but the issue just will not go away.
Today's 'Your Voice' column in the Cincinnati Enquirer argues that male-only priesthood isn't Biblical:
On Thursday, Reuters reported that the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano included a decree that women priests, and those who ordain them, will automatically be excommunicated.
The Roman Catholic Church, which already bans the ordination of women priests, now forbids those who participate in such activities from receiving the sacraments or sharing in acts of public worship.
Why does the Catholic Church ban women's ordination? Because Christ chose only men for his apostolate, the pope says.
There are two serious problems with this assertion.
First, Jesus also selected women apostles. In fact, Jesus selected Mary Magdalene for his original apostle. At the tomb scene, Jesus deliberately did not appear to his male disciples, including Peter and John; he waited until they left before appearing to Mary Magdalene (John 20). Then he commissioned her to tell his followers he had appeared, making her the primary witness to the Resurrection. This transformed her into the unique role of first apostle, the earliest person sent to tell Jesus' followers he had risen from the grave. If Jesus could entrust a woman with the status of primary apostle, why can't the Vatican?
Even the Apostle Paul commended a female apostle. In Romans 16:7, he commended the woman He HJunia (later translated into a man "Junias" during the 13th century) as prominent among the apostles.
A second critical problem lies with the Vatican's explanation for excluding women. Even if we were to agree that Christ chose only males for his apostolate, it also is true that he selected only from among Jews. If we follow the Vatican's reason to its logical conclusion, then the church should be ordaining only Jewish men from the Middle East for the priesthood.
Loveland writer Heidi Bright Parales is the author of "Hidden Voices: Biblical Women and Our Christian Heritage" (Smyth & Helwys, 1998).
I will write a response, and I will submit it to the Enquirer, as well as post it here.