Orlando, Jun 14, 2007 (CNA).- To say that a woman cannot be a priest in no way detracts from her human dignity and her equality with men, says Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando.
The bishop addressed the ongoing debate on the status of women in the Church in a letter to the faithful yesterday.
“Too often, proponents of a ‘feminist narrative’ allege that Church teachings harbor an anti-woman bias,” he wrote, referring to the proposal that the all-male ordained priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church is the result of such a bias.
The bishop argued that Catholicism is far from being anti-woman and has “raised the dignity of women wherever it took root.”
He noted that pagans mocked Christians “precisely because women were treated as equals to men.”
“Pagan societies were hardly ‘pro-women’ – and this was true of civilizations of high culture like that of the Greeks and Romans as well,” he said. “Where the Gospel took root, however, the status of women improved.”
“That the Church only ordains men to the priesthood is not a comment on the status or state of women but a statement on the nature of the priesthood as instituted by Jesus Christ,” he stated, citing Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.