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Letters: Divided over women priests

June 01, 2013
  • Maria Eitz opens her arms to greet a friend before the Sophia in Trinity congregation's service at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Maria Eitz opens her arms to greet a friend before the Sophia in Trinity congregation's… (Los Angeles Times )

Re "Women becoming priests without Vatican's blessing," May 26

The article does not best reflect the Roman Catholic Church's reasons for an all-male clergy. Unencumbered by social and religious mores, Christ could have used the generic "all are equally human" argument and also chosen his mother (who better?) to sacramentally represent him. But he did not.

The priesthood is not a job, it is an identity "set apart." In the transcendence of time and space, it is Christ who is the presider, affecter and dispenser of all sacraments. While men and women are equal but not the same, symbologically translated, a male — however unworthy — physically symbolizes the fully human Christ.

Therefore the church, in which there is "neither male nor female," does not have the authority to change that which Christ himself instituted. Individuals do not own the priesthood. The church — which is the body of Christ — does.

The above notwithstanding, the church has yet to include women equally at all levels of governance.

The Rev. Vivian Ben Lima

Woodland Hills

The pope's excuse for not ordaining women — "that Jesus was a man and picked men for his apostles" — is not a theological justification but a cultural artifact that even most Roman Catholic theologians find laughable.

One might as well say that all priests should be Jews because Jesus and the disciples were all Jews. Using that same logic, because Jesus chose Peter for a disciple and because Peter was married, would it not follow that all popes should be married?

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in which I am a pastor, started ordaining women more than 25 years ago and has discovered that they are fully equal to or even superior to male pastors. They have been a distinct blessing. They are more compassionate and nurturing.

If and when the Roman Catholic Church starts ordaining women, it will experience the power of God like never before.

The Rev. Samuel Platts


This article, though well reported, showed a lack of judgment on your part.

I recently had some friends swear me in as a state senator. Per the private, nonsanctioned ceremony, I am a lawmaker and am now available for an interview.

My guess is that I will not, based on merit, be interviewed — just as these "priests" should not have been interviewed.

Jerry Vogler

Los Angeles

George Wesolek, a spokesman for the church's San Francisco archdiocese, states that female ordination and same-sex marriage are "boutique issues" of the American church, which he points out has only 75 million of the 1.2 billion global Catholics. He calls it the "American church."

He fails to mention that the Catholic Church in the U.S. accounts for the biggest share of the global institution's wealth. As one of the 75 million, I suggest we break away from Rome.

An American Catholic Church that respects and supports women, the divorced, gays and all other people of faith would suit me just fine.

And for the record, a lot of thinking Catholics already shop at the "boutique" Wesolek speaks of, and we like it just fine.

Peter McDonald

Los Feliz


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