Theological Trends: Ministry and Ordination II, The Ordination of Women

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British Jesuits


The first article in this two-part series discussed the theological source of current developments in the area of ministry, namely the renewed ecclesiology articulated at Vatican II, and pointed out some of the implications of these developments for the theology of ordination. The question of the ordination of women was postponed to this second article where it can be treated in greater detail. This further treatment is necessary not only, or even principally, because of the publicity and passion of the current debate about the admission of women to Orders, but because of the radical theological and pastoral implications of the issue. In this article, I will consider the sources of this essentially new question and its symbolic, practical and theological dimensions. Secondly, I will survey the current state of the theological discussion. Finally, I will point out the relationship of this issue to the overall malaise in the area of ministry discussed in the preceding article.