Gender in the Catholic Church-a very short and simple ramble

The woman was created after the man.


What does that mean?

Does it mean that women play a supporting role to men?

Well the Old Testament portrays women as being of less worth…no surprises there, probably something universal in those times.

Today? Women can’t be priests in the Catholic Church. When I was a child, someone told me it was because women had periods and were therefore unclean. Really. When I grew older, the Church emphasised the different roles males and females had. Males and females had different spheres in which to operate, and priesthood fell into the male sphere of action.

Sounds much better, but what are these different “roles”? I’m not too sure myself.

Roles, or no roles, however, there isn’t a reason why the Church today has so few women as figures of authority other than priests. Surely there isn’t a reason why women can’t be managers of finances, budgets, operations? Also, what’s with the non-existent funding nuns receive from the higher-ups? I know many choose to live a life of poverty and I respect that, but surely those who are struggling to feed their fellow sisters and raise funding for daily activities could better focus on making contributions to communities in need of help if they spent less time and energy worrying about how to get by themselves and handle the costs required.

I’m thinking there probably isn’t a reason; the Church likely has a case of inertia. Things have stayed this way for a long time, and the status quo is simply prevailing. The Church is steeped in tradition, and it hasn’t sorted out existing practices into 1) valuables that ought to be kept and continued and 2) trends/habits that are no longer relevant.

That’s just the organisation though. What’s more worrying though, are the fundamentals. Marriage is likened to the relationship between Christ and the Church. With, of course, the male being Christ an the female being the Church. If I’m not mistaken, this is the reason why only males are admitted to the priesthood.

But in this sense, it does feel like women are lower than men, and are meant to submit to them. God, is this how it’s supposed to be? Slightly disturbing.

Yet there is one more crucial point: This may not matter at all. Because the existence of a heaven levels the playing field. If both genders have to bow down before God and have the same criteria for entering heaven, then they have equal access. And since life on the eternal plane is what matters, then perhaps all this will simply come to a “So what?”

Honestly, the articles and debates never stop, and it gets tiring quickly. I realise I keep coming back to “So what?” when it comes to present issues. I think it’s good to feel uncomfortable with some things because it shows I’m thinking, at the very least. Is there a use though, in fretting about such things? It’s time consuming, and perhaps I should be better off during something helpful and productive rather than trying to find neat answers which don’t exist in the first place and don’t improve the most pressing needs of the needy. Male or female, everyone should shine brightly with the best aspects of themselves. And do what they can. Maybe that’s enough.