The Rev. Barbie

She’s been a princess, a firefighter, a Marine and a ballerina. After years of soul-searching, Barbie has finally found her … Continued

She’s been a princess, a firefighter, a Marine and a ballerina. After years of soul-searching, Barbie has finally found her true vocation. Meet Rev. Barbie, a plastic Episcopal Priest.

Rev. Barbie, the creation of Rev. Julie Blake Fisher, an Episcopal priest in Kent, Ohio, has her own Facebook page and comes dressed in the latest trends in clergy-wear.

(Learn more about Episcopal Church clergy and leadership at Patheos.com)

Fisher created Rev. Barbie for use in her own youth ministry: “I thought the children would like to practice playing with the vestments and learning what they are,” she told Religion News Service. Over the years, Barbie’s many vocations have served as inspiration for young girls. And although Mattel has not endorsed Fisher’s improvised Reverend Barbie, the plastic priestess has emerged at a critical moment in Christian history, especially for women.

Debates rage within Christianity about the role of women in ministry. The Episcopal Church began ordaining women in 1976, but that policy and others have led to a schism within Anglicanism. Many evangelical and Pentecostal churches still keep women out of senior leadership positions as a matter of theology, and the Catholic Church, of course, does not ordain women to the priesthood.

Rev. Barbie’s timing, like her fashion sense, is impeccable. Lisa Miller’s Newsweek cover story this week asks “What Would Mary Do?” and explores the current Catholic sex abuse scandal through the perspective of women. The article concludes that greater female involvement in the upper-echelons of the church could have led to a child-first response to the abuse. Miller’s findings mirror the analysis of the Vatican’s own newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano which declared in March that women in leadership could have helped the church better address and perhaps prevent the crisis.

A translation reads:

In the sorrowing and shameful situations in which the molestation and sexual abuse by ecclesiastics on the young entrusted to them come to light, we can hypothesize that a greater, non-subordinated feminine presence would have been able to rip the veil of the code of masculine silence ["omertà"] that in the past often covered over in silence the denunciation of misdeeds. Indeed, women, religious and lay, would be by nature more inclined to the defense of the young in cases of sexual abuse, ridding the church of the evils that these guilty attitudes have procured for it.

If the church is looking for “non-subordinated” women to join its leadership, the generations of Catholic women who grew up playing with President Barbie are eager candidates.

What would Rev. Barbie do? And how would the church be different if real women could rule?

Elizabeth Tenety
Written by

  • GiveMeThat

    Pull a string on the back of the new doll and it gives a series of messages:* “Jesus is A way, not THE way.”* “Womyn welcome…men: there’s the door.”* “We’re inclusive…of all liberal pseudo-Christians.”* “The Episcopal sues you.”

  • Arminius0208

    I’m Episcopal, and this is great! Quick! Send a case of Barbie Bishops to the Vatican!!!!

  • GiveMeThat

    The premise that women or non-celibate males in leadership roles would have avoided the clergy abuse scandals is totally unfounded. What we can learn, however, from the example of Episcopal and other denominations like it that the introduction of female clergy are closely associated with falling memberships and degeneration into heresy. The Episcopal church has several multimillion dollar lawsuits for clergy sexual abuse that are presently in the courts. We have an Episcopal bishop that is only now being brought to justice, 30 years after the fact, for covering up clergy sexual abuse. Given the tiny size of the Episcopal denomination with regards to the Roman Catholic Church, the magnitude of the problems are probably similar.

  • Alex511

    fr givemethat:>…What we can learn, however, from the example of Episcopal and other denominations like it that the introduction of female clergy are closely associated with falling memberships and degeneration into heresy. …Oh really???? The church my wife and I attend is a United Methodist Church, pastored VERY well by a WOMAN, and it is GROWING.Get a life and grow up.

  • GiveMeThat

    The United Methodist Church (not a United Methodist church) has been consistently falling about 1%. The jury is still out whether the UMC can turn the ship around or it, too, will allow the liberals to drive it off the cliff.

