All About the Priesthood: Women Priests, Married Priests, and Flawed Priests

Fr. Josh answers three questions about the priesthood: Why can’t women be priests? Why can’t priests get married? And how can you look past the human flaws of the priest when he is acting in persona Christi?

Snippet from the Show 

Jesus Christ was radical, he broke many customs. If he had wanted women to be priests, he would have chosen them to be priests … Mary [Mother of God] was far holier than Peter. Mary Magdalene showed up to the foot of the Cross. Guess who wasn’t at the foot of the Cross—Peter, Thomas, Matthew. Many of these women were far holier than the first priests. However, in God’s will, he chose men to be the matter for the sacrament of priesthood.


Glory Story (3:05) 

Women Priests (7:49)

Hi Father,

I know you mentioned before you wanted to do a themed show. So I recently heard you speak on church tradition, and the difference between big “T” and little “t” tradition which I’m sure you would elaborate on, maybe even sing about. I wanted to suggest that as a possible theme for the show. I had a specific question pertaining to this topic, and was hoping you’d speak on this: are male only priests a little “t” tradition or a big “T” tradition? I’ve recently been challenged on the church’s position on men as priests and found myself stuck when trying to engage in dialogue on the matter. I’m somewhat familiar with the theology on this but any clarification and insight would be fantastic. Thank you for all you do as a servant and radical disciple of our Lord, for your continued “yes” in answering the call, and example of servant leadership. You are constantly in our prayers.

– Shanna

Married Priests (21:02)

Father Josh,

Yesterday my family and I had an interesting debate over Sunday dinner on our faith and the Catholic religion. To give context, my father is a 7th Day Adventist and my mother is Catholic, which provided an interesting decision for my parents to decide which religion my sister and I would grow up with. Ultimately, my parents decided to raise us in the Catholic Church. My sister and I went to Catholic school all of our lives and have been committed to the principles of our faith through our adult lives. In recent years, our faith has been challenged with exposure to other religions through friends and even through our father’s side of the family. We will be asked questions about traditions within the Catholic faith and we would not have the proper response other than, “this is just the way we’ve done it for years.” Of course this is mainly our fault for not asking these questions about various traditions, but in many instances we feel that some of the traditions within the Catholic religion are lost in translation by being passed from generation to generation without explanation. This has a compounding effect in generations like the true knowledge or intent of many Catholic traditions. Our discussion became further involved when my father brought up an article entitled, “Catholic bishops approve proposal allowing some married men to be ordained priests in the Amazon.” In my opinion, it is well known for the intent and reason that a priest should not be married but this has always been a determining factor for young men that seek the priesthood. There are only a select few that have the gift and dedication such as you to connect with this church family in an effective way, and willing to dedicate the rest of his life to the Lord. I’ve only had the privilege to experience a priest through one possibly two of my church communities in my life. I think that one of the reasons is this tradition. Curious to hear your thoughts and if this is approved, what would be the potential  impact for the greater Catholic community? 

Keep up the good work, love listening to your podcast. I’m a Houston native, Lafayette raised, and work overseas. Hearing your cultural references and coffee in the morning brings a smile to my face when hearing the show.

– Bryan

Flawed Priests (32:20)

How do you see Christ in your priest when his actions and words don’t seem to match up with Jesus? I’m continuously praying the Litany of Humility, and maybe God is trying to make me live that through the actions of the priest, but how do I get past his humanity and see Christ in him?

– Bridget


1 Comment

  1. Over 900 years ago, Catholic priests were allowed to be married. That was over 1100 years the Church kept the Judaic tradition of married clergy. Even today we have married priests. Priests from other Christian traditions have been accepted by bishops as married priests. I have met them and they do an incredible job as priests. And now our holy father, Pope Francis, is wanting to have married priests in a remote places. Everybody knows we have a priest shortage. So why are there special exceptions allowed now? Why were priests allowed to be married centuries ago? Even God mentions in Genesis that it is not good for man to be alone. That it was the will of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that our first pope, St. Peter was married as were some of the other disciples. Many people are confused because of our histories and choices. We have lost too many incredible people of faith. To use the concept that priests are in the “persona Christi” challenges what a doctor of the Church mentions, “become what you recieve” from St. Augustine. If we receive and become what it is that we receive in Communion, The Precious Body and Blood of Christ, in that everyone who does so becomes the persona Christi. We are made in His image and have His spirit dwelling within us (1Cor 3:16) I truly believe that we as Church not only need to pray for vocations, but deeply ask the Holy Spirit to guide His Church.


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