Skip to main contentAccessibility feedback

Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR NEW MONTHLY DONATIONS! Thank you and God bless.

Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR NEW MONTHLY DONATIONS! Thank you and God bless.

Did Jesus choose only men as apostles simply because of the cultural mores of his era?

Question:

Is it really all that significant that Jesus chose only men to be apostles? Wasn’t that really just a reflection of the patriarchal values of the culture he lived in-a culture in which women priests would have been inconceivable?

Answer:

Allow me to stand your question on its head: Why do you suppose that priestesses were “inconceivable” in contemporary Jewish culture when they were common in other ancient Near Eastern cultures? Why would the people to whom God revealed himself and entrusted with his divine revelation and precepts have had less understanding than their neighbors on this point? Many other aspects of Jewish faith and practice had parallels in ancient Near Eastern cultures: temples, altars, sacrifices, ceremonial washings, ark-vessels, and so forth. Where the religious practices of that day and age were acceptable to God-either because they were grounded in natural law or at least because they were neutral cultural conventions-God allowed them to be incorporated into the religion of his people. Where the culturally accepted practices of that milieu were not allowed to take root in Judaism, we must recognize that God corrected the errors and distortions introduced by fallible human beings.

Did you like this content? Please help keep us ad-free
Enjoying this content?  Please support our mission!Donatewww.catholic.com/support-us