  • YEAL9

    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy “I did not have sex with that girl” Clinton, John “Marilyn Monroe” Kennedy”Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger “I am so sorry for getting caught” WoodsNeither is being an atheist or pagan since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

  • Matthew_DC

    What a beautiful doll. Who would ever have imagined Barbie could become so subversive? However, the makers of this doll need to expand their range. I’d like to see an Orthodox Rabbi Barbie, an Imam Barbie, and eventually the Dalai Barbie.

  • SUMB44

    Pope Barbie I would have been more interesting.

  • shabbyreader

    (BlahBlahBlah Any man or woman wearing the Roman Collar is an imposter, if he is not an Authentic Catholic Priest. It is impossible for a woman to be a Roman Catholic Priest. If a woman is wearing a Roman Collar, immediately it is apparent that she is a fraud. However, young children do not know this and therefore must be taught the Truth!)you’re kidding, right? are you laying claim to vestments, as well? chalices? communion wafers? pews? stained glass? music? latin words?

  • ozma1

    As much as anything this highlights the problem of clericalism. The laity is not subordinate to those who are ordained. They are set apart simply to perform specialized roles. The priesthood belongs to all baptized Christians, including women.

  • meight

    Interestingly they have doll clothes?

  • yar2010

    “What fools these mortals be.”

  • lowercaselarry

    Anyone who puts “truth” in a discussion of religion is badly confused.

  • catherine3

    I think this is pretty cool and a great way to enable little girls to imagine themselves as being priests/ministers. Why not!

  • n01cat1

    It saddens me that the thought of female clery rouses such ire and, I suspect, fear in those who supposedly espouse Christian values.I can assure you that my church not only has female clergy, but is increasing in numbers perhaps based on the fact that we are not only Christian but live in the 21st century.

  • iamweaver

    LOGIC3 writes:Actually, Episcopal/Anglican priests regularly wear the collar, too – as do some pastors in other protestant denominations.

  • trishmc_ct

    Really? The abuse would have been avoided if more women were higher up in the Catholic hierarchy? Obviously whoever wrote that never attended an all girl Catholic school run by nuns.

  • gala1

    well, if the Vatican did let women in, not only would the hats be a lot better, no one would be caught dead wearing red Pradas with a purple cassock.Oh, and ther ejust might be a lot less sexual abuse of helpless innocent children, too.-gala1

  • kiler616

    the discrimination with which women( and anything else that wasn’t white anglo male) were treated for 100s of years has created a sub-conscious culture of..I’ll get you back…like it or not,it’s a normal animal response and it’s only just begun…where it will end,no one knows.

  • DrawingYou

    Obviously this article was not about Barbie but about pedophiles and women in the priest hood. As an agnostic it would be too easy to make fun of the church getting caught with its pants down (pun intended) but as a doting parent and grandparent this subject deserves a sober response. I think that nothing truly good can come from a devotion to an ancient text that advocates misogyny, slavery and primitive rituals of blood sacrifice. I’m surprised the church hadn’t imploded long ago. The power of faith (psychologically) is strong but not absolute.

  • psst_limbaugh_keep-ranting_satan

    When I saw the headline, my first thought was “BS nonsense.” But the article made perfect sense out of having this doll on the market. As for the Anglican faith, I found it very appealing in many respects- especially because it’s rituals balanced so well with it’s progressive social attitudes. Unfortunately, I just felt out of place among people who generally were very affluent. Friendly condescension was not my idea of being part of a spiritual community.

  • ravitchn

    Please, no priestesses!

  • tomguy1

    While I have no doubt that women would be just as capable as men as Catholic priests, I am confused and somewhat offended by the notion that women in the upper echelon of the Church would have caused a different response to the scandalous pedophile behavior.Most men are saddened, angered and outraged by this egregious behavior just as much as most women are. The problem wasn’t a lack of women around to take action; the problem was a hierarchy shrouded in secrecy and putting the institution above the ideals it is supposed to promote. Regardless of your religious affiliation, pray that this never happens again — in any church.

