Well, this ought to upset a few people!
In an interview, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston has said that
If I were founding a church, I’d love to have women priests. But Christ founded it, and what he has given us is something different.
Well, if I were founding a church, I’d have women priests too.
I’d have lots of other things too like married priests, liturgies by candlelight only, a sacrament for consecrated religious, a tax on failing to laugh at puns, my own palace, and an International ‘Everyone Wears Tartan’ Day.
But I’m not about to found my own church.
Neither is Cardinal O’Malley.
He may be an white-bearded, fatherly Franciscan bishop in Boston and I’m just a bored student procrastinating on an essay and listening to Meghan Trainor (no judgment, people!) but we are both members of the Body of Christ and obedient children of the Church.
We both know that Christ founded His Church and commissioned His Apostles to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of Holy Spirit. These same Apostles, filled with the Spirit of truth, appointed worthy men as their successors to oversee the churches of God. These overseers (Greek: episkopos) became our bishops and to this day, every Catholic and Orthodox bishop can trace his authority from a bishop who was once ordained by an apostle of the Lord Jesus.
This is the gift of Apostolic Succession and it is by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through the episcopacy, the communion of bishops, that the Catholic truth is guarded and proclaimed.
So does it matter that I would rather the Catholic Church had women priests?
Not a bit.
All our talk of obedience and humility to Christ through His Church is meaningless if, when it comes down to it, we prefer our own will above His. We are custodians of the Faith, not the creators.
Would I rather that the Catholic Church had women priests? Absolutely. But far more, I’d rather be faithful to this Church which possesses the fullness of the truth of the gospel. Many Catholics believe that women will not be equals in the Church unless we can be ordained.
But Cardinal O’Malley and I are both subject to the unchanging teachings of the Church.
In our obedience to Christ, we are already equals.