I see that some of you need a reminder of what the Catholic church actually does “teach” about women. So, behold for instance Mulieris dignitatem, from 1988. No the Vatican has not changed its mind since then. On the contrary: it still treats the ordination of women as an excommunicable offense:
As far as the Vatican is concerned, however, Catholic women like Dyer who dare to be ordained are automatically excommunicated. But the Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP)movement and the Catholic communities they serve share a different view.
“We don’t focus on what the institution thinks,” said Andrea Johnson, the presiding bishop, who has been performing ordinations in the U.S. since 2009. “We focus on what the people think. No matter what the Vatican says about the church not being a democracy, at the end of the day, the people decide.”
According to a 2013 Quinnipiac University poll, at least 60 percent of American Catholics support female ordination. But the issue remains contentious.
Twenty years ago this month, Pope John Paul II formally declared that the church does not have the power to ordain women. Last year, shortly after his election, Pope Francis disappointed many progressive Catholics around the world when he hailed his predecessor’s decision as “definitive” and stated that the issue of women priests is “closed.”
So, Mulieres dignitatem:
In our times the question of “women’s rights” has taken on new significance in the broad context of the rights of the human person. The biblical and evangelical message sheds light on this cause, which is the object of much attention today, by safeguarding the truth about the “unity” of the “two”, that is to say the truth about that dignity and vocation that result from the specific diversity and personal originality of man and woman. Consequently, even the rightful opposition of women to what is expressed in the biblical words “He shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16) must not under any condition lead to the “masculinization” of women. In the name of liberation from male “domination”, women must not appropriate to themselves male characteristics contrary to their own feminine “originality”. There is a well-founded fear that if they take this path, women will not “reach fulfilment”, but instead will deform and lose what constitutes their essential richness. It is indeed an enormous richness. In the biblical description, the words of the first man at the sight of the woman who had been created are words of admiration and enchantment, words which fill the whole history of man on earth.
The personal resources of femininity are certainly no less than the resources of masculinity: they are merely different. Hence a woman, as well as a man, must understand her “fulfilment” as a person, her dignity and vocation, on the basis of these resources, according to the richness of the femininity which she received on the day of creation and which she inherits as an expression of the “image and likeness of God” that is specifically hers. The inheritance of sin suggested by the words of the Bible – “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” – can be conquered only by following this path. The overcoming of this evil inheritance is, generation after generation, the task of every human being, whether woman or man. For whenever man is responsible for offending a woman’s personal dignity and vocation, he acts contrary to his own personal dignity and his own vocation.
Women get to be two things – virgins and mothers.
We must now focus our meditation on virginity and motherhood as two particular dimensions of the fulfillment of the female personality. In the light of the Gospel, they acquire their full meaning and value in Mary, who as a Virgin became the Mother of the Son of God. These two dimensions of the female vocation were united in her in an exceptional manner, in such a way that one did not exclude the other but wonderfully complemented it.
So pretty…and yet it leaves so much out, doesn’t it. Virginity, frankly, isn’t anything; it’s certainly not any kind of vocation. Motherhood can be a full-time vocation for some, but that’s far from being a reason to making it the only vocation for all.
There’s the Letter of JP2 to women:
The Book of Genesis speaks of creation in summary fashion, in language which is poetic and symbolic, yet profoundly true: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). The creative act of God takes place according to a precise plan. First of all, we are told that the human being is created “in the image and likeness of God” (cf. Gen1:26). This expression immediately makes clear what is distinct about the human being with regard to the rest of creation.
We are then told that, from the very beginning, man has been created “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Scripture itself provides the interpretation of this fact: even though man is surrounded by the innumerable creatures of the created world, he realizes that he is alone (cf. Gen 2:20). God intervenes in order to help him escape from this situation of solitude: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18). The creation of woman is thus marked from the outset by the principle of help: a help which is not one-sided but mutual. Woman complements man, just as man complements woman: men and women are complementary. Womanhood expresses the “human” as much as manhood does, but in a different and complementary way.
When the Book of Genesis speaks of “help”, it is not referring merely to acting, but also to being.Womanhood and manhood are complementary not only from the physical and psychological points of view, but also from the ontological. It is only through the duality of the “masculine” and the “feminine” that the “human” finds full realization.
None of this non-binary, gender-fluid crap for the Vatican, thanks. No sir, women and men are different. Complementary, mind you, which makes it mysteriously ok, but different. Men are the kind of human who can be bishops and popes, and women are the other kind.
Women are helpers; that’s the important thing to remember. There are the primaries, who do things, like poping and bishoping, and there are the helpers, who help the primaries do things.
Here I would like to express particular appreciation to those women who are involved in the variousareas of education extending well beyond the family: nurseries, schools, universities, social service agencies, parishes, associations and movements. Wherever the work of education is called for, we can note that women are ever ready and willing to give themselves generously to others, especially in serving the weakest and most defenceless. In this work they exhibit a kind of affective, cultural and spiritual motherhood which has inestimable value for the development of individuals and the future of society. At this point how can I fail to mention the witness of so many Catholic women and Religious Congregations of women from every continent who have made education, particularly the education of boys and girls, their principal apostolate? How can I not think with gratitude of all the women who have worked and continue to work in the area of health care, not only in highly organized institutions, but also in very precarious circumstances, in the poorest countries of the world, thus demonstrating a spirit of service which not infrequently borders on martyrdom?
10. It is thus my hope, dear sisters, that you will reflect carefully on what it means to speak of the“genius of women”, not only in order to be able to see in this phrase a specific part of God’s plan which needs to be accepted and appreciated, but also in order to let this genius be more fully expressed in the life of society as a whole, as well as in the life of the Church. This subject came up frequently during the Marian Year and I myself dwelt on it at length in my Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (1988). In addition, this year in the Letter which I customarily send to priests for Holy Thursday, I invited them to reread Mulieris Dignitatem and reflect on the important roles which women have played in their lives as mothers, sisters and co-workers in the apostolate. This is another aspect-different from the conjugal aspect, but also important-of that “help” which women, according to the Book of Genesis, are called to give to men.
I trust that’s clear enough.