  • postreader2008

    TRISHMC_CT wrote”Really? The abuse would have been avoided if more women were higher up in the Catholic hierarchy? Obviously whoever wrote that never attended an all girl Catholic school run by nuns.”I went to an all-girls Catholic high school run by nuns and mine was a liberal, feminist education. The women that ran my school would never have let this abuse continue on their watch.

  • writer_33

    “how about iman barbie…I think you meant Naomi Campbell, but then again, you probably think all blacks look the same.

  • miknugget

    Yes! Use sex to sell your collective fantasy, I mean Christianity! Brilliant!

  • LeeH1

    The clerical collar was, I was told, a descendent of the “Geneva collar” of the early Protestants, which is the white collar with two hanging strips used by early Calvinist preachers.It was recognized as the clerical dress of ministers, and adopted by the Catholics in the 18th and 19th centuries. So it is appropriate dress for the first line Protestants: Anglican, Lutheran, Calvinist; and all the Catholic priests, whether they are Roman or not.

  • mountainsister41

    “Unfortunately, I just felt out of place among people who generally were very affluent. Friendly condescension was not my idea of being part of a spiritual community.”What? You mean you don’t enjoy the “frozen chosen” cucumber sandwich and sherry crowd? Tsk! Tsk! I couldn’t agree with you more. That is one of the reasons I left the Anglicans and became a real Catholic.

  • RevChar

    “the white collar with two hanging strips used by early Calvinist preachers.” Those are called preaching tabs and are still worn, in addition to the collar, by some Episcopal priests. For those who are still frantic about women being allowed to be ordained as priests by The Episcopal Church, I submit that there are no second-class Christians, and that all sacraments of the church universal are open to all baptized Christians. Jesus fought this battle when he opened table fellowship to women, tax collectors, and others not ritually pure, and, I might add, before they had repented of any sins. For those who insist that women cannot be the image of Christ at the altar, I submit to you the account of St. Blandina and the Martyrs of Lyons. These martyrs are celebrated on June 2, and they were martyred in 177 CE. In the Letter of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne concerning Blandina and her companions, it was written, “Blandina was hung on a post… She looked as if she was hanging in the form of a cross, and through her ardent prayers she stimulated great enthusiasm in those undergoing their ordeal, who in their agony saw with their outward eyes in the person of their sister the One who was crucified for them…” (quoted from Eusebuius, Ecclesiastical History 5, as quoted by J. Robert Wright in his book They Still Speak) Blandina’s contemporaries saw her as the image of Christ…Finally, I know of no one, male or female, in any church denomination that excuses the abuse of anyone, whether child or adult. I do know that The Episcopal Church requires anyone who comes in contact with children on a regular basis to have Sexual Misconduct Awareness Training (otherwise known as SAFE Church). All abuse is against the teachings of Jesus Christ, and child abuse is particularly egregious; it must be rooted out wherever it occurs and by whomever perpetrates it…

  • medogsbstfrnd

    in the words of the Anglican founder and head of the church, King Henry VIII: off with her head!

  • YEAL9

    Brad Hirschfield: When Priests And Rabbis Commit Sexual AbuseMar 29, 2010 ……“The words used by Pope Benedict and others in responding to the Church’s ever-deepening sexual abuse crises reflect a sickness that is not unique to the Catholic community. In fact, that sickness creeps into all religious communities of which I know, and leaves a trail of victims in its wake every time. I refer to the way in which religious leaders and the communities which they lead wear the mantle of victimhood to cover their naked moral failings.”

  • Athena4

    “So why bring the Catholic churc in this discussion? Do you not know the difference?”Yes. As we used to say in college, “tastes great, less guilty.”

