To me, it sort of seems like one of the main goals of the recent Amazon Synod was to work women into aspects of the liturgy historically reserved for men – you know to ease off the patriarchal aspect of the Church over the last centuries! I’m not going to argue the case here as there are people who can do that better than I but here are a few thoughts of those in the know and I think the current leanings coming from Rome could have them rolling in their graves.
St. Paul in 1 Cor. 14:34 writes: “Women should remain silent in Churches” – a law which was followed in the Church until various interpretations of the Second Vatican Council saw women reading the Scriptures at Mass but not the Gospel.
Pope Benedict XIV’s 1755 encyclical Allatae Sunt summarizes the history and teaching of the Church, saying:
“Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: ‘Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.’ We too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 6, no. 21.” (Pope Benedict XIV, Encyclical Allatae Sunt, July 26, 1755, n. 29)
As to a suggestion for women “deacons,” Pope John Paul II stressed the impossibility of female “ordination” in the 1994 document Ordinatio Sacerdotalis:
Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.
Pope John Paul II also pointed to Our Lady as the that women were not meant to be in ordained ministry for, as he suggested, were Christ to have chosen any woman in history for ordination it would have been His Mother.