Papal No: A Comprehensive Guide to the Vatican's Rejection of Women's Ordination

Overview

A Catholic Press Association Award-winner, The Papal "No" is a unique book in contemporary literature concerning the Roman Catholic Church's increasingly controversial exclusion of women from priesthood.

Requiring no background knowledge and written in clear and accessible language, The Papal "No" assembles virtually all the major Vatican documents on women's ordination, exploring responses to them by theologians, educators, bishops, lay Catholic groups, and others. Along the ...

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Overview

A Catholic Press Association Award-winner, The Papal "No" is a unique book in contemporary literature concerning the Roman Catholic Church's increasingly controversial exclusion of women from priesthood.

Requiring no background knowledge and written in clear and accessible language, The Papal "No" assembles virtually all the major Vatican documents on women's ordination, exploring responses to them by theologians, educators, bishops, lay Catholic groups, and others. Along the way, it offers explanations of concepts such as "reception" and "subordinationism" that are unfamiliar to many readers.

With an appendix of twelve key documents numbered for easy reference, helpful glossary, and endnotes for scholars, The Papal "No" is the most complete resource ever to appear on one of the most pressing issues in the Catholic Church today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824522711
  • Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/15/2004
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Tradition and Vatican II
1 Understanding the issues 5
2 The hierarchical priesthood : "an intimate sacramental brotherhood" 12
3 A window unopened - Vatican II : October 11, 1962-December 8, 1965 20
4 A guide to post-Vatican II themes of the debate 24
Pt. II Pope Paul VI
5 Discontent : the soul's language of self-discovery 29
6 The Bible does not tell us so 37
7 In Persona Christi : in the person of Christ (a male) 42
8 Obliged to intervene 59
Pt. III Pope John Paul II
9 One step forward, two steps back 65
10 An element of grave difficulty : Anglican-Roman Catholic relations 69
11 Motherhood in a manly way 74
12 Woman : always the bride 76
13 A theology of the body 82
14 Pleasing no one 86
15 The ordination of women is not possible 90
16 No authority whatsoever 94
17 Obedience, American style 108
18 The bride of Christ and mother of believers 112
19 The inadmissibility of women 117
20 Due to God and neighbor 128
21 Defending the faith 131
22 Father God and mother church 138
23 Women's deeper nature includes saying "no" 140
24 A warning, a decree, an excommunication 144
Pt. IV Change and the Vatican
25 The documents in brief 153
26 Reexamining the Vatican's themes 158
Conclusion : from subordination to ordination 165
Doc. 1 "Report of the pontifical biblical commission" (1976) 177
Doc. 2 Inter insigniores ("declaration on the admission of women to the ministerial priesthood"), congregation for the doctrine of the faith (1976) 185
Doc. 3 "A commentary on the declaration," prepared by an expert theologian at the request of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith (1977) 196
Doc. 4 Ordinatio Sacerdotalis ("on reserving priestly ordination to men alone"), Pope John Paul II (1994) 211
Doc. 5 "Strengthening the bonds of peace : a pastoral reflection on women in the church and in society," United States conference of Catholic bishops (1994) 214
Doc. 6 "Jesuits and the situation of women in church and civil society," the society of Jesus (1995) 220
Doc. 7 Responsum ad Dubium regarding ordinatio sacerdotalis ("response to a question regarding ordinatio sacerdotalis"), congregation for the doctrine of the faith (1995) 225
Doc. 8 "Address of the holy father to the German bishops," Pope John Paul II (1999) 226
Doc. 9 "Message of the holy father to the world union of Catholic women's organizations," Pope John Paul II (2001) 232
Doc. 10 "Warning regarding the attempted priestly ordination of some Catholic women," congregation for the doctrine of the faith (2002) 235
Doc. 11 "Decree of excommunication regarding the attempted priestly ordination of some Catholic women," congregation for the doctrine of the faith (2002) 236
Doc. 12 "Decree on the attempted priestly ordination of some Catholic women," congregation for the doctrine of the faith (2002) 237
Key dates beginning with Vatican II (1962-65) 241
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2005

    Teachings

    This book took me longer to read than I expected, because even though I was born and raised Catholic there¿s a lot of stuff in here I never knew. I wish more people would write about Catholicism in ways that challenge adults, instead of just telling us what to believe. I admit that sometimes the book got complicated, but I¿d much rather read a book like this than the usual ¿Catholic¿ book that just tells me to obey the Church without asking why. I¿m getting tired of conservatives acting like they¿re the ¿real¿ Catholics and the rest of us are just rebels. Deborah Halter showed me that it¿s my church, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2004

    A Book for Every Catholic!

