E-Mail Response

  The statement that has been made by protestant in-laws  "women did not
  have the right to work in professional areas [except one] during Jesus
  life" "That why there were no female priests"."Today we should have
  them" I think there were female in all areas of society in Greece at
  that time. Any information or direction would be appreciated

    Thanks for the question.  The queery from your Protestant in-laws is one that is being echoed in the
Catholic Church by those considered "liberal", so it is not new.  It is true that women were viewed as
second class citizens, but as you will see, that is irrelevant

    I think the first difficulty in their approach is that in a round about way, they are accusing our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, of simply going along with the crowd, and that Jesus didn't want to ruffle too many feathers by appointing a woman an Apostle.  This is something no Christian can except.  Can you name me one instance where Jesus saw something wrong and didn't correct the situation?  Of course you can't.   Jesus constantly berated the Scribes and the Pharisees for teaching things contrary to the law of God, but never once does He correct the Jewish  all-male Old Testament priesthood.

    The second problem is that this type of thinking, though not intentionally, is in error.  It is trying to make women into something that they were not created to be. ( I hope you don't mind if I go on too long here)  God created male and female, and He created us as equals to be sure.  But because we are equal, doesn't necessarily mean we have the same function in life.  I've heard it expressed a couple of different ways.

     One is that the woman should stop trying to be like a man, they weren't created that way and she never will be like a man, and should not want to be.  This is not to say that the man is greater than the woman, just that each has their own purpose in life.  The woman will not be fulfilled, by becoming a construction worker and whistling at the guys.  The woman, by her biology, is created to bring new life into the world.  The man, in the role of priest, brings that new life into a personal encounter with Christ through the sacraments.  The roles differ, but both are essential to the building up of the Body of
Christ.  Marys' glory came not in her becoming a priest, because she didn't, but in receiving the Word with joy and bringing life to it.  Note that she doesn't proclaim the Word, but recieves it and brings life to it in the form of the Word Incarnate Jesus Christ.

    The second is that when it comes down to it, this is a power struggle.  One side sees the all-male preisthood and thinks the men have all the power in the Church.  But an intense scrutiny of the Scriptures will uncover that the real power lies in the hands of the women.  After all, who does Satan tempt in the garden?  Not Adam, but Eve.  Why?  He knew that if he wins the women over, the man will follow right behind.  What happens?  Eve is succumbed by the Devil, and what does Adam do? Follows right along, saying in essence  "OK Eve, whatever you say."  How does our salvation come? Through the man Christ Jesus, but only after God asks Mary to initiate it all with her yes.  Our salvation was dependent upon a 15 year old virgins' response to Gods' call.

    Another way you can look at it is the women, again by design, is to bring new life into the world. Men sometimes feel cheated because they can't experience that same joy of giving life as the woman does.  Does that mean men should all have operations to be able to give birth?  That would be silly. Note that in this case, like the case mentioned before, it is the mans seed (i.e. word), but it is the woman who recieves it and brings it to the fullness of life.

     Through her response, Mary became the greatest of all of Gods' creation.  Greater than any man, any saint, anyone.  The Doctors of the church taught that the merits of Mary were greater than the merits of all the saints combined!  There, then,  is the true power. There it is, wrapped up in a woman, our mother, Mary.