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Catholic Biblical Association of America


In August 1976 the Executive Board of the Catholic Biblical Association of America appointed a committee of prominent scholars from its membership to study and report on the Role of Women in Early Christianity. This Committee developed into a Task Force whose members are Madeleine Boucher, Richard J Dillon, John R Donahue, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Eugene H Maly, Sandra M Schneiders, and Richard J Sklba. The statement is a précis of the ongoing discussion of the Task Force. Their conclusion: an examination of the biblical evidence shows that there is positive evidence in the NT that ministries were shared by various groups and that women did in fact exercise roles and functions later associated with priestly ministry; that the arguments against the admission of women to priestly ministry based on the praxis of Jesus and the apostles, disciplinary regulations, and the created order cannot be sustained. The conclusion we draw is that the NT evidence, while not decisive by itself, points toward the admission of women to priestly ministry.