Justice in the Church: Gender and Participation

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9780813208572: Justice in the Church: Gender and Participation

Few issues have created as much controversy in the Catholic Church as the debate over women's ordination and the broader role of women in the Church. Today the Church stands accused - both from within and from without - of preaching justice to the world while itelf practising injustice by continuing to exclude women from the priesthood. Is it not especially unjust to exclude the very members who have tirelessly devoted themselves to the Church? Has the Vatican no grounds for its stand against women's ordination except a tradition that simply reflects first century patriarchal culture? This text outlines the Church's conception of justice, and goes beyond the argument of tradition to explain and fully defend the Church's opposition to women's ordination. Benedict Ashley provides a theological exploration of the definitive 1994 Vatican declaration, "Ordinatio Pastoralis", which opposed the ordination of women. Presenting both sides of the debate, Ashley confronts the arguments of feminist and liberation theologians in favour of changing the Church's practice of ordaining priests, and explains the Church's reasoning for strictly denying women's participation in the priesthood. Ashley sets out the important distinction between personal equality and functional inequality, and then uses this distinction as the principal tool for dealing with the difficult issue of women's ordination. He contends that, though members of the Church certainly have equal basic rights, a hierarchy of funtions is necessary for the mission of the Church. Women and men have unique gifts to contribute and roles to fulfill, as biblically and ecclesiastically symbolized in Adam and Eve, Jesus and Mary, and the priest and the consecrated nun. The Church insists that these symbols, which animate Christian marriage and the spiritual motherhood and fatherhood of the laity, cannot be changed to accommodate cultural change. Exclusion of women from the priesthood is not an injustice; rather it is a simple recognition of women's different but equally as important gifts to the Church. And though ordination may not be permitted, women can still contribute immensely to the life and mission of the Church. Although the author supports the Catholic tradition, in this book he presents a balanced and thoughtful assessment of the issue. He calls for a deeper understanding of the Church's position and at the same time proposes greater recognition of women and the contributions that they make to the Church. This book should be of interest to Catholics and non-Catholics struggling with the issues of women's ordination and the broader issues of gender and participation in the Church.

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Benedict M. Ashley
Editore: Catholic Univ of Amer Pr (1996)
ISBN 10: 0813208572 ISBN 13: 9780813208572
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Descrizione libro Catholic Univ of Amer Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. First. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0813208572

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