Pope Francis has done quite a lot to heal the divides in the Catholic church and welcome many people back to God’s table. Earlier this year, he talked about the possibility of women becoming deacons in the church. This fomented a hope that one day, perhaps even under his leadership, the centuries old refusal to allow women into the priesthood would come to an end, and women would be invited into full leadership of Catholic religious life. Nope.
This just in:
Eternal ban. It’s a shame. Whatever the historical reasons may be, there is no argument against women serving fully today, and the following churches have opened the doors of the priesthood to women:
- American Baptist Church
- Assemblies of God – as early as 1914
- The Christian Church/Disciples of Christ
- Christian Science – usually uses man and woman at services
- Episcopal Church – began ordaining women in 1970s
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – first female bishop elected in 2013
- Presbyterian Church
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- Salvation Army
- Unitarian Universalist
- United Church of Christ
- United Methodist Church – first ordained woman in 1956
(In addition, Buddhists and some Jewish Reform denominations allow women to become priests, rabbis, and ministers.)
(Source: Breaking News at Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/christian-women-priesthood-liberal/2015/05/06/id/643010/#ixzz4OsIZScj9 )
I’d like to add to that list: The Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal .
Founded in 1922 in Dornach, Switzerland under the guidance of Rudolf Steiner (a spiritual teacher and the founder of Anthroposophy), one of the stipulations was a fully inclusive, consecrated priesthood–men and women serving equally as priests. Another was the return to the celebration of all seven sacraments (which was also radical in a Lutheran cultural context.) Women were to take the pulpit and the altar with no separate guidelines than their male counterparts. Priests of both genders (today, we are expanding to include also those identifying as non-binary) were empowered to serve also from their own higher conscience, that is, without the authority of pope or bishop.
I am a member of this priesthood, and I welcome you to check out our seminary. Perhaps you are called to be a shepherd of souls, and a servant at God’s altar?