Different Christian Attitudes To Equal Rights For Women In Religion

i cover the catholic attitude, traditional attitude of protestant christianity and the modern attitude of protestant christianity

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1 The Catholic Attitude

The Catholic Church teaches that men and women should have equal rights in society and in religion expect that they cannot be part of the ordained ministry (deacons, priests and bishops). They have this attitude because:

  • The creation story in Genesis 1 says that God created male and female at the same time in his image and therefore of equal status.
  • It is the teaching of the Catholic Catechism that men and women are equal and should have equal rights in life and society.
  • Only men can be priests because the apostles were all men, and priests and bishops are successors of the apostles.
  • Only men can be priests because Jesus was a man and the Priest represents Jesus in the Mass.
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2 The Traditional Attitude Of Protestant Christian

Many Evangelical Protestants teach that men and women have separate and different roles and so cannot have equal rights in religion. Women should not speak in church and only men can be Church leaders and teachers:

They have this attitude because:

  • In the Bible, St Paul teaches that women should not teach or speak in church.
  • St Paul also uses the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis to show that men have been given more rights by God because Adam was created first.
  • Although Jesus had women followers, he chose only men as his twelve apostles.
  • It has always been the tradition of the Church that only men should be leaders.
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3 The Modern Attitude Of Protestant Christianity

Many Protestant Churches (e.g. Church of England, Methodist, United Reformed Church, Baptist) give men and women equal rights, and have women ministers and priests, because:

  • The creation story in Genesis 1 says that God created male and female at the same time in his image and therefore of equal status.
  • In some of his letters, Paul teaches that men and women are equal in Christ.
  • There is evidence from the Gospels that Jesus treated women as his equal, for example:
    - he had women disciples who stayed with him at the cross unlike the male disciples who ran away
    - after his resurrection, Jesus appeared first to his women disciples.
  • There is some evidence that there women priests in the early Church. 
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Comments

Shannon Tennant-Smith - Team GR

quite helpful thanks

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