Question 161:

What are your views on women priests?


Answer: The German Adult-Catechism of the Catholic Church says on page 299f about “The admission of women to priesthood”: “In their human and Christian dignity women are equal to men. Women shall therefore have an equal place in the lay apostolate. In the new ministries women already make an invaluable contribution. However, in1976 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith confirmed again [in its declaration “Inter insigniores” (On The Question of Admission of Women To The Ministerial Priesthood), 15. October 1976, Denzinger-Hünermann, nr. 4590-4606, also] states that the Catholic Church does not believe the admission of women to the priesthood to be possible because of the example given by Jesus and the whole of the Church’s tradition. This is not a finally binding dogmatic decision. However, the arguments from Holy Scripture and from tradition carry considerable weight and must clearly be considered as more important to the Church than arguments arising from the call for the equal standing or men and women in society. A different question is the admission of women to the sacramental diaconate. It requires further discussion, especially a consensus of the whole Church.

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” reads under No 1577: "Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination." 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. 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.

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