1577  "only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination."  the lord jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry.  the college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until christ's return.  the church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the lord himself.  for this reason the ordination of women is not possible.

 

1579 all the ordained ministers of the latin church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate " for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."  called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the lord and to " the affairs of the lord," they give themselves entirely to god and to men.  celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the church's minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the reign of god.

(excerpts taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; copyright © 1994, Concacan Inc., Canada)

 

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