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Why don’t women have the same opportunities in the Church as men do?

Long before women in most countries (including the U.S.) could vote or work outside the home, Catholic women were running hospitals, schools, orphanages and other social institutions. Women such as Elizabeth Ann Seton, Rose Philippine Duchesne and Frances Xavier Cabrini were canonized after dedicating their lives to serving the needy.

The tradition of female leadership in the Church continues today, not only in the form of university presidents and hospital administrators, but also in parish managers, sacristans and directors of religious education. Girls assist with the Mass as altar servers alongside boys. As for ordination, it does remain reserved for men. Pope John Paul II believes that it was determined by Christ himself that only males be ordained to the priesthood and that he, John Paul, has no power to deviate from what Jesus has determined. But this does not prevent women from serving the Church in an otherwise limitless number of ways. The Church needs leaders – women and men – willing to give their time and talents.
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