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Letter: Man-made law bars women from being Catholic priests

Man-made law bars women from being Catholic priests

I am responding to the June 12 letter titled, “There are good reasons we have no women priests.” In Gary Macy’s book, “The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination,” he states: “The fact that women were ordained for the first twelve-hundred years of Christianity will surprise many people.” While picketing as a member of the Buffalo Call to Action group, I encounter the same surprised look on so many fellow Catholics’ faces.

The verbal reply to our picketing seemed focused mainly on two notions: There never were women priests, or that Jesus would not want women priests. It is truly sad that so many Catholics have never heard about women’s past roles in history, which included bishops, priests and deacons.

Originally, ordination of a man or woman was tied to a particular congregation, a community. Past ordination of the first 1,200 years of Christianity was completely changed, with the inception of new canon law, which equated a new power given now to a priest in consecrating the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine. Thus from that time forward to today, women are denied that same opportunity. It was man-made law, and not Jesus, that literally erased the right of women to be priests.

The time is right to again allow women to accept a calling to the priesthood. With the ever-increasing priest shortage in our church, let women priests help fill the gap.

Peg O’Connor

Buffalo