    It's about time this book was written! The Papal No: A Comprehensive Guide to the Vatican's Rejection of Women's Ordination is not a strident, 'feminist' book, but a chronology of the development of a male Catholic clergy. The book is written so that anyone can understand it, which helped me a lot (I'm a computer analyst, not a theologian). Reading how Rome has given so many different reasons in history about why women can't be priests convinced me that the Vatican's motto should be: 'A male priesthood, by whatever means necessary.' It's very sad that Rome thinks so little (or is so afraid) of women that it rejects Jesus Christ's own love and charity toward women.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2004

    Concise and Accessible History of the Vatican's Stance on Women's Ordination

    This is the first book I¿ve found that places all the widely scattered papers, discussions, and views regarding the Vatican¿s stance on women¿s ordination into one basket. Halter discusses this issue from ancient to present times in a very engaging and accessible manner. I¿m amazed by her ability to gather an immense amount of solid research from various sources over the course of many centuries and present it so clearly that anyone -- Catholic or not, lay or not -- can readily understand this complex issue by reading only a couple of hundred pages.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2004

    A Must-Read for Every Roman Catholic

    The Papal 'No' reads like a mystery, with facts (some familiar, some bizarre) unraveling with every page. I've followed the acrimonious debate surrounding the male-only priesthood for years, and this is the most balanced and intellectually generous account I've found. The book includes all the facts in one place, including numerous Vatican documents in the Appendix, as well as a glossary, lengthy index, and more than 600 footnotes. It will appeal to armchair and active Catholics alike, as well as theologians and religious studies students and scholars. A remarkable work.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2004

    The Pope's Priesthood--The Boy's Club

    Halter has written a thought-provoking book exploring the Vatican¿s position of women¿s ordination and various responses to this position. She takes the complex and often difficult text of the Vatican documents and explains them in concise, easy to understand language. Halter compares Vatican pronouncements with common approaches to ministry. The gulf between Rome and Catholic life at a lay person¿s level leaves the reader feeling frustrated with and disappointed by Rome¿s increasingly out-of-touch position, which is contradictory and hypocritical, especially since Rome ¿affirms¿ women yet denies them access to the priesthood. Although this is a book of non-fiction it reads like a novel. The story of St. Therese of Lisieux (whose desire was to be a priest) interspersed throughout the text makes this book even more interesting and enjoyable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2004

    Papal No a Definite Yes!

    Clear, but comprehensive. GIves great background and explanations that do not seem overtly biased or condescending. Handles a touchy subject in flawless fashion -- perfect for theology students and classroom discussion!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2004

    Well-Researched, Beautifully Written, Gutsy Book

    'The Papal No: A Comprehensive Guide to the Vatican's Rejection of Women's Ordination' by Deborah Halter is a gutsy book, exceptionally well-researched and beautifully written. In it Halter recounts the history of women's roles in the Catholic Church, throwing into sharp relief the dramatically different attitudes held by the Church toward women and men. Women are still seen as docile beings defined by their relationships to men. Despite the Church's recent claims of women's dignity, the idea that Jesus (and the apostles after him) did not 'choose' women for leadership office persists in various guises into the present day and continues to undergird the Church's refusal to ordain women. And while most of us tend to think of the Church's position concerning lay women and nuns as historically monolithic, the author reveals fascinating examples of women who have successfully taken on much larger, more priestly roles, cometimes under perilous conditions. I enjoyed seeing the ironic paradoxes in the Church's position over time. And, I liked reading a charming narrative interlaced throughout the book about the life of St. Therese of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun in 19th Century France, who never lost her fierce desire to become a priest. 'The Papal No' makes a powerful statement about a contemporary problem that is unlikely to just go away, even though the patriarchal Catholic Church would surely like it to. This compelling book is suitable for anyone--male or female, Catholic or not, teenager or adult--who rejects the notion that women's God-given gifts and calling to ministry should be limited by a church controlled by a hierarchy of powerful men who have yet to recognize women as equals.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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