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Title: A critical survey of the history and development of the present ban on the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church
Author: Waller, Joanna Christian
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 2338
Awarding Body: University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Current Institution: University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Date of Award: 2015
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The Roman Catholic Church maintains that women cannot be ordained to the ministerial priesthood because of its unbroken tradition that only men can be priests, based on the example of Jesus, who chose only men to be ‘Apostles’. Vatican documents published during the late twentieth century use the writings of several mediaeval theologians and canonists to support this ruling. The topic is of present-day importance for understanding the origins of the exclusion of women from the priesthood given the current shortage of priests in the Catholic Church. This thesis looks first at the present ruling in the Vatican documents, and then considers the mediaeval writings, canon law and theology, from scholars such as Gratian, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure and Duns Scotus, looking especially at their Commentaries on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. Subsequent chapters analyse in more detail the arguments from scripture and biology, drawing together strands of thought in the Middle Ages on these subjects, including judgements about women’s intellectual and emotional capacity, and the contemporary anthropological and Christological understanding of the Incarnation. Language and translation are also significant but often neglected factors in the discussion, which the thesis studies by highlighting the recovery of Greek writings in medicine and philosophy, along with choice of terminology and use of metaphor, in the mediaeval period and in modern Church documents. By this approach, a critical survey is made of the most salient aspects of the debate. This thesis seeks to dissect systematically the origins of the prohibition, based on attitudes towards women which, while not always intentionally misogynistic, were nonetheless rooted in a world view that, the thesis argues, is no longer relevant today.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ordination of women--Catholic Church ; BL Religion ; BV Practical Theology