Sunday, April 22, 2012

Priestesses and the TV version...

... and, as I predicted, a muddle. Some while back, I was invited to take part in a TV discussion about whether or not there were priestesses in the early Church. It was all quite pleasant and friendly - I was flown to Rome, and the filming was done in a church there. I explained the Church's position, gave information on the history, was asked "But surely there were women priests in the early Church?" so explained again, gave more informationm on the history, was asked again, explained again...and so on... The TV presenter was a pleasant young lady, but not at all well informed even about the basics of Christian doctrine, let alone the history of the Church. She seemed to know little or nothing about the Church of the first few centuries, and to be rather muddled about the centuries after that. In place of knowledge, she had a fixed opinion about the need for the Church to have priestesses, based on a rather 19th and 20th century view of the Church. It was tiresome explaining things as she didn't really grasp some of the central points...but she was friendly and pleasant and enthusiastic about working in TV, and on the whole I enjoyed doing the interviews even though I knew that the resulting programme would not be of particular value to anyone with a serious intterest in the subject of the priesthood. The programe was aired last week, and a number of people have been commenting on it. I didn't watch it, but many of the comments made echo my own thoughts at the time of the filming. This one , for example, seems to me relevant...

5 comments:

marion Banks-Wilkinson said...

I guessed they had edited you, but why on earth fly you to Rome! oh well free trip.

Malcolm said...

You need to be informed. That a lady is termed "episcopa" sounds on the face of it highly telling evidence that the early church had female bishops. In fact she was 8th century, by which time records are good enough for us to be absolutely certain that there were no female bishops, and the title was used as an honorific for mothers of bishops. So the claim collapses.

But I didn't know that until I read your link.

Manny said...

You would think they would get someone to be the TV presenter who knows at least some rudimentary background. Sounds like a waste of time. And one thing not mentioned in the article you linked. Jewish preists were all male. That was a requirement. Like most of Christian rituals, we have our roots in Judaism.

Anonymous said...

I was interested in your statement in the programme that a woman could no more be priest than a man could bear a child.
It is physically impossible for men to bear children (they lack a womb for example). In what sense is that analogous with a woman becoming a priest? There are no physical barriers to that happening -the barriers appear to be those of principle, similar principles to those which determined that Galileo was a blasphemer.

Anonymous said...

I was interested in your statement in the programme that a woman could no more be priest than a man could bear a child.
It is physically impossible for men to bear children (they lack a womb for example). In what sense is that analogous with a woman becoming a priest? There are no physical barriers to that happening -the barriers appear to be those of principle, similar principles to those which determined that Galileo was a blasphemer.