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Pope Francis changes canon law concerning women

Discussion in 'Catholic DIR' started by pcarl, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    For a Catholic it was certainly an eye catcher headline.
    Pope Francis today changed church law to allow women to be permanently installed as lectors or acolytes—essentially, readers, distributors of Communion and assistants at Mass and the sacraments.

    While women have performed these ministries at Mass for decades, they had until now been barred from being permanently installed in these roles. Such permanent installation, made official in a church ceremony, is extremely rare for lay people.

    The decree “Spiritus Domini” (“Spirit of the Lord”) changed the wording of Canon 230. The church law previously read, “Lay men who have the age and skills determined by decree by the Episcopal Conference, can be permanently employed, through the established liturgical rite, for the ministries of readers and acolytes; however this conferment does not give them the right to sustenance or remuneration by the Church.”

    More commonly, women have been allowed to serve in these roles temporarily at the discretion of the local bishop. Today’s change in canon law prevents bishops from choosing to restrict women from these ministries.

    Explainer: The history of women lectors and altar servers—and what Pope Francis has changed


    Silly me, I was hoping for at least the role of women open to ordained deaconess.
     
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  2. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    At our Catholic church, we've had this for over 40 years now.

    I'm hoping at least some day women can also be deacons and priests. Canon Law that opposes this was made many centuries ago and reflects the patriarchal culture of that time period.
     
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  3. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Well, it is at least a small move in the right direction, I suppose.

    Women deacons would be getting somewhere, but I expect we shall have to wait another 2 decades for that.
     
  4. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    I took the Communion from a female altar server a couple of time.
    I recall it because it was during a spiritual meeting in a ancient monastery, sorrounded by pine forests.
    Since it was a school event, the students attending the Mass were so many so the Priest needed altar servers during Communion.
     
  5. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we have too, I was one of the first to serve as EMHC in our parish, rough going the first few weeks, standing next to the priest watching the line switching. :(
     
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  6. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    At least, as much stems from the same old argument, were the names of so-called deacons Paul wrote of masculine or feminine. And deacons are ordained. Before stating that Tradition holds that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood, he placed it before the PBC for study as to what if any position could be determined by Scripture. Tradition held that because Jesus chose only men as Apostles, countered with but due to time and culture, countered with His interaction with the Samaritan woman whom He gave a mission, and etc. etc., and finally finding that on the subject of the ordination of women, Scripture is neutral.
     
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  7. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    The connection to baptism will be easily lost and forgotten. Unfortunately, there exists some that will (and have) taken this as a sign of hope to what they really want...Female Priests. Even taking it down to deacon level is going to be problematic.
     
  8. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    Maybe its time to offer a renewed theology as to why ordination depends on the physical body.
     
  9. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Well-Known Member

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    This just formalizes what has been going on for decades anyway. Female clerics will never happen though. If it did it would probably leave me to conclude that the Catholic Church is just another man-made institution. It would not be worth my faith.
     
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  10. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    It would cause a schism greater than what followed Vatican II. That being said, 'in the persona of Christ' is greater than one's anatomy.
     
  11. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Well, that would be useful, especially if one holds that men and women are deduced to simply the physical body. Something I don't subscribe to in the slightest; even taking into account the minority of situations that say otherwise. We're more complex (just physical differences) than that and it responds accordingly to the things of the world.

    Female Priest will never happen. It will be the end of the Catholic Church as we know it. Bold, I know......but it completely undermines their claim of unchanging dogma (change as in meaning the opposite) and authority.

     
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  12. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Well-Known Member

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    It is more about the Church's claim that it safeguards a sacred tradition. As @Quiddity points out, if the Church were to about face on something as monumental as this, the Church's claim to being the custodian of a divinely revealed tradition would be irreparably undermined in my view.
     
    #12 Musing Bassist, Jan 14, 2021 at 8:51 PM
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021 at 9:00 PM
  13. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Guys...I do believe that we are still light years away from female priesthood.
    The abolition of priesthood celibacy is more likely to happen.
    I mean...friars and nuns will still exist as orders where chastity is required, but celibacy as obligation will probably be abolished soon.
     
  14. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    But it raises the question; if the Church does not allow the ordination of women as a matter of unchangeable dogma because it cannot, then why would Paul VI request that his own appointed Catholic scholars; "In April 1976 the PBC completed a two-year requested study of the Bible as to whether women could be ordained to the priestly ministry o the eucharist. The confidential results were illegally "leaked" to the press, reportedly, PBC member scholars voted 17-0 that the NT does not settle the question in a clear way once and for all; 12-5 that neither Scripture nor Christ's plan alone excluded the possibility. The documentation behind the reasoning was not published."
    The PBC publishes only what the Pope orders published. The above quote is from the 'New Jerome Biblical Commentary', Raymond Brown editor ( a member of the Commission at the time).
     
  15. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    But celibacy is only a discipline, not a dogma and could be changed at the whim of the pope.
     
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  16. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    That's a good question.

    This can be seen in a multitude of ways. One is that it flows nicely from the new direction and approach the Church decided to take after Vatican 2. No longer waiting for controversy or disagreement to ignite, but instead, engaging the world in charity and also looking deep inwardly in specific areas that require clarity. You can see the evolution of this with the various bureaucratic bodies created by the Vatican.

    Another is that there was a change, but not in doctrine, but rather an infiltration (tin-foil hat kind to many) from the inside to crumble the Catholic Church. Gaining power in many places in the Church.

    Another is much simpler, the Pope isn't perfect and had his own agenda. After all, it was the PBC that he requested and not a body of theologians, philosophers, scientists, etc. He did what he was supposed to do, start with the Bible and it failed in step one.

    Take your pick.
     
    #16 Quiddity, Jan 15, 2021 at 8:18 AM
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021 at 8:39 AM
  17. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    BTW, to my knowledge, there isn't anything in-depth as to why not female priests. I've seen this discussed in large catholic forums and it amounts to "we aren't entirely sure". There are some that make connections to the symbolic nature of the priest being married to the Church and the Church always recognized as the bride. No one ever questions why the Church is female or why the most elevated human is female, only the man stuff mostly.

    To be clear, there are explanations, just not that go in-depth like we normally do that can satisfy the intellect in the same manner.
     
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