One serious bone of contention made by radical feminists (including nuns who used to be the backbone of authentic Catholic education) is that women have from the beginning of the Church, been denied the dignity of the priesthood. To their rebellious minds, this is revolting: women certainly have all the qualifications required to be priests. As a matter of fact, being usually more intuitive than men, they might have qualities that make them particularly talented to exercise this sacred function.
Conveniently they forget the fate of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, who revolted against Moses in claiming that they too were entitled to the priesthood, even though they did not belong to the tribe of Aaron. “All the congregation are holy.” (Numbers, 16:3.) Moses, obeying God’s order, told them “to separate themselves from among the congregation.” (ibid, 20.) The ground opened up and “swallowed them.” (ibid, 31.). That was God’s eloquent response. Their fate was not enviable, but the divine message was clear. It is repeated by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews: “And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God just as Aaron was.” (Hebrews, 5:4.) It should be a source of grief to all of us that some nuns have shut their ears (or their hearts) to God’s will. Yet, they loudly insist that it is a shockingly unjust “discrimination,” based on their sex. They are unfairly “humiliated” by being declared unworthy of celebrating mass and giving absolution to sinners. That this has been denied women proves that the Catholic Church is “sexist,” and is dominated by a male, authoritarian clergy. To be a “sexist” should be put on top of the “new” list of capital sins.
These women (whether nuns or lay people) are so absolutely confident of the validity of their recrimination that no rational argument will ever register in their minds. They keep clamoring that not only has the Church never ordained a single woman, but, to add insult to injury, has solemnly declared that the female sex cannot be validly ordained. If a “new age” Bishop were to grant one of them the sacrament of “ordination,” it would ipso facto be only be a satanic farce.
This arch belief of the Catholic Church is fully shared by the Orthodox Church. It is now rejected by many Protestant denominations.
More in Dr. Alice von Hildebrand
Is the female sex truly disparaged by a “male Church?” The question deserves a careful examination. Let us turn to the message of Genesis. This sacred book tells us that after creating the magnificent material universe, God decided to create man. (I.e. homo) and made him to His image and likeness. In other words, God, who had already created angels, (purely spiritual persons) chose to create a new type of person, fully sharing personhood with angels, but incarnated in a body personified by its union with an immortal soul. He also chose to create them male and female: equal in dignity, sharing the same destiny, but different, because by their very nature they are complementary. The male has perfections which are typical of his sex, the female has her own. They essentially belong together and are made to enrich one another. The word 'homo' includes both man and woman. (In English, unfortunately, the word “man” refers to both homo and vir). The Bible certainly does not entitle us to claim that God has made the woman inferior to the male. Further reading might even lead us to question whether the woman, from the very moment of her creation as female, was not the privileged one in more ways than one. For whereas Adam’s body was taken from the slime of the earth – a very modest origin – Eve’s body was taken from the one of a person made to God’s image and likeness. This is definitely a more “aristocratic” origin. Moreover, upon perceiving her, Adam, overwhelmed with joy, exclaims; “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.” No such enchantment is expressed by Eve, even though I personally am convinced that she too responded with joy and gratitude in perceiving Adam’s male perfections. She knew intuitively that he was to complement and enrich her.
Genesis tells us further that Adam gave Eve an incredibly beautiful title: he calls her “the Mother of the Living.” Proclaiming that between woman and life there is bond of such nobility calls for a response of respect and awe. Adam is denied a similar dignity; never in the Bible is he called the father of the living.
Moreover, when Eve gave birth to Cain, she joyfully exclaimed: “I have gotten a man with the help of God.” (4:1.) Adam is not even mentioned. Surprisingly, he does not protest: after all, the father too has a role to play in procreation. The very same scenario is repeated when Eve gives birth to Seth, replacing Abel, who was murdered by his brother. Can we assume that Adam, who certainly had no diploma in biology, knew intuitively that human life begins in the female body: it is only when the father’s sperm has fecundated the mother’s egg that life begins. It is also the awesome moment when God who alone can create souls, puts a new one in this miniscule human body. Therefore there is an immediate contact between God and the woman’s body. To be “touched” by the Creator is once again an amazing privilege, not granted to the male sex.
Why does Adam not complain that he is being “discriminated” against? If he did, Moses thought it was not worth reporting. Chesterton was clearly inspired by Genesis when he wrote: “Nothing can ever overcome that one enormous sex superiority, that even the male child is born closer to his mother than to his father. No one staring at that frightful female privilege, can quite believe in the equality of the sexes.” (What is Wrong with the World, Sheed and Ward, p. 192.)
Eve was severely punished for her disobedience, (see Genesis, 3:16.) nevertheless, God was faithful to His original plan to grant the female sex a unique role in the process of redemption. In His own time, He granted Eve a descendant whose name was Anna. She in turn gave birth to a baby girl whose name was Mary – the only creature born without the curse of original sin: from the very moment of Her conception, she was blessed. This young Virgin accepted to be the mother of the Savior. As woman, she was already entitled to be glorious title of being called “mother of the living,” but now, as mother of Christ, she was honored with an infinitely greater title of honor: she became the mother of someone who (having no earthly father) proclaimed that He was Life itself. Not a single founder of the many religions that have flourished on this earth, has ever dared make such a claim.
In the light of what we just mentioned, it is legitimate to raise the question whether the female sex is not, in the light of redemption, the privileged one? In the Liturgy, we find this amazing prayer: “O God who has put salvation in the hands of a woman.” In the same Liturgy, women are alluded to as the “pious sex.” This is a compliment indeed. Is not the male sex the one “discriminated” against? Why is it that they do not protest against this injustice?
These remarks will help us to re-examine the feminist claim that the Bible has discriminated against them, and that this discrimination is now incorporated in the teaching of the Catholic Church. Let us go back to the French priestess of feminism, Simone de Beauvoir. She reminds us that Freud – a world famous psychiatrist – made the great discovery that little girls inevitably suffer from an inferiority complex. There is something missing in their anatomy. He calls it “penis envy” (sic). It is well known that the greatest stupidities are usually products of “geniuses” when their intellectual pride makes them derail. This is a case in point. His claim is as stupid as to assume that boys suffer from “a womb envy.” Indeed, this most mysterious and precious organ is not inscribed in their anatomy. The feminine organ par excellence happens to be one of incredible dignity for it is “the cradle of life” and became the cradle of the Savior of the world.
(Column continues below)
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Moreover, the male organs are “exterior” and therefore visible, whereas the womb is hidden. How right St. Bonaventure was in reminding us that nature is a book that we should learn how to read. Once its message is perceived and understood, it guides the human eye to “look upward” and grasp the divine message communicated by His visible creation. That the womb is “concealed” clearly transmits a message that feminists are incapable of “reading.” The reason being that having adopted an arrogant posture toward their Creator, they have lost the virtue of “reverence,” which D. von Hildebrand rightly calls 'the mother of all virtues.' Irreverence has a blinding effect. It kills in us the sense of mystery, sacredness, intimacy, secrecy. Whereas blind people know they are deprived of the sense of sight, morally blind people live in the tragic illusion that they alone enjoy the privilege of perfect vision.
Today, many women, poisoned by the rhetoric of feminists, (porte parole of the Evil one) have become so convinced of their metaphysical “inferiority” that they try to ape the male sex. They are so untalented at doing this that all they succeed in doing is to copy some of the most unlovable features of the strong sex, which have also been affected by original sin.
Feminists talk themselves into assuming that they are now “liberated.” In fact they have exchanged the sweet bond of love for the shackles of slavery, typical of pride and of Satan’s key words; “non-serviam.” They swallow the arrant nonsense of de Beauvoir who writes, as mentioned above: “women produce nothing.” To her arthritic mind, to give birth to a human person, reminds her of hens with a high level of productivity. This grade of imbecility must be a source of delight to Satan and his agents. To the “mother” of French feminism, female organs are a woman’s enemy: in fact, they are “ashamed” of their bodies.
Whereas in the Old Testament, infertility was a curse – modern “feminists” see it as a “sickness” for which they are entitled to medical coverage and advised to take “preventive” remedies. To refuse to grant them this “right” is a grave cases of “discrimination.”
The many women that have fallen victims of this lying rhetoric, have become “female Esaus” who sell their birthright (to be called “mother of the living”) for a bowl of pottage. When I was in grammar school, and told about the inane choice made by Isaac’s first born, I recall that my response was: “how un-intelligent can a human male be! Women would never make such a stupid choice.” I clearly was not affected by the “inborn inferiority” complex that Freud attributes to little girls. But, alas, I was mistaken. Modern feminists definitely trump Esau in “brainlessness!”
No sane person can claim that to be a top executive is more noble and more valuable than to bring a child into the world. One among many valid definition of stupidity, is to lose sight of the hierarchy of values: to place the lower over the higher.