A few days ago Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese, who had been relieved of his post as editor of America Magazine when Card. Ratzinger was Prefect of the CDF, and who now writes for the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) came out with a piece at the same NSR in support of Phyllis Zagano’s notion about women deacons.
He also came out in favor of the ordination of women to the priesthood, as do many who support ordination of women to the diaconate (even if they don’t admit it).
Thus, Reese… HERE
If there were women deacons in the past, the arguments goes [sic], there is no reason we could not have women deacons today.
I find that argument convincing, but frankly, even if there were not women deacons in the past, I would still argue for ordaining women deacons today, just as I would argue for ordaining women priests. [linkage!] True, Jesus did not pick any women for the Twelve Apostles, but he did not pick any Gentiles either. We would really have a priest shortage today if the priesthood was limited to Jewish Christians.
See what he is doing there? He is mocking the argument. Ho ho ho, ain’t he funny?
Even though we know that liberals don’t have much of a sense of humor, let’s have a little fun with this ruderous Jesuit mockery for a moment, since Reese set the tone.
Follow this my own autoschediastic presentation if you can.
In AD 50 the Apostles gathered in what is universally recognized as the first Council, the Council of Jerusalem. Read about this in Acts 15 (with Acts 10) and probably Galatians 2. The Apostles, in their Council, deliberated about the question of admitting Gentiles to the Church, that is, to baptize them. They decided affirmatively. This was a Conciliar decision – nay rather – the Apostles “walked together” in a synodal process. And though the Gentile Question was not as momentous as admitting the divorced and civilly remarried to Holy Communion, in a mere matter of hours they determined that Gentiles could indeed be baptized. NB: Taking the decision didn’t require two synods over two years only to arrive at an ambivalent answer.
This decision to baptize Gentiles subsequently led to their being admitted to ordained ministry.
Since the Apostles consciously reflected on the baptism of Gentiles, they opened the possibility of Gentiles being admitted to the priesthood.
Here’s the next move.
The decision that male Gentiles could be ordained was, in effect, made by the Apostles. There is no indication that either the Apostles or their successors entertained the idea of admitting women, Jew or Gentile, to ordained ministry.
In other words, we know from Scripture that the Apostles decided that they were authorized by the Lord to admit Gentiles to the Church. This would eventually mean that priesthood would not be limited to Jewish Christians. However, there is no evidence inside of or outside of Scripture that either the Apostles or their successors considered themselves authorized to ordain women. In fact, there is evidence that they did not.