EXCLUSION from the priesthood does not place women in an inferior position in the Church, claims Jesuit theologian, Fr. Jean Galot.
Writing in the Rome Jesuit bi-monthly, Mika Cattnlica, he says "if a woman does not have access to the priesthood, it is not because of inferiority. She is not inferior to man but different from him."
Fr. Galot, 47-year-old professor of dogmatic theology at St. Albert's College of Louvain University, Belgium believes that some people working for the emancipation of women are tempted to regard what is considered submission, as a sign of inferiority.
He says while there is a mortifying and depersonalising form of submission such as that of a slave or of one who acts under force, there is also a freely accepted and voluntary submission which belongs to the supernatural nobility of the human creature and on which the Christian attitude is based.
It is, in fact, through obedience obedience unto death on the cross that Christ saved mankind.
"The natural aptitude of woman toward docility makes them more capable of following this supernatural way of obedience to God," he says. "It is enough to cite the example of Mary who freely answered the angel that she wanted to be the Lord's handmaiden."
Fr. Galot's comments followed the announcement in Rome that the ancient restriction against women serving as ministers at Mass had been reconfirmed by the post conciliar liturgy commission.
Leaving the door open for possible exceptions where native traditions seem to dictate them, the Consilium for Implementing the Liturgy Constitution informed Bishops that women are still excluded from the "ministerial functions" of worship.
A distinction was made be tween those parts of the Mass which belong to the people and those which are properly ministerial. Woman are excluded only from the latter.