Why Can’t Women be Priests?

Susannah Lehr, Staff Writer

The church is supposed to be a welcoming, accepting, safe place, yet the community has never fully taken these ideas words to heart. It is said that priests are all male because Jesus chose men as his apostles, and therefore men have the right and responsibility to spread and reflect the Christian faith. 

However, times are different now, and women refuse to comply with the words of John Paul II, a bishop of Poland, that “this teaching is definitive and not open to debate among Christians.” 

There’s a huge amount of controversy surrounding this issue. Even Towson students have strong opinions about the idea of female leaders in the church. Katie Kilcoyne, 11, says “I never see any female priests or female figures in the church so it’s weird but I’m not against it, it’s just untraditional.” However, wouldn’t it be beneficial for young Christian girls to have a female role model to admire in the church community? 

When asked for their opinions on the debate, many students jumped on the opportunityDaniel Melia, 10, says “It’s necessary for the church to move with the times, and this is a great example of something they should do.” Daniel also explained that incorporating women into priesthood would probably cut down on the sex abuse crisis.  

Positive attitudes towards female priests continued to appear. Katie Egan, 12, points out that “The Bible never explicitly states that only men can be priests, and it even depicts many female leaders.” If Jesus were here on Earth today, would he really be against the idea of women representing a prominent role in the church community? Jesus was accepting of everyone, which is a key idea of Christianity. 

Another important idea brought up was the issue of priest shortages. It is a growing problem today that there are not enough priests to go around. For example, several weeks ago at St. Pius X Church, half the mass was carried out in the absence of a priest because there wasn’t one available. Allowing women to fulfill the position of Priesthood would vastly decrease this problem. 

We cannot continue to exclude women from priesthood simply because of tradition. The church must learn to move with the times and stop taking the words of male apostles so literally. 

I myself am a devout Christian, but that does not mean that I think the church is a perfect place. This is one of the biggest issues. 

As Andrew Jenkins, 11, says, “Someone’s gender shouldn’t outweigh their knowledge of a subject when it comes to jobs and there’s really no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to become priests.” 

Towson students seem to be all in agreement on what should be done about this issue.