Nah! Not a chance.
There were 115 red-robed Cardinals stuffed into that Sistine Chapel –you saw them on TV. Not a woman among them. Not one. And since the Pope had to come from that group, we could never get a woman Pope. Now, I have nothing but respect for the new Pope Francis, but he’s a man! Why not a woman?
Did you ever ask (maybe not) why women can’t be Cardinals and Bishops and Priests? Why can’t a woman be a priest? Protestants ordain women-pastors; why can’t Catholics ordain women-priests? Catholics have women teaching their seminarians; in fact, some of the best Catholic theologians and scripture scholars are women and they make much better teachers than men. So why not ordain them? Why not move them to the front of the Altar?
For the same reason they wouldn’t move African-Americans to the front of the bus!
Yes. It’s sheer male prejudice. There’s no other reason. I lived in Rome for two years and I heard all the Roman Curia explanations: the Pauline epistles, the tradition of the Church, the will of God! Baloney. All of these excuses are easy to dismiss, and if our new Pope Francis wanted to ordain women (as Pope John XXIII wanted to do in 1960) he could do it.
And now would be the ideal time. Look at the math: 67 million American Catholics and 27 thousand parish priests. That’s one parish priest for over 2000 people. And that’s today. The net number of American priests declines by about 364 a year. Forget the ancient prejudicial reasons for an all-male priesthood; just look at the future of this enterprise. No business can sustain these kinds of losses.
If the Catholic Church wants to survive another hundred years, I think two major changes must be made:
The Roman Catholic Church has a wonderful group of married deacons and a powerful group of dedicated nuns, and without them – the parishes would already be dead. But they are not priests. The Catholic Church –unlike the Protestant Churches – must have priests for its sacraments; no one else.
A problem? Yes, but Leaders fix problems.
Where have all the Leaders gone?