As a Catholic and a father of four girls, I have struggled to explain to my daughters why their Church excludes them from the priesthood. I had hoped that Francis X. Rocca’s column in the Feb. 7 issue of the Catholic Review would provide me with insight. Instead, I found myself appalled at the reasons advanced by Father Wojciech Giertych for the exclusion of women from priestly ministry.
Father Giertych opined that there are fundamental differences between men and women that make men especially suited to the priesthood. He states that, “Men are more likely to think of God in terms of philosophical definitions and logical syllogisms…” Translation: women are too shallow and illogical to be priests.
If that weren’t outrageous enough, Father Giertych goes on to state that male priests love the church in a “male way” when they are concerned with “…structures, about the buildings of the church, about the roof of the church which is leaking … .”
Really? Worrying about roofing materials makes one suited to be a priest? Father Giertych might be shocked to know that there are now women all over the world who not only worry about leaky roofs, they can actually repair them.
What is especially troubling is Father Giertych’s position. As the theologian of the papal household, he embodies an institutional insensitivity regarding the role of women in the church. It is frightening to know that at the highest levels of the Church, women are still considered inferior beings who lack the depth, intellect and even the construction experience to serve the Church as priests.
Leo Ryan Jr.
Feb. 12, 2013 CatholicReview.org