University of Pittsburgh
July 31, 2006

Pitt Expert: Ban on Women Priests Based on Early Church's View of Females as Weak


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-The Bible is silent on the issue of women being ordained as priests, according to Rebecca Denova, but the Roman Catholic church's ban on female priests is based on a number of cultural, religious, and political factors, including the view of early church leaders that women were weak and more easily seduced by the devil.

Rebecca Denova, instructor in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Religious Studies, is available to comment on today's ordination in Pittsburgh of 12 women who claim the ritual will make them Roman Catholic priests.

Denova's area of study is ancient Christianity and the formation of the church during its first 500 years. She teaches The Origins of Christianity and the New Testament and Varieties of Early Christianity. She lectures in Pitt's Honors College on aspects of world religions and the evolution of ancient religious concepts and their modern counterparts.