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Catholic churchs traditional view of women and their ordination - Essay Example

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Catholic churchs traditional view of women and their ordination

Prominent among them are Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, the friends of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. The Gospels also mention Mary Magdalene as among the witnesses of the resurrection. But Paul, the founder of Christianity, does not mention any woman witness at the event and women could not become priests or bishops like the men (Kilgo).
Whatever roles women traditionally played in early Christianity, the leaders of the evolving Catholic church clarified that women could not have official positions in the orthodox Church (Kilgo 2006). Paul refers to women, as well as to men, as his fellow evangelists. Sources, like the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, also show that her Christian community regarded her as a disciple, a leader and a major teacher. This same Gospel relates how her brother Peter opposed her activity and suggested that the newly established Orthodox Church, based in Rome, did not approve of it. Another orthodox leader in Africa, Tertullian, denounced similar activities by another woman who was baptizing, preaching and performing other acts, which were not allowed women. As early as in the first centuries, there was a great deal of objection and prejudice towards the role of women in the church (Kilgo).
A study found that the higher one's educational level goes, the less...
Established religions, like orthodox Catholicism, have consistently practiced and exhibited these sexist attitudes, which justify and reinforce structural inequality between men and women. Responses to interviews and results of the study provided evidence that increasing the level of education could reduce or solve conventional gender inequalities. Furthermore, public or improved education can help disadvantaged groups acquire greater structural power and depend less on conventionally sexist views and prejudices. Islam and Judaism are among the major religions that share and impose texts and traditions on rigid gender roles and attitudes, which they claim are ordained by God. This study was conducted in Spain, a predominantly Catholic country, which strictly observes the belief that women are prohibited from becoming priests, bishops or popes. The Catholic hierarchy has consistently and strongly advocated traditional gender distinctions and roles in its official doctrines, which state that men and women are inherently different and possess different divinely inspired traits and roles. These doctrines are deeply entrenched and strictly observed in the family lives of religious Catholics. The division of labor in the home typically exemplifies this, whereby girls and women perform more work than boys and men and are less likely to get paid employment outside the home (Glick).
The study also revealed that sexism is either benevolent or hostile - hostile and resentful when women reject conventional gender roles and try to "usurp" men's power and inherent prerogatives and benevolent and affectionate when they conform to these expected or imposed roles (Glick 2002). It viewed even benevolent sexism as a ...Show more


Evidence abounds in the New Testament that women in early Christianity appeared to have held some power in the spread of the Catholic faith (Kilgo 2006). Paul the apostle, in his Epistles, greets and calls them co-workers, which translates into "deaconess." One such woman is Thecla, a wealthy young woman who renounces her prerogatives and becomes a follower, despite strong opposition…
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Catholic churchs traditional view of women and their ordination essay example
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