Church Fires Teacher for Being Woman
Monday August 21, 2006 9:23am
WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) - The minister of a church that dismissed a female Sunday School teacher after adopting what it called a literal interpretation of the Bible says a woman can perform any job - outside of the church. The First Baptist Church dismissed Mary Lambert on Aug. 9 with a letter explaining that the church had adopted an interpretation that prohibits women from teaching men. She had taught there for 54 years.
The letter quoted the first epistle to Timothy: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."
The Rev. Timothy LaBouf, who also serves on the Watertown City Council, issued a statement saying his stance against women teaching men in Sunday school would not affect his decisions as a city leader in Watertown, where all five members of the council are men but the city manager who runs the city's day-to-day operations is a woman.
"I believe that a woman can perform any job and fulfill any responsibility that she desires to" outside of the church, LaBouf wrote Saturday.
Mayor Jeffrey Graham, however, was bothered by the reasons given Lambert's dismissal.
"If what's said in that letter reflects the councilman's views, those are disturbing remarks in this day and age," Graham said. "Maybe they wouldn't have been disturbing 500 years ago, but they are now."
Lambert has publicly criticized the decision, but the church did not publicly address the matter until Saturday, a day after its board met.
In a statement, the board said other issues were behind Lambert's dismissal, but it did not say what they were.
Of course if you don't have a set way of determining the rules, its everyone's Holy Spirit for themselves isn't it? The problem with this guy is that he has decided to interpret scripture his way. Without the light of Tradition its easy to see why he believes what he does. St. Paul seems to be pretty clear. But he's not though, is he? To us it could seem like he is wholesale telling women to be quiet when it comes to men. But even Mary herself gives a command at the wedding at Cana - "Do whatever he tells you," she says with regards to her Son. In fact, Mary gives us all instruction. We also know for instance that in the early Church women indeed baptized people and taught children. Women are part of the universal priesthood of the Church. Can they be ordained priests? No, but the main reason for that is not what St. Paul says. Certainly he's not merely saying women can't talk in church.
St. Paul is probably, in my humble opinion, alluding to the fact that women cannot administer the Eucharist. In fact, what Paul says makes sense when you think about it. In the primitive liturgy women would not have spoken at all but probably as a product of the fact that only deacons, presbyters, and bishops did the readings, sermons, and other parts of the liturgy. Paul is saying "women cannot be priests" - more or less.
Our Magesterium is able to help us with this unlike in other organizations where they reject the continuing authority of the Christ through the apostles.
Priesthood - Reserved to Men (from EWTN)
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (from JPII the Great)
The Didache A.D. 70 (ish)
Mike Aquillina - The Mass of the Early Christians
I'm not peddling this book, just recommending it. I own it myself and it is great.