Theologian questions Church stance on women priests

One of Ireland’s most prominent religious sisters and theologians has said that she does not think that the Church’s teaching on the ordination of women priests “is right”.

Sr Geraldine Smyth OP, associate professor at the Irish School of Ecumenics, TCD, told The Irish Catholic she does not think that the teaching stands up though she herself has never felt called to be a priest.

“I don’t think that it is right. I don’t think it is in accordance with the truth of what we understand and know about the human being made in the image of God.

“I don’t think it accords with what we see and saw and reflect on in the Gospels in the life of Jesus.”

She added: “I don’t think they [the teachings] stand up theologically. I think they may stand up in terms of Church discipline.”

Dr Smyth, a former Prioress General of the Irish Dominican Sisters, said the role of the theologian was “to be in communion with the Church” and “to help widen horizons and to try and  separate out what  belongs to theology and what belongs to a style  of churchmanship or cultural preferences for male domination or for closed systems”.