1 Corinthians 14:34

“The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.”

Is St Paul belittling women?

God bless,

No, he’s upholding the order God intended. It may offend most feminists today, but I do not think he was being misogynist. There are differences between men and women, and during church services, women are not to be speakers. In historical cases where women do seek to undertake pastoral and preaching duties, they tend to have more masculine than feminine qualities.

I have the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and the commentary says:

Paul enjoins silence upon the Christian women in public worship. This is not an absolute restriction, since women can lawfully pray and prophesy in the liturgical assembly (1Cor 11:5) and are encouraged to teach in other circumstances (Titus 2:3-4). Paul is prohibiting women from intructing the congregation on the official capacity of a pastor or homilist.


I quite agree

No. Read all of Paul’s letters (including all of 1 Corinthians). Clearly, Paul does not belittle women.

Paul didn’t teach this. The Catholic Church doesn’t teach this. So, what do you mean?

That’s one opinion. Thanks for the reference.

Agreed :thumbsup:

Plus you might want to study the difference of worship in the Jewish temple to the way Christian churches allowed women to participate. There are some major differences.

St. Paul elsewhere teaches the order that ought to exist between man and woman. Man is the head of woman (and not the other way around) since man came before woman and it was woman who was deceived. Therefore it is wrong for a woman to assume authority over man. (1 Timothy 2:12-14). This order is to be understood within the communion of love found in Christ and his Church, not in the sense of worldly authority.

From a natural standpoint, there also are seen differences between man and woman. The tendency of modern culture is to minimize the intrinsic connection between gender and one’s biological sex. Men and women, however, are “wired” differently, and have different thought-processes and behavioral patterns.

This may be just an opinion, but it is logical, unless someone wishes to explain why it is otherwise. We know from 11:5 it is not an absolute prohibition from saying anything.

I think the key is the first phrase being set in apposition to the second. In the first phrase, we find the imperative (it is a command), women, be silent. The second phrase defines the context of this silence, gives the rule, if you will. They are not permitted to speak in Church, but speak what? Then Paul adds, "
But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church." It seems that the quote from the Ignatius Bible picks up on this and defines the prohibited act as speaking of something to be learned (teaching) in the context of the liturgy. Thus, women are to refrain from teaching doctrine in the liturgy. I would speculate from the use of the imperative, as well as the nature of the Church of Corinth, that this was probably already happening and St. Paul was ordering that this abuse stop.

This has nothing to do with who may speak, read, teach, etc. at liturgy in the Catholic Church today. Unless you know otherwise?

Of course men and women are different. This again does not mean that women cannot read at liturgy, or teach, or even (in specified occasions) preach. Right? If this is not correct, please share Catholic teaching to support such. Thanks.

Sacred Scripture is a Church document. The current GIRM limits the homily to a deacon, priest or bishop. It is my opinion that St. Paul could not be more clear, or more direct, in his wording. Therefore, the question is not is there any Church document forbidding women from teaching in the liturgy. There is, namely, the epistle of First Corinthians. I submit the burden of proof is to show that there is a current understanding of this that permits women to teach during the liturgy.

Yes, the homily at Mass has these restrictions.

This is separate from the question of whether women may read at Mass, teach, or preach at other circumstances (e.g. Liturgy of the Hours).

Also…Sacred Scripture is not exactly a Church document. Meaning…most Church documents can of course be amended and clarified by the Church. The Church cannot edit or change Scripture.