“THE CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD: WHY IS IT RESERVED TO MEN?”
Talk and Catholic-Reformed Dialogue
with Sr. Sara Butler and Dr. Jim Brownson
The Catholic Church “has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women.” Such was the solemn declaration of Pope St. John Paul II and the beginning of the argument Sister Sara Butler made at Hope College in a lecture on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium in Graves Hall at Hope College. Sr. Sara Butler argued that the unbroken tradition of the Catholic Church is not discrimination against women but related to the doctrine of Holy Orders as a sacrament. Dr. Jim Brownson of Western Theological Seminary provided a response.
Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., Ph.D., S.T.L. is Professor Emeritus of Dogmatic Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL. Sister Sara has served on the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission and the International Theological Commission (a papal appointment). She is past president of the Academy of Catholic Theology and is currently a consultant to the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Doctrine Committee. She is the author of many scholarly articles and of The Catholic Priesthood: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church (Hillenbrand Books, 2007).
Dr. Jim Brownson is the James and Jean Cook Professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary (Holland, MI), where he teaches courses on Scripture, church governance, and women's ordination. He’s the author of several books, including most recently Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships (Eerdmans, 2013).
The event was co-sponsored by Western Seminary and the Departments of Religion and Women's and Gender Studies at Hope College.