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    GiveMeThatI do not beleive that “celibacy” makes Priests molest children. But the dysfunction of the Catholic Priesthood is very complex and all knarled and tangled up with the Church’s many other problems.For example, church-promoted homo-phobia distorts the Priesthood as a place where repressed homosexual Catholic men can hide-out and atone for being gay. Dump the homophobia, and this problem should gradually disappear. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with a Priest being gay, but a man should not seek to be a Priest to resolve complex psychological problems that were caused in the first place by dysfunctional church doctrine.And then, men, in general, do not want to be Priests because they do not want to live celibate lives. So the screening process for Priests is lax. If the whole thing were re-evaluated, revamped, and reformed, the Cathoic Church would be better not worse, with Priests, men and women, who are not required to live celibate lives, and being more well-adusted in general to life, and to the roles that they play in the church.Pardon me all to pieces, if this constructive criticism makes me a “Catholic-basher.”

  • swatkins1

    I’m looking forward to ululating Muslim Barbie…..

  • kentigereyes

    Pretty damn funny. The good old U.S. of Arrogance sometimes finds a way to be amusing. Does anybody need more proof as to the troubles that “organized religion” is having in this so-called god-loving family-oriented country is having???. TFL, Ken

  • sunbirdwoman

    I’m sorry some still think that all Episcopalians are wealthy and snobbish. In my Episcopal parish, auto mechanics in t-shirts kneel side-by-side with, yes, society ladies wearing pearls (who remove their white gloves for Communion!) Some were raised as Roman Catholics, some converted from Judaism.

  • Emmetrope

    Make believe about make believe.

  • OhMy

    I couldn’t stop laughing. What a wonderful idea. As one super model said about her doll “well at least my doll has a career.”

  • KraftPaper

    Does this make Barbie a lesbian?

  • suzeq

    SILLY, SILLY, SILLY…all are welcome, and all are equal, but there are better visuals than a vested barbie doll. I agree with the comment suggesting that a case be sent to the Vatican and if there are any leftovers maybe to all the dioceses in the Roman church.

  • YEAL9

    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy “I did not have sex with that girl” Clinton, John “Marilyn Monroe” Kennedy”Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger “I am so sorry for getting caught” WoodsNeither is being an atheist or pagan since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.Neither is being a “barbie” dressed in episcopal/Henry VIII attire or in a bikini. Ditto for “ken”.

  • lepidopteryx

    I’m not a Barbie fan – never played with them as a kid. I was a tomboy, and constantly dressing and undressing a doll was just never my idea of fun. But this is a cool idea, as long as it doesn’t turn into just another fashion show with Pepto-pink vestements.I’m waiting for High Priestess Barbie, with athame and pentacle.And when do we get Pope Barbie?

  • Patriot12

    What’s next? Congressman Barbie?Please No; we already have one of those barbie frankfurters and one is enough.

  • cornbread_r2

    The

  • forgetthis

    I do agree that women are more likely to protect children, but I don’t agree that women necessarily have to belong the ministerial order to do so. Churches can keep their traditional interpretation of gender roles in the ministry without interfering with a woman’s instinct to protect the young.

  • jlw5091

    “Greater female involvement in the upper-echelons of the church could have led to a child-first response to the abuse.”Absolutely. Like Kate Michelman and Louise Slaughter and NARAL believe in child-first!There’s sin in all churches and in non and anti-church people as well. Nasty things you can do to your young include both abortion and sex abuse. It’s very sad: males and females have their own way of victimizing children: and that ain’t chopped liver.

  • schnauzer21

    Hey GiveMeThat-All flavors of organised religion are currently seeing some decline in membership and church attendance has really dropped across the board.

