Because I said so. The words every child hates to hear.
When I was two and Momma forbid me to take my little neighbor’s birthday present, I didn’t question her. A few years later, though, I was old enough to ask (demand), “Why?” She explained that other’s possessions didn’t belong to me and that I had many other toys at home to enjoy. She helped me move my focus off the thing I wanted to the many gifts I already had.
It worked. I lost the desire to greedily grasp and instead learned to become content with what I had.
The Pope recently announced there will never be women priests. A reporter asked, “Never, ever?” Yes, he said, but he did not offer an explanation and thus left many of the children asking “Why”?
And in response, when he deferred to St. John Paul II’s 1994 Apostolic letter declaring the impossibility of women priests, he pretty much said, Because St. John Paul II said so. With all due respect, we are not two years old, dear Holy Father. We need answers and answers that make sense.
I used to be that eye-rolling daughter who demanded explanations to the Church’s teachings that just didn’t make sense. I was too spiritually immature to understand that we already have the answers in Scripture and many Church documents that I, and the average person, had never read.
But our Heavenly Father heard my earnest and heartfelt prayers and helped me develop a hunger for the truth. In my quest I discovered St. John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility, Theology of the Body, and many more beautiful writings of saints and mystics who understood what it is to be male and female, to be priest, and to be the “Bride of Christ”.
The answer, dear children, is here:
- In the Old Testament, God declared himself to be “Husband” of his people.
- His people, thus, are forever called to be caught up into the open, receptive posture of a Bride to receive the love and life-giving “seed” of her Spouse.
- But she was (and has been) an unfaithful Bride and needed to be redeemed from the false loves into whose arms she fled.
- Her True Love came to free her. Jesus revealed himself as “Bridegroom”.
- “Priest” is the dimension of his spousal love that stands before the Father and makes sacrifice to free his Bride.
- There is only one True Priest: the God-man Jesus Christ.
- All people share in some general sense in their call to make sacrifice for those they love, and to join that sacrifice with the Bridegroom’s.
- All ministerial priests visibly and ontologically share in—not own—his priesthood in a visible way as persons who most properly can image the Bridegroom.
Hold those thoughts. More:
- Visible truth has a corresponding invisible truth.
- Outward visible acts that do not correspond with the invisible truth are lies.
- Kisses on cheeks by betrayers, for example, are visible acts that don’t match the truth.
- Integrity is when the outer act is consistent with the inner truth. Truth in and out.
- Water, by its very nature, is ordered to sustaining life and cleansing.
- Baptism, a real occurrence in both the visible and invisible worlds, thus needs a visible sign that aligns with the invisible truth: water cleanses us of sin and sustains our life.
- Coffee, as delicious and “life giving” as it seems in the morning, is not a cleaning agent. And as much as we hate to admit it, life can be sustained without it.
- Baptisms are thus not valid when we use coffee.
- You can pour coffee on a person’s head and say the words, I baptize thee . . . but nothing will happen in the spiritual world.
- Our bodies as male and female participate in and declare a great and cosmic mystery of the call to become one in self-giving love.
- Earthly marriage, thus, where man takes woman to be his for life, to provide for, protect, love, and never abandon her, points to the eternal marriage of God with his beloved people.
- Being male or female has great cosmic significance and truth.
- Only men are ordered in their nature to give the seed.
- Only women are ordered in their nature to receive it and bear new life.
- Only men can be husband and father.
- Only women can be wife and mother.
- Only a man is ordered in his nature, being, and body to husband and father. No matter how he feels.
- Jesus is God and man. His body is forever ordered to husband and father.
- In the Mass—the once-for-all sacrifice of the Bridegroom for his Bride—the priest is caught up into the divine.Thus: only a man can stand in the visible world, at the altar making the spousal sacrifice, and properly image Jesus, the Bridegroom.
A woman, standing in the place of Christ to make sacrifice for the Bride, is like coffee poured on the head.
- She can say the words but nothing is effected in the spiritual world.
- She, in her very being, can never be ordered to Bridegroom.
- The outward sign (a woman) is not consistent with the inner truth: Priest as Bridegroom.
Of course, now that we have marched into madness by attempting to declare that biological sex and maleness and females have no truthful meaning, these arguments will never satisfy.
If this doesn’t make it clear then you may just have to humbly accept the reality that we may never fully understand many mysteries this side of heaven.
You may have to fall back on the truth that, despite the visible and active role of many women who followed Jesus, and his tender love for and special attention to them, no woman was ever ordained a priest. Why?
Because Jesus said so.