Women's Ordination in the Catholic Church

By John O'Brien

Women's Ordination in the Catholic Church

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  • ISBN: 9781725268043
  • Pages: 212
  • Publication Date: 7/30/2020
  • Retail Price: $26.00
Web Price: $20.80
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eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781725268043
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 7/30/2020
  • Retail Price: $26.00
Web Price: $20.80
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Women's Ordination in the Catholic Church

By John O'Brien

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781725268043
  • Pages: 212
  • Publication Date: 7/30/2020
  • Retail Price: $26.00
Web Price: $20.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
ebook-logo

eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781725268043
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 7/30/2020
  • Retail Price: $26.00
Web Price: $20.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $20.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
 

*All eBooks are non-returnable

** Click here to review our ePub FAQ and policies.

About-

Women’s Ordination in the Catholic Church argues that women can be validly ordained to ministerial office. O’Brien shows that claims by Roman dicasteries for an unbroken chain of authoritative tradition on the non-ordainability of women—a novel rather than traditional argument—are not historically supported. In the primitive Church, with the offices of deacon, presbyter, and bishop in process of development, women exercised ministries later understood as pertaining to those offices. The sub-apostolic period downplayed women’s ministry for reasons of cultural adaptation, not because it was thought that fidelity to Christ required it. Furthermore, extensive epigraphical evidence, from a wide geographical area, references women deacons and presbyters during the first millennium. Restrictive developments in the concept of ordination from the twelfth century onwards do not negate how, before that, women were validly ordained according to contemporary ecclesial understanding. Repeated canonical prohibitions on ordaining women show both that women were being ordained and how those bans were very selectively implemented. These canons were a cultural practice in search of a theology, and the subsequent theological justifications for restricting ordination to men appealed to supposed female inferiority against the background of priesthood as eminence rather than service. O’Brien shows that the assertion of women’s non-ordainability is a matter of canon law rather than doctrine. As such, that law can be reformed.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“Rooted in Vatican II’s conviction about the ‘pastorality of doctrine’ and a related understanding of the critical-constructive role of systematic theological analysis as being in service of the live questions of the church, John O’Brien provides us with an insightful contribution to one such pressing question. Key here is his calling for a revisiting of the relationship between the ordained as standing in persona Ecclesiae and in persona Christi with a fully representative understanding of ordained ministry. This book is an invaluable resource for any looking for an efficient and substantive treatment of this most contentious of issues within the twenty-first-century Catholic Church.”

—Paul D. Murray, Professor of Systematic Theology and Dean of Catholic Studies, Durham University



“O’Brien addresses an important contemporary question with serious academic acumen. Insightfully he notes this is ‘a new question that requires a new answer.’ From whatever side of the debate one comes, O’Brien will challenge the reader to think differently about this ‘new question.’ This book is an important contribution to current critical ecclesial debate.”

—Fáinche Ryan, Director, Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin



“This theologically innovative book is beautifully written and powerfully argued. It focuses on the ‘provocative other,’ the quasi-silenced voice of women and surveys the ministry of outstanding women in the New Testament, highlights widespread female ministry in the first millennium and argues that the ordination of women represents a necessary pastoral-theological development whose time has come. It is an outstanding volume that challenges the notion that Catholic doctrine on female ordination is immutable and fixed.”

—Patricia Kieran, Director of the Irish Institute for Catholic Studies



“This important book is a ‘must-read,’ irrespective as to one’s position on the topic. O’Brien takes seriously Pope Francis’ invitation to see the pastoral as having a role to play in understanding doctrine. He brings to bear on the topic a wonderful breadth of knowledge, an unapologetic if critical assessment of tradition, and carries us through a discourse that is deeply embedded in faith. The opening chapter is a masterpiece in the hermeneutics of doctrine for our time.”

—Thomas R. Whelan, CSSp, Associate Professor in Theology, the former Milltown Institute, Dublin

Contributors-

John O'Brien

Bio(s)-

John O’Brien lived and worked for over thirty years in Pakistan, as a witness to the gospel. He is Associate Professor of Theology (Research) in Durham University.

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