  • gamiller1

    For the record, of the three initial female priests, two shortly came out of the closet as lesbians and all three were de-frocked. It appears the Episcopal church, and I was raised in that very same diocese, had not done it’s due dilligence on the background checks of these ladies and the Biblical mandates. Currently, the church does not care what the Bible or it’s members say or think about homosexuals in the pulpit, much less bishops. So, from the beginning the Episcopal Church, the church of the liberal on the cutting edge, got egg on it’s face in the 70’s but has proceeded full steam with it’s Chosen Frozen liberal agenda simply to avoid losing membership, not wanting to be stuck with those who truly believe in the infallability of the Bible and inspiration of Scripture. They will do what they need to do to keep the coffers filled, tithes from well meaning well healed folks continuing to come in. Let me ask you this – ever seen an Episcopal in a truly run down inner city area? Anacostia? SE DC? Inner city Baltimore? Thought not. That’s why it is no longer my church.

  • elizestrada

    Congratulations to many posters on this thread: you are the biggest turn-off to organized religion with a shout-out particularly to YEAL9, GIVEMETHAT and MOUNTAINSISTER41. Way to spread the love of Jesus Christ for all humanity! Boo-yeah!

  • digiphase

    Hey, where’s lesbian Barbie and her friend, gay Ken? The times they are a changin’.

  • revbookburn

    I am going to market inflatable altar boys to the Catholic Church and make a fortune.

  • drfoodie

    I applaud someone with the initiative to make other vestments for the doll. After all, Pagans have been dressing Barbie up in their vestments for decades.On another note, I don’t see how having Catholic female clergy could have prevented the abuse and the following cover-up. Male or female, they all have to buy into the party line of the Church and, as we know from so many historical examples, few people are willing to rock the boat or blow the whistle because the retaliation against them is often so brutal.No, what we seriously need is a strong separation of Church and State so the State can act as a balance against religious atrocities – and the religions (Christian or other), can act as a balance against State atrocities. Where Church and State march hand-in-hand, the atrocities get covered up, dismissed, ignored, and eventually become the norm. Religion is good. Government is good. But they need to be independent of one another to remain good.

  • djmolter

    It don’t matter. All the priest Kens will give Priest Barbie and insignificant role in the church. Minister of Bake Sales, perhaps.

  • angelomer683

    I’m a United Methodist who is blessed to have a wonderful female pastor… genuine, funny, spiritual, humble–a true leader who about is passionate about God and about serving others in the world. It’s obvious that she is called by God for pastoral ministry. Coincidentally, she posted the link to this Barbie on Facebook last week.The Catholic church’s child molestation scandal should not be a referendum on male v. female leadership–there are male clergy who would not hesitate to take action in this situation, and probably women who would cover it up. The problem lies with corruption and unchecked power that can happen in ANY faith tradition, but persists in the Vatican. It’s an institution that is more interested in maintaining unquestioned power than in serving God. I grieve for physical, mental, and spiritual damage perpetrated on these children and their families, and for the disillusionment of people who might have otherwise come to know for themselves God’s deep, abiding love.

  • digiphase

    fr givemethat: >”What we can learn, however, from the example of Episcopal and other denominations like it that the introduction of female clergy are closely associated with falling memberships and degeneration into heresy.”My church (Roman Catholic) is having plenty of problems with declining membership (check out Germany) and there ain’t a woman priest in sight.

  • WmarkW

    So THAT’s what beach babes do after growing up.

  • catlady1

    My beloved aunt was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1980–not one of the first, but one of the early female priests. How she might laugh at seeing this Barbie! My mother referred to her as “My sister, the father.”She stood in front of a church group who was considering calling her as their priest, and explained, “I think you need to know that I was not raised in the Episcopal Church. I was raised as a Southern Baptist” whereupon a voice came from the back of the church which said, “So were most of us!”After a full career as a microbiologist at CDC, she studied at Sewanee for 3 years and was ordained. She said being a female parasitologist in the 50’s was like being a female priest in the 80’s–lots of mindsets (or set minds?) to overcome.

  • newagent99

    Pull a string on the back of the new doll and it gives a series of messages:no wonder the church is dying, all the hate of this poster is the opposite of Christs message.

