Is it possible for the US gov to mandate Catholic church to ordain woman?

This HHS mandate has me thinking. Could the government claim that the Catholic church is discriminating against women and make them ordain woman priests?:eek:

Nope. Churches don’t serve a secular purpose, employ people of other faiths to keep them running and fulfilling their most basic purpose, or receive government funds to fulfill a secular primary purpose like Catholic hospitals and colleges do.

I would say “no” because of the same reason that the HHS mandate is illegal. The government can’t be telling us how to run the Church.

What’s really a tad surprising is that some angry left-wing feminist Catholic hasn’t already filed a lawsuit with the Justice department claiming discrimination for not being eligible to be employed by the Catholic Church as a priest. :rolleyes:

Just as the HHS mandate’s premises are illegal, so too would trying to mandate female ordinations within the Catholic Church. The Constitution sets up a separation of Church and state. Therefore, the Church cannot tell the government how they should be doing their job, and the government cannot tell the Church how they should be doing their job. Period.

Even if the government did try to do something like that, nothing would happen. The Church has already declared that women cannot receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. It’s similar to the Church’s refusal to grant the sacrament of Matrimony to homosexual couples; homosexual marriages are impossible in the eyes of the Church, as is the ordination of women as deacons, priests, or bishops. The Catholic Church would openly and wholeheartedly oppose such a thing (should it ever happen), refusing to comply.

Besides, I have never heard of any case in the history of the U. S. where a woman went against the Church on the grounds that the Church refused to ordain her. :shrug:

For the sake of argument, the Boy Scouts of America have female boy scouts. Wasn’t that a court decided action? Isn’t that similar in nature to OP’s scenario?

It’s only a matter of time in the UK before the Church is outlawed for failing to meet a 50% quota for female ordination and refusing to officiate ““gay” “marriages””.

Thankfully the Church isn’t taking this lying down…

Just you wait. They will find some excuse, no matter how far-fetched. All they need is one sympathetic judge.

I have heard they have tried.

But why not, they made them change the language in the English Mass? (Political pressure forced the removal of “men” in the consecration.)

And if they make English the official language of the U.S., Spanish and Polish Masses may be banned. That IMO would be a big hit.

But the HHS madate applies to Catholic colleges - which DO serve a secular purpose even if they were not connected in any way to government funds or hired only religious employees. Churches already employ people of other faiths (such as office staff, music directors, technical support). And the original HHS mandate had an exception so small that even congregations of religious sisters engaged in care for the poor would not have met.

Since most Catholic dioceses (since it is the Bishop who ordains) are involved in multiple types of non-religious work such as education, counseling, care for the poor and indigent, etc. why is it such a stretch to think that someone might try to push this? The end goal right now seems to be to take all authority from the Church other than to actually deliver the Sacraments.

In a legal sense, yes, I do think the government / courts (likely the 9th Circuit) could in fact “order it,” not that we would comply. Two generations ago, who could have guessed that the “right” to kill babies could be “found” in the Constitution, or that sexual promiscuity would be financially subsidized by the government, or that what 2,000 years of Western Civilization had deemed to be sexual perversion would become governmentally protected, or that private employers could enforce workplace bans against words like “Christmas,” or that the “federal food police” would be taking lunches away from little girls, telling them their mommies were wrong to give them those things to eat, or that a nursing mother would be barred from boarding a plane until she had gone into a public toilet to pump her breast milk? (The current HHS mandate doesn’t bear repeating.)

If I sound pessimistic, I guess I am. The so-called “wall of separation” preventing (alleged) church intervention / influence on the state is solid steel; the “wall” preventing state intrusion into church, personal, and private matters has become Kleenex.

Maybe one day. It depends on how many power-hungry leaders we have in government. If we have too much of those types of people, then the US would become an authoritarian government.

They could try it. But the Church would not, could not comply.

The result would likely be a nationwide interdict of the USA, comparable to what happened in Mexico in 1924, after the civil government claimed the power to appoint men to the priesthood.


Oh darn… my priory just got moved to the southern province of Canada! :smiley:

Anything is possible in a country where it is legal to commit murder against the unborn.

Anything is possible in a country where politicians from both parties publicly oppose the Church on life issues and yet nary a single public excommunication (that I am aware of) of these politicians (from both parties) by the Catholic hierarchy.

Anything is possible in a country where the Constitution is trashed by both parties.

The US Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts have a right to determine for themselves who is eligible for membership or leadership and who isn’t. It was a First Amendment decision based on freedom of association.

Similarly, the US government can not interfere in who is selected as a priest and who isn’t. It is a first amendment issue.

No one can make the Church ordain women, because the Church doesn’t have the authority to ordain women under any circumstances. Even if you could find a bishop who went through all the ceremony, laying on of hands, saying all the words of ordination, etc., no woman would be ordained. Nothing would happen. It would be like of the priest, at Mass, decided to consecrate Oreo cookies and Coca Cola. Nothing would happen. One of the requirements for a Sacrament is to have the right material matter. Required material matter for the Eucharist is unleavened bread and wine. Required material for ordination is male human beings.

We have gone along with evil for way too long, afraid to speak from the pulpit for fear of “upsetting” someone in the government or high places. Now, we’re all going to pay the price. The Church will be persecuted, and I suspect that it will not end anytime soon. I fully suspect to see blood martyrs for the faith before I die. And I’ll be 60 in June.

The government can mandate whatever it wants. In 2001 it mandated that all children be proficient in english, math, and science by 2013 in the no child left behind program. Does it look likely that the mandate will be followed? We only have 3/4 of a year left to fix public schooling and that would be election year politicking to remember if we managed that. Just the same way they can go so far as to physically put a bishops hand on a woman’s head and force him to recite the rite of ordination, even so the woman would not be a priest as it has been formally declared that the church has no authority to confer ordination upon women.

They exist.

The ordinations of Roman Catholic Womenpriests are valid because of our apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church. The principal consecrating Roman Catholic male bishop who ordained our first women bishops is a bishop with apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church in full communion with the pope. Therefore, our bishops validly ordain deacons, priests and bishops. Consequently, all qualified candidates, including baptized ministers and priests from other Christian traditions, who are presented to our bishops for ordination are ordained by the laying on of hands into apostolic succession in the Roman Catholic Church.

i personally don’t see a problem with it, but, there you have it.

Catholic colleges, like all private colleges do take large amounts of taxpayer funds, and many members of their faculty and staff are not Catholic. Their primary purpose is educating people in their chosen fields, not spreading the word of god.

Churches, even ones with outside music directors, are set up primarily for worship and spreading their religious message. They do not receive tax dollars to fulfill their primary purpose (which is religious).

I’m not speaking to the wisdom of the HHS mandate, but I am trying to illustrate the difference between it and the government going in to a church and taking over.