Graduation Date

5-2014

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Religion and Philosophy

Department or Program Chair

Scott Sinclair, Ph.D.

First Reader

Sr. Carla Kovack, OP

Abstract

Changes in culture and society continue to mold and shift the direction of the Roman Catholic Church theologically, pastorally, and doctrinally; the Roman Catholic priesthood has done the same but in a slow progression. This thesis will begin to focus on the Catholic priesthood and the current magisterial doctrine that supports it. Next I will argue this doctrine by counteracting it with evidence of significant roles of women in theology and New Testament. Then I will address another Christian denomination with the existing structure of women ordination from the Episcopalian church. Whether or not an all-male clergy is beneficial for the Roman Catholic Church, this paper will discuss its effects on their Church and how Catholicism could replicate it. Lastly, I will survey a variety of opinions toward the issue of women’s priesthood, statements made from past papacies, the current pope, and myself, a future theologian/religious scholar, in hopes that paralleling these notions will indicate what position is most desired.

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