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Kathleen Wood states (October AD2000) that "the Church does not defend the argument [against women priests] on the basis of sexual complementarity."
In fact it is the main argument used by the Church.
The English word "priest" is etymologically derived from the word "presbyter". The Bible in Acts 20:17, Titus 1:5 and Peter 5:1 refers to presbyters as being in authority over their flocks.
In 1 Tim 2:11-12 we read that St Paul explains why men only were given the position of authority to lead the flocks. He says, "But I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man." This is indeed a reference to sexual complementarity.
To take on the role of presbyter a woman would be usurping authority; she would be taking on a role God did not intend for her.
St Paul was not intending this as meaning that women have lower status. The Bible clearly showed that women and men were equal in human dignity as both are made in the image and likeness of God. The woman's role was different.
The parish is like a family. In the family the father is usually the breadwinner and provides the service of loving leadership, the wife being the home maker, the heart of the family. The roles are not interchangeable.
The same holds for the larger family, the parish. The priest is the father who devotes his whole life in loving leadership of his family, the parish. This is why we call him "father".
It is completely based on the complementarity of the sexes. It is based on the truth that women and men are different but equal.
In our introduction to Kathleen Wood's article in the October AD2000, page 12, the impression could have been conveyed that Kathleen was the regular organist at Perth's St Mary's Cathedral. This was incorrect. While Kathleen has played in the Perth Cathedral, as in other cathedrals and churches over the years, she is not the regular organist there. We apologise for any confusion caused (Editor).
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 10 (November 2009), p. 14
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