Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
November 28, 2005
WCR Letters to the Editor
Priest must devote his life to faith
Regarding the letter "Bring back the lost sheep" by William Holt, Nov. 21:
The Second Vatican Council confirmed that the Christian priesthood can be understood only in the light of the newness of Christ, the supreme pontiff and eternal priest, who instituted the priesthood of the ministry as a real participation in his own unique priesthood.
To share authentically in the ministerial priesthood of Christ means to devote one's entire life to the faith while sharing with Christ his very condition of living. Indeed Jesus promised a more abundant recompense to anyone who should leave home, family, wife, and children for the sake of the kingdom of God (Luke 18: 29-30).
There is ample evidence in the words of Jesus and St. Paul (Matthew 19:12; 1 Corinthians 7:7-8, 32-35) for looking upon virginity as the higher call, and by inference, as the condition befitting those who are set apart for the work of the ministry.
In the words of Pope John Paul II: "The value of celibacy as a complete gift of self to the Lord and his Church must be carefully safeguarded. . . .
"The life of chastity, poverty and obedience willingly embraced and faithfully lived confutes the conventional wisdom of the world and challenges the commonly accepted vision of life.''
The Catholic Church, in its teaching holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons.
These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church.
In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behaviour, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time.
There are countless other ways that women might serve the Church which are no less faithful to the Gospel.
In fact, as Pope John Paul II stated in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, "The greatest in the kingdom of heaven are not the ministers but the saints."
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