Designer Camelle Ilona Daley has a line of stylish clerical clothing. The picture above of the model wearing female priestly garments provoked some controversy among my friends on Facebook. Some were offended, I saw one comment that said, "these are the END TIMES..." Some objected to female priests; others objected not to a female priest, but to this particular picture, which seems to them to be suggestive.
I find this very interesting. This one picture of an attractive model wearing priestly garments serves as a Rorschach test to gauge people's attitudes about religion, sexuality, and women. Our reactions may say more about us and are attitudes than the designer or the model.
I am going to have some more shortly to say about female priests. But my initial thoughts are that there is certainly nothing wrong with female priests, and there is nothing wrong with very attractive female priests (why can't a pretty girl aspire to be priest if she wants?); and, what is so provocative about the model's pose? Is it a sexual pose? Is it impudent? Is the skirt cut just above the knee irreverent to religious life, and too sexy? Or is she just being stylish? If she was wearing anything else, I am sure her pose would seem more innocuous.
One thing for sure, female priests are here to stay. And some day (it may be a very long time), if Christianity survives as a religion, the Orthodox and Catholic Churches will have to accept them as well as Protestant Churches.
Do we really believe, as the book of Genesis says, that God made humankind in God's own image, both "male and female" in God's image (Genesis 1.26,27)? Should power in the Church rest soley with males, or in the case of the Catholic Church with celibate only males?
In my view if we really believe that both male and female are made in the image of God, and that Christ is the image of God, there is no reason a woman cannot be an image of Christ at the Eucharist.
I will have more to say later about female clergy!
In the meantime, check out Camelle Ilona Daley's designs: