A Marvellous Book on Women’s Ordination

What they Don’t Teach you in Catholic College

Women in the Priesthood, and the mind of Christ.

John Wijngaards.

John Wijngaards has given the greater part of his life studying and researching the whole area of women and priesthood in the Catholic Church. I think it is fair to say that at this stage he is probably the most knowledgeable person on this topic alive today. He is also the founder of the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, which has a website, www.womenpriests.org, which contains the fruit of all his and others research, and is a wonderful resource for anyone wishing to understand the whole history of the Catholic Church’s relationship with women.

This latest book is a summary of John’s lifetime of work. It examines the Scriptures, giving a picture of the real relationship Jesus had to women during his years of ministry. He highlights how women played a significant part in the early Church, but how gradually over the early centuries they were consigned to the margins as the men took power and control. It makes for a sad and disturbing story. It is clear from his writing that the Church has been greatly impoverished by the absence of women’s voices and influence in the development of Church structures, spirituality and doctrine, and impoverishment that is becoming more stark as the modern world faces up to the equality of women in so many different areas of life.

Most of all, in my view, this book is invaluable in the way in which John takes up the various arguments the Church has used to exclude women from priesthood, and demolishes them one after another. He makes it clear the current Church teaching on women and priesthood is not based on Scripture, and can not validly be attributed to ‘the mind of Christ’, but that instead it is clearly a product of social and cultural attitudes prevalent throughout history which saw women as second class, defective human beings, less intelligent, and other beliefs that today have no credibility whatsoever. But the Church still clings to them as cover for the deep-seated misogyny that still prevails among the all male governance of the Church.

John Wijngaards, a former missionary priest and a renowned theologian, has done a great service in gathering together into one very readable and relatively short book the fruit of his knowledge.

I highly recommend this book. It is published by Acadian House Publishing, Louisiana, U.S. A.