Can Women Be Priests?  Theology Today Series


Can Women Be Priests? Theology Today Series


General Editor [series]: Edward Yarnold

Author: Paul Lakeland


Document Type



Preface: I suspect that a common Catholic reaction to a book on women priests will be a mystified impatience. ‘Why waste time writing on the subject? We all know that women priests are just not on.’

But a female priesthood must be considered as a serious possibility for at least three reasons. First, there is a growing number of Christian Churches with female ministers who not only preach and perform pastoral service, but also celebrate the Eucharist; Catholics must make up their minds whether such a ministry is an obstacle to reunion or intercommunion. Secondly, some Churches which are faced with the question whether to adopt a female ministry are so ecumenically minded that they do not think it right to make the decision alone, but only in concert with other Christian bodies; accordingly there will be pressure on the Catholic Church to state a reasoned position. Thirdly, there are already needs and currents within the Catholic Church itself moving it towards the adoption of a female priesthood; the growing shortage of priests, for example, an increasing understanding of the potentialities of female ministries within the Church, and a spreading awareness that many elements in the Catholic system which in the past have been regarded sacrosanct owe their existence more to cultural than to theological factors and may therefore be open to revision.

The priesthood of women is an emotive issue, and both its advocates and its opponents often base their cases on irrational grounds. The author’s careful assessment of the arguments is therefore especially valuable. -- E. J. Yarnold, S.J.

Publication Date


Publication Information

Lakeland, P. (1975) Can Women Be Priests? Theology Today Series. Cork:The Mercier Press, 1975. Hales Corner, Wisconsin: The Clergy Book Service.


Copyright 1975 The Mercier Press

Can Women Be Priests?  Theology Today Series