“Honor Your Father and Your Mother” / Pope John Paul II’s Crossing the Threshold of Hope (photocopy)

Women Priests? A Marian Church in a Fatherless and Motherless Culture

Hans Urs von Balthasar

"Because of her unique structure, the Catholic Church is perhaps humanity's last bulwark of genuine appreciation of the difference between the sexes."

The worldwide offensive of "feminism," which is battling for the equality of women with men, takes effect within the Church as the women's claim to the ministerial priesthood. As a whole, the battlefront presents a confusing picture, and this in turn affects the ecclesial arena, which in addition has its own special problems.



On the whole, the assault of "feminism" is in a fatal predicament, because it is fighting for equal rights for women in a predominantly male-oriented, technological civilization. Thus it either takes up the front against this civilization as such (or, what amounts to about the same thing, against the masculinity shaping it) or claims its place within this civilization, which can scarcely be done without an unnatural masculinzation of woman or a leveling of the difference between the sexes. All these possibilities contain a priori a contradiction more of less perceptible in the parlance and program of the movement. This contradiction, however, may by no means be dismissed as "feminine illogic"; rather, it conceals a profound tragedy of our times.

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