What would Peter Think? “Our Lady is more important than the apostles” – Pope Francis @Pontifex

Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia) HOW DID THEY GET BELLY BUTTONS!!! OMJB

“A church without women is like the apostolic college without Mary. And our Lady is more important than the apostles.” He said frankly that the door is closed to women’s ordination, but ‘the Church is feminine because it is a wife and mother…You cannot understand the Church without active women in it…We have not done a theology of women fully.”

via Pope Francis surprised media with candid presser.

Again, this goes back to the typological interpretation of John (along with early Church history and theology).

I have found this statement very intriguing the last few days. I am not one who believes the Catholic Church is either bigoted nor sexist. I understand their reasoning and while I may not agree with it, it is intellectually honest. I cannot say the same for much of Evangelical theology, although some of the conclusions seem similar.

The way I see this working is that Jesus gives John (and by virtue of John, the Church) to Mary while he is on the Cross. Then, the world is given to the Apostles. Thus, Mary is above the Apostles.

If this is the case, and all of us, men and women, should look towards Mary, then why can’t women be ordained to something resembling priests?

Anyway, I rather enjoyed the statement made by Pope Francis and cannot wait to see the council/synod called to develop the theology of women.

Oh… and Peter? Yeah, I meant Peter Kirk.

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Author: Joel Watts

Joel L. Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. and MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014). his latest, Jesus as Divine Suicide, is forthcoming.

8 thoughts on “What would Peter Think? “Our Lady is more important than the apostles” – Pope Francis @Pontifex”

  1. Well, Jesus didn’t give Peter, either the Apostle or myself!, to Mary. At most he gave part of the church to her. So perhaps it’s OK if part of the church venerates her. 😉

    I completely agree that the RC church hasn’t done a theology of women properly. My suggestion for that theology would be … well, nothing! That is, that there should not be a theology of women, distinct from that of humans in general. In other words, gender is a biological feature, like hair color, with no theological significance. The Church as a wife and mother is a vivid metaphor, not some metaphysical reality. Maybe “the council/synod called to develop the theology of women” will realize that, and therefore that there is no barrier to ordination of women.

    Meanwhile, if Mary is more important than the apostles, the RC church should have a woman in a more important place than its priests, bishops and pope. Perhaps they should follow the example of the Church of England and appoint Queen Elizabeth as Supreme Governor. 😉

      1. What better woman for the job than the Queen? She has 60 years’ experience at the head of two different churches, and still manages to keep above theological controversy. Maybe as part of the deal the C of E would accept Francis as head bishop under her governorship.

  2. The RC church’s ban on women in the ministry originated in a time when ritual purity was still a concern for the liturgy. Women in the Middle Ages had to be “churched” every month, after their periods. Now that ritual purity logic doesn’t play much of a role in theology, there is no longer any reason not to ordain women as priests. (Remnants of ritual purity logic still remain in the form of holy water rites, etc., but women are no longer “churched” after their monthlies.)

  3. “Back to Leviticus”? Well, yes and no.

    It goes back to a time when ritual purity logic was a part of *all* religious thinking: Hebrew, Canaanite, Greek, etc. Leviticus gives the specific form in which this logic was codified for Jews. When Christianity came along, there were actually three different stances vis-a-vis purity laws: (1) the laws of Leviticus applied to Christians, (2) purity logic still applied, but was codified independently of the laws of Leviticus (since the Law was not binding on Christians), or (3) ritual logic itself did not apply.

    The RC church of the Middle Ages belongs to scenario (2): it observed ritual purity, *not* because Leviticus said so, but rather because religious scruples in general said so.

    One easy way to tell that the Church saw ritual purity differently from the Synagogue is to consider the idea of the saints’ bones being entombed within churches. No synagogue would have allowed bones to be buried within the building — that would have rendered a synagogue unfit for worship. Somehow the holiness of the Christian martyr overcame the threat of miasma that the bones carried.

  4. “And our Lady is more important than the apostles”. Self evident. Without a lady, no Jesus. Without an apostle, who cares? They were always arguing with each other, anyway.

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