  • callas1

    I find the image of Barbie as a priest to be very powerful. Return of the Goddess!!As a woman who went to Catholic schools run by nuns in 1970’s and 80’s Ireland, I can safely say that nuns can be and have been sexually abusive. There was a case in the school that I went to – several teenage girls attending a retreat had to physically pull a nun off another teenager, whose clothes she was literally tearing from her body, as two adults stood by and did nothing. The nun was transferred to work with disadvantaged groups without any criminal consequences. I only learned about the story after I had left high school – the secret was tightly held despite there being many witnesses.The Institution of the Catholic Church and its leaders abhor the Divine Feminine in any form, including within themselves (despite the frocks!!). This religion went to great lengths in the early centuries CE to destroy all worship of the Divine Feminine wherever it could. As we all have a balance (or imbalance) of masculine and feminine qualities within us, when we deny the Great Mother, we deny Her within us. THAT is the basis of the patriarchal, misogynistic attitude so prevalent in Catholicism. Individual men and women internalize and act upon that attitude.

  • jromaniello

    Hottest. Pastor. Ever!

  • AlanBrowne

    I want lesbian rabbi barbi.

  • WmarkW

    The Episcopal church’s problem is that its members are too educated to believe in superstitious nonsense.The Anglican communion’s problem is that it’s big in places like Nigeria, where they still hunt gays and “witches.”

  • SouthernerInDC

    GAMILLER1 you should do your research before posting. In SE DC you will find St. Phillip the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Holy Communion Episcopal Church, Atonement Episcopal Church, Christ Church Capitol Hill, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. In downtown DC, you will find the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany which has a wonderful ministry for the homeless. It is easy to make generalizations when you don’t know what you’re talking about, but in the age of Google it is even easier to make sure you don’t post things that are not factually accurate.

  • foxtrot1

    I’m holding out for Katholic Ken!

  • danglingwrangler

    I’m NOT sorry – this is not news by anyone’s stretch of the imagination…

  • n7uno

    Women pastors can be good but they’re not necessarily better or even as good.

  • bucinka8

    I’m very disappointed. Everyone knows Barbie is Jewish. What made her abandon her Jewish heritage? “Reconstructionist Rabbi Barbie” needs to come next.

  • outragex

    I have known several female Episcopal priests and they were all wonderful people and spiritual leaders. HOWEVER, none had the -er uh- statuesque proportions of Barbie. This is probably a good thing as a true Barbie priest would be very distracting to many men during services (some women too). I bet attendance at the men’s retreat would increase. Sorry, I am glad to see more women in church leadership (my church has recently ordained three amazing women), I just can’t resist being a sexist pig occasionally for old-times sake.

  • mjazz

    Is this why she left Ken?

  • BootmanDC

    I think the problem lies in the whole structure (management) of the church, not celibacy or gender. With bishops, cardinals and a pope who are not accountable to the lay people, there is no transparency.I think congregational models that have a more democratic structure (such as the UCC) are less likely to have these kinds of problems.The problem with these sex scandals is it doesn’t just affect the Catholic Church. It has a negative impact on image and membership for all Christian denominations.

  • odonnellbridget

    Although I believe the equal participation of women and men in the church would result to further positive influences, I become nervous by how it is being rationalized. This discussion is raising the wrong questions, thus resulting to problematic interpretations of the ‘answer’ and innaccurate solutions. The questions being raised about the sexual abuse issues within the church seem to take the responsibility off the men performing these crimes. Rather, it is simply rationalized that women “be by nature more inclined…to rip the veil of the code of masculine silence” and that “… by nature more inclined to the defense of the young in cases of sexual abuse, ridding the church of the evils that these guilty attitudes have procured for it.” Thus, essentializing “femininity” (“be by nature”) as the biological identity and roles of women. So by the “masculine code” it is an ‘norm’for male church members to sexually abuse others? For they are not “feminine”, and it is not their normal “nature” to take on the responsibilities/roles of women? The solution – allow women to take “non-subordinated” leadership positions in the church. This hardly seems like a solution to the claimed problem at hand.

  • YEAL9

    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!Neither is being a “barbie” dressed in episcopal/Henry VIII attire or in a bikini. Ditto for “ken”.

  • Athena4

    At least we know that she won’t be molesting Skipper!

  • Obamasnotyamama

    So why bring the Catholic churc in this discussion? Do you not know the difference?

  • dotellen

    Maureen Dowd has written a good column, “A Nope for Pope,” link isMaybe Mattel will come out with a “Cleric Barbie,” with optional vestaments for the various religions. However, I think the best religious organizations are those who don’t have vestaments, or a hierarchy, like the Society of Friends.

  • herrbrahms

    I can’t wait for Burqa Barbie!

  • ktzmom13

    I like that Barbie is wearing black peep-toe heels w/ her vestments. Very modern!

  • Logic3

    It would be like the Public Schools!

  • HermanKrieger

    It’s unisextarian.

  • elizdelphi

    I say as a Catholic woman, you can dress a woman in a chasuble (and it doesn’t really enhance her dignity to represent such a woman with a Barbie, though I admit it’s funny!!), but you cannot ordain her a priest of Jesus Christ, able to act in the person of Christ the Bridegroom of the Church. In the “sacramental economy”, we deal in signs, rather than simply functionality, the principle on which women today in secular society have broad opportunities and do much good in many traditionally-male professions. Functionally, a woman is able to wear a chasuble and give a sermon and stand at an altar and pray, however only a man is able to be ordained a priest of Jesus Christ. Similarly, rye bread and beer are functionally able to be presented on an altar and blessed, however only wheat bread and grape wine are the valid matter able to be consecrated in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Women have a different and complementary role, a role very, very much needed for the good of the Church and the world. I quote from one of the most extraordinary and encouraging modern statements on women in the Church and the world, the Letter of Pope John Paul II to Women ( “Necessary emphasis should be placed on the “genius of women”, not only by considering great and famous women of the past or present, but also those ordinary women who reveal the gift of their womanhood by placing themselves at the service of others in their everyday lives. For in giving themselves to others each day women fulfil their deepest vocation. Perhaps more than men, women acknowledge the person, because they see persons with their hearts. They see them independently of various ideological or political systems. They see others in their greatness and limitations; they try to go out to them and help them. In this way the basic plan of the Creator takes flesh in the history of humanity and there is constantly revealed, in the variety of vocations, that beauty-not merely physical, but above all spiritual-which God bestowed from the very beginning on all, and in a particular way on women.”

  • rossasmith

    As an Episcopalian, I’m glad Mattel chose to give us a plug. On the other hand, since most of the action these days seems to be in the megachurches, I’m a bit surprised they didn’t go with ‘Aimee Semple McBarbie’. I guess the marketing department decided that would be a tough sell to five-year-old girls (plus our accessories are just way cooler!)

  • CurmudgeonofHighDudgeon

    Glad I am an atheist, those women priests sound scary, givemethat. Using Barbie to brainwash female children is so 50’s and 60’s, hey, the church is catching up. Does Mattel know?

  • lepidopteryx

    Actually, Rossa, this doll isn’t marketed by Mattel. It was created for an Epicopal priest as a teaching tool.

  • CurmudgeonofHighDudgeon

    Yep, yeal9, humans are generally corrupt. The problem I have is when one group claims it is less corrupt because it has an invisible friend that it listen to on a spasmodic basis. Who makes this stuff up? I want what ihey are on. When I see the recruitment practises of organised religion I am led to believe in Aesop’s belief that misery loves company.

  • dpunty

    You go Barbie! I’ve been a fan for years. You are the BEST.

  • DwightCollins

    how about iman barbie…

  • avia_star

    Dwight commented:”how about iman barbie…Writer 33 responded: “I think you meant Naomi Campbell, but then again, you probably think all blacks look the same”Actually, Writer, I think he meant IMAM Barbie and was not making a commentary on violent models- no matter what color their skin.

  • divstudent1

    I appreciated the mention of Blