For example, Vatican I affirmed the pope's ability to speak infallibly, but this was something that the Church has always taught about the pope. I think that most of the change takes place regarding those aspects of the papacy that are more incidental to his primary mission (for example, the extent of his secular or temporal power, the bureaucracy that exists to help him run the every-day affairs of the Church, the vestments he wears, his ability to travel across the world, etc.).

I'm not really sure what else to say beyond that. Dave Armstrong has a few articles on the development of the papacy that may be of help:He has several articles on the general theory of doctrinal development as well. For these, see Biblical Evidence for Catholicism: Development of Doctrine.

Enoch and Elijah are two good examples [of an assumption in Scripture]. I would agree it seems scripturally sound. I have two hesitations with the other references. 1st - Were these instances assumptions or resuscitations? (and I don’t mean like CPR, I will explain) Example: Lazarus was “raised” but he more than likely died again. So you might call it resuscitation. I am not saying that he wasn’t really dead and brought back to life, but that he was not given the glorified body but “raised” back into the earthly. So were these that were raised also assumed or were they only raised?
From the biblical evidence, it appears that these were assumptions, not resurrections (as was the case with Lazarus). In other words, Enoch and Elijah do not appear to have experienced death. They were raised body and soul into heaven.

2nd- and this gets into a deeper question, You quoted from the apocrypha or deuterocanonicals. The church I am a part of now rejects them completely. I have heard some good case for their acceptance. Do you have a good case for their acceptance?
For this, I would like to direct you to some earlier blog posts that I have written on this subject:I hope those help.

Not that I expect you to find and list every one but I am curious is this an exhaustive list of verses hinting at Mary’s assumption or are there more?
There may be more, but those are the only ones that I am aware of.

Numbers 1 through 14 are very good. Let me see if I am understanding. In those first 14 sections is he simply saying that Mary’s role as Co-Redemptrix or Mediatrix (these are the same correct?) was in her free will participation with the will of God, just in the same way we can. So his remark about it being quantitative as opposed to qualitative means that she had a much larger, more important decision in regards to conforming her will to God’s than we might?
Well, first of all, the words "co-redemptrix" and "mediatrix" do not mean the same thing. The word "co-redemptrix" refers to her role in the redemption of mankind. The word "mediatrix" refers to her role in the mediation or distribution of grace to us. As for her role in salvation in comparison to our role, her contribution is quantitatively greater not because she had a more important decision to make, but because she is able to cooperate with God's will perfectly, whereas we are able to cooperate only imperfectly. Remember, Mary is without sin. This means that she can perfectly, completely, totally unite her will to the will of the Father. Since we are not sinless, we simply cannot cooperate with God as perfectly as she did.

My one hesitation with this article was the first sentence in 15. “Likewise, God chooses to distribute all graces through Mary.” When, where, and how is the jump from Mary having been the instrument used (past tense) for Jesus to enter allowing for all grace, to Mary being used (present) in the distribution of all graces. Biblical evidence would be nice but I don’t even necessarily need that, just the argument would be enough.
Perhaps the following paragraphs will help, from the article Fifth Marian Dogma: "Where Is That in Scripture?":
  • Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5), but all Christians are called to participate in the one mediation of Jesus Christ. All the baptized participate in Christ’s mediation by our prayers for one another. In our works of charity and evangelization we "mediate" Christ to others. The Blessed Virgin Mary was asked by God to take her part in her divine Son’s mediation in a unique and privileged way, like no other creature.

    The title "Mediatrix of all Graces" is appropriate for Mary simply by the fact that she gave Jesus his human nature. In accepting the invitation to be his Mother, she becomes the "God-bearer" and thereby mediates to us Jesus Christ, author of all graces. Therefore, the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) is an event of mediation on the part of Our Lady, as she finds herself "in the middle," that is, between God and us. She, alone, freely chooses whether she will or will not give flesh to the second person of the Trinity.

    "Mediatrix of all graces" is also a fitting title for the Blessed Virgin in light of Luke 1:41, where the physical presence of Mary mediates grace to the unborn John the Baptist, by bringing to John the presence of the unborn Redeemer, resulting in the sanctification of the Baptist.

    At the Wedding of Cana (cf. John 2:1-11), we again see Mary’s mediation, and, most significantly, we see the effects of her mediation: "This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him" (John 2:11).

    As our Lord was dying on the Cross, he gives to his Virgin Mother the new role of Mother of all Christians: "Woman, behold, your son!...Behold, your mother!" (John 19:26). At the Lord’s command the Blessed Virgin becomes Mother of all Christians (and universally, the Mother of all peoples), and therein is called to exercise her supernatural duties as our spiritual Mother. This surely means that she will have the task of nourishing her children, and she does this by mediating the graces of the Redemption from Christ to mankind. Therefore, she is "Mediatrix of all Graces."
If you need something more, beyond what is written here, just let me know and I'll see what I can do.

I hope this helps.

Pax Christi,

Poll-Release Monday #61

Here is the new poll question for this week:

True or False?: In the liturgy it is not only the Father who blesses us, but we who bless the Father.
What do you think? Vote in the poll in the sidebar.

Here are the results from the previous poll:
  • Proper song and music in the liturgy, although acting as signs in regard to liturgical action, are not elements that promote the sanctification of the faithful.
    • True: 3 (10%)
    • False: 26 (90%)
The correct answer is:
  • FALSE, cf. CCC no. 1157: Song and music fulfill their function as signs in a manner all the more significant when they are "more closely connected . . . with the liturgical action" (SC 112 § 3), according to three principal criteria: beauty expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the assembly at the designated moments, and the solemn character of the celebration. In this way they participate in the purpose of the liturgical words and actions: the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful (Cf. SC 112) . . .
You may wonder how it is that song and music in the liturgy can promote the sanctification of the faithful. I have wondered this myself. Perhaps liturgical music acts as sacramentals do, nurturing in us the proper disposition with which to receive God's grace. Of course, in the Mass, liturgical music prepares us to receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharist.

St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians .... pray for us!

Pax Christi,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Proposition 8 and Homosexuality: Part 2

In response to Part 1, "Mexjewel" attempted to make the argument that a Christian could rightly live a homosexual lifestyle. I would like to respond to this position below:

My Jesus makes the definition of sin (and so sinners) easy. He bases and defines ALL sin on lack of love (Matthew 22:36-40). Such obvious sins as theft, murder and adultery are unloving because each has a victim, someone not receiving love. Can a Gay person be sinful by themselves, with only the attraction to their own gender? So the attraction is sinful?
I, in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church, do not believe that a person is a sinner just because he has a homosexual attraction. Men and women are tempted every day to do things that they shouldn't do. This doesn't make them sinners, it makes them human. The sin is not in having the attraction or the temptation. The sin is in acting on it. This is an important distinction that must be made whenever this topic is being discussed.

And so, if that Gay person has a lover (as I prefer to call my mate), which is the unloved victim in that homosexual relationship? Neither, of course. Neither is unloved, neither is hurt. Who could bring suit against the “sinner”?
I would assert that neither person is being loved as they should be loved. I realize that you feel very deeply for the person you are with and that this may come as a grave insult to you. I'm not trying to deny your feelings. What I'm saying is that God has made us for something better than what you currently experience and that the love you share with your mate is not the same as the love that God wills for us to share with each other.

You are both victims in this homosexual relationship. You are sinning against God too, by not living in accordance with His will. Of course, I realize that I have yet to prove this. I hope to do that here shortly.

I guess you alread have noticed that no Gospel writer nor prophet proclaimed homosexuality as sinful? Jesus didn't, of course. My questions are not rhetorical; they usually remain unanswered by those who refuse God's grace and live by working the law.
The Gospels and the prophets are not our only sources of truth in Scripture, and you are creating a false dichotomy by pitting them against the Pentateuch and St. Paul. Ultimately, there is only one author of Sacred Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and He does not contradict Himself.

Certainly if God didn't want men to have sex with other men, He would have said “Man shall not lie with man PERIOD (Leviticus 18:22, 21:13). God wanted Moses to eradicate rampant idolatry in the Jewish nation. That whole “ . . . as with a woman” thing condemns straight men pretending to make it with a woman, such as during idol worship. Paul explains it further when putting down the straight Romans (1:26-28 ) for “leaving their natural relations” (i.e.... as with a woman) and having idolatrous sex with men. Gay men are attracted to other men by definition and by God. They can only imagine what sex “ . . . as with a woman” would be like.
This is a clever argument. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that having sex with someone of the same gender is only wrong when it is done by a heterosexual person within the context of idol worship. I disagree with this for several reasons.

For one, Scripture condemns the act itself. It says nothing of the orientation of the person performing the act. As soon as men began to lay down with men, they sinned. It doesn't matter if their actual sexual orientation is gay or straight. Secondly, where in the context of the various prohibitions of homosexual activity do we find that God meant to only forbid such acts that take place in the context of idol worship? You seem to have pulled that out of thin air. Thirdly, don't forget that any sexual activity, be it homosexual or heterosexual, that takes place outside of marriage (which Scripture only envisions as being between a man and a woman) is considered sinful. Thus, homosexual activity falls under every prohibition of "fornication" as well, and Jesus did talk about that (cf. Mt 15:19; Rev 21:8).

Finally, when Scripture says that men had forsaken relations with women to lay down with men, that doesn't mean that you have to be with a woman first before your sex act with a man is sinful. What it means is that they traded a natural form of sexual expression with an unnatural one. The first form of sexual activity is pitted against the second form. The second form is wrong b/c it's not the first form. Plus, if as a man you have sex with another man, you are forsaking sexual relations with a woman, whether you've actually had sexual relations with a woman or not.

“Homosexual” was coined about 1865, so any Bible translation since then that uses a form of that word is a lie that needs to be emended. My King James version is honest and homosexual-free. That word premiered in a 1946 English Bible and continues to condemn loving Gays.
Just because the word may be absent from the Bible, that does not mean that the act it describes is not a sin. At any rate, the KJV does condemn "sodomites" (cf. Deut 23:17; 1 Ki 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Ki 23:7). What do you make of that?

It is noteworthy that Gay people employ themselves in loving professions like medicine, education and the ministry. However, some Christians evidently work in the Biblical judicial system.
I never said that individuals with a homosexual orientation are useless to society, or that they have an inability to love. Such individuals are just as capable as anyone else to do good works for others. But, that doesn't make their homosexual lifestyle morally acceptable, and when they try to communicate love by participating in homosexual acts, they love wrongly.

We Christians want to avoid sin that offends God. We do not unilaterally harm God but we do wreck our love relationship with Him by sinning. Created in His loving image, we fail to live up to expectations. Without Jesus and His deal to make it all right, we would be planning our new residence in Hell. But we have taken Jesus as Savior and Lord and He keeps us in His Father's loving will.
If you want to avoid offending God you must refrain from acting on your homosexual orientation. Jesus will not simply turn a blind eye to what you are doing just because he loves you. In fact, it is because he loves you that he calls you out of that lifestyle.

What is the most love one can show another sinner? Offer them an eternity with God through the redemptive cross of Jesus. Instead of judging them, shouldn’t Christians be telling those “sinful” homosexuals that Jesus died for their sins? The stumbling block is that Gays do not want to affiliate with unloving and judgmental Christians. Know Jesus, know love. No Jesus, no love.
That redemptive Cross of Jesus that you wish more Christians would offer to people who struggle with this orientation is exactly what I am offering you. If you will grant me your forbearance, I would like to quote from a document of the CDF that is very eloquent on this point:
  • What, then, are homosexual persons to do who seek to follow the Lord? Fundamentally, they are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross. That Cross, for the believer, is a fruitful sacrifice since from that death come life and redemption. While any call to carry the cross or to understand a Christian's suffering in this way will predictably be met with bitter ridicule by some, it should be remembered that this is the way to eternal life for all who follow Christ.

    It is, in effect, none other than the teaching of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians when he says that the Spirit produces in the lives of the faithful "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control" (5:22) and further (5:24), "You cannot belong to Christ unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires."

    It is easily misunderstood, however, if it is merely seen as a pointless effort at self-denial. The Cross is a denial of self, but in service to the will of God himself who makes life come from death and empowers those who trust in him to practise virtue in place of vice.

    To celebrate the Paschal Mystery, it is necessary to let that Mystery become imprinted in the fabric of daily life. To refuse to sacrifice one's own will in obedience to the will of the Lord is effectively to prevent salvation. Just as the Cross was central to the expression of God's redemptive love for us in Jesus, so the conformity of the self-denial of homosexual men and women with the sacrifice of the Lord will constitute for them a source of self-giving which will save them from a way of life which constantly threatens to destroy them.

    Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life. As they dedicate their lives to understanding the nature of God's personal call to them, they will be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance more faithfully and receive the Lord's grace so freely offered there in order to convert their lives more fully to his Way. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, no. 12)
I hope that helps. In closing, I would like to provide a list of the passages of Scripture that condemn homosexual activity (from the RSV, unless otherwise indicated):
  • Gen 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.

    Gen 18:20 Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomor'rah is great and their sin is very grave,

    Gen 19:4-7 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; 5 and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them." 6 Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, 7 and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly (cf. Judg 19:22-23)

    Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination (cf. 20:13)

    Deut 23:17 (KJV) There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel (cf. 1 Ki 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Ki 23:7).

    Rom 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

    1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    [note: the Greek word translated in the RSV as "sexual perverts" is
    arsenokoites, which means "one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual" according to the KJV NT Greek Lexicon. The KJV translates this as "abusers of themselves with mankind" which is perhaps more indicative of the sin in question here.]

    1 Tim 1:9-11 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
Pax Christi,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Booklet on the Funeral Rite

I recently provided a link to a booklet using Marian artwork in catechesis. It was the second part of a project on using beauty in catechesis, which also included a paper. Well, I created a booklet in conjunction with my paper on liturgical catechesis as well. See Learning the "Rite" Way: What the Funeral Rites Teach Us About Death and the Afterlife.

Let me know what you think.

Pax Christi,

Proposition 8 and Homosexuality

I received the following email from a mom in California on Prop. 8 and it's effect on her family. I haven't seen very much in the Catholic blogosphere on this, so I hope that what follows will be a worthwhile contribution to the debate on this subject. It's a miracle that Prop. 8 passed and we should certainly praise God for that. But, there is still much work left to be done. Pray for California!

Pax Christi,
- - - - - - - - - -
By way of background, I am a Catholic California mom of four, and my daughter is gay. I have gently counseled her on the Church's teachings on being gay: that if she is attracted to the same sex, she is respected and loved; but she should not sin by having sex outside of marriage.
These are all good points that you raised. Don't forget though that homosexual activity is wrong, no matter what context it is in. In other words, it's not just that it's outside of marriage that makes it wrong. It's also the fact that it is sexual activity with someone of the same sex, which is contrary to God's design.

Her response is that God made her the way she is, and wants her to be happy. She is in a relationship with a young woman. I welcome them in my home. Does that make me a hypocrite?
Well, for one, there is no proof that homosexuality is a genetic disorder, or that God "makes" people that way. There have been several professional studies which show that this is actually not the case. Secondly, it is true that God wants her to be happy, but happiness can only come by living according to God's Will. The sources for discerning God's Will -- the Bible and the teaching of the Catholic Church -- all say that homosexual activity is not condoned by God.

As for welcoming your daughter and her girlfriend into your home, I don't think this necessarily makes you a hypocrite. It depends on how you handle it. If you come down too heavy-handed and forbid them to come over or to ever be in your presence, then they will probably just rebel and end up living together by the end of the year. But, you also don't want to ever appear to condone their lifestyle. So, I think you have to walk a thin line.

I would just lay some ground rules. Both feet on the floor at all times. Open door at all times. No kissing, holding hands, or any other public displays of affection. No crude talk. It's your roof so you call the shots. I don't think those rules are too much to ask either. Once they can be in your home in a controlled atmosphere, then you can begin the slow and grueling process of being a good witness to them and planting the seeds that will hopefully bring about their conversion.

Basically, you have to be like Jesus (no pressure! haha). Hate the sin, but love the sinner. Calmly and charitably explain your position whenever it comes up. Invite them to good Catholic events, like Bible studies, women's groups, conferences, and things like that where they can be evangelized. Place different books around the house on true feminism, homosexuality, and JPII's theology of the body. Pray like there's no tomorrow!! You can save your daughter -- but only with God's help.

In California, we just had Proposition 8 on the ballot - defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I voted for it. She is very upset, saying I voted for something that has nothing to do with my faith - and that I have voted for civil discrimination. She says there is no connection between what the state says and what the Church says, and has asked me to stand up and "fight" for her right to marry her girlfriend!
Prop 8 was an amazing victory for our society, and I applaud your courage in voting for it despite how close you are to the issue. In response to your daughter, I would first say that voting has everything to do with your faith. Our faith is not supposed to be something that we just bring to Church with us on Sunday. Our faith is supposed to inform everything that we say and do. God has revealed to us what is beautiful, good, and true -- and what is not. We are called to choose what is good and to avoid evil.

The idea that faith should be separate from politics is also false because, whether you like it or not, laws are based on moral principles. When you make a law that says that one action is right and another one is wrong, you make a moral judgment of that action. Our laws against stealing are based on the moral judgment that stealing is wrong. Our laws against rape and incest are based on the moral judgment that rape and incest is wrong. You get the idea. To separate law from morality is to create a false dichotomy.

I also disagree with your daughter when she says that Prop 8 amounts to "civil discrimination." This accusation rests on the presupposition that two people of the same sex have the "right" to get married. But, homosexual marriage isn't a right. Human rights are based on the dignity of the human person and what we should and should not afford a human being in light of that dignity. BUT, homosexual relationships are against our dignity as human persons. We were not made for such relations.

There is a complementarity between male and female (in temperament, psychological development, natural ability, physical makeup, etc.) that make them natural partners. When God saw that Adam needed a help mate, God made a woman, not another man. The complementarity of the sexes, the natural law that is imprinted onto our very bodies, is denied in homosexual relationships. The purposes of sexual intercourse -- unity and procreation -- are denied as well. For these and many more reasons, homosexual activity is contrary to the Will of God.

Now, in virtue of the free will that we all possess, I guess you could say that we all have the "right" to choose evil over good. God has given your daughter the free will to choose homosexual activity, if she so desires. But, homosexual marriage is not her "right" in the sense of something that she deserves in light of her human dignity, or something that society should legitimize.

Is there separation of Church and state on this issue as she claims? How can I respond without alienating her? I feel as thought I have to choose between my God and my child.
On the contrary, by choosing God you choose your child. You only want what is best for her, and, whether she knows it or not, it would not be good for her for society to legitimize her homosexual inclination. This inclination shouldn't be encouraged, by society or anyone else. Instead, it is something that must be -- and can be -- overcome, with God's help.

There are several books on homosexuality, theology of the body, and true feminism that may be helpful to you. Here are a few that I would recommend:
I hope this helps. Good luck to you!

Also see Part 2.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wise Words in this Tumultuous Time

The following blog post from Randy Alcorn (author of Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments: Expanded and Updated) is the best article I've read so far on how we should come to grips with the current direction of our nation. I encourage everyone to read it. It helped to lift my spirits at a time when I thought nothing could.

See "It's Over, But It's Not Over (One Day It Will Be)". Pray, hope, and don't worry.

Pax Christi,

Monday, November 03, 2008

Poll-Release Monday #60

You have probably noticed that I've only been updating the poll every two weeks instead of every week. I think this is better because it gives people more time to vote and takes the pressure off of me to keep up with this so frequently. Honestly, I'm not sure how people post 4 and 5 times a day. Pretty crazy.

Anyway, here is this week's poll question. We're done with Holy Orders, so we turn now to the liturgy:
  • True or false?: Proper song and music in the liturgy, although acting as signs in regard to liturgical action, are not elements which can promote the sanctification of the faithful.
Let me know what you think by voting in the poll in the sidebar.

As for the previous poll, here are the results:
  • True or false?: The ordination of women remains an option which the Church may choose in the future.
    • True: 4 (9%)
    • False: 40 (91%)
The correct answer is:
  • FALSE, cf. CCC no. 1577: "Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination" (CIC, can. 1024). The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry (Cf. Mk 3:14-19; Lk 6:12-16; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 2 Tim 1:6; Titus 1:5-9; St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 42, 4:44, 3: PG 1, 292-293; 300). The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ's return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible (Cf. John Paul II, MD 26-27; CDF, declaration, Inter insigniores: AAS 69 [1977] 98-116).
The Church is pretty clear on this point: She could not ordain a woman to the priesthood even if She wanted to. It is not in the Church's power to do so. This is how strictly tied the Church is to all that is objectively true. For more on this topic, see the following articles:Pax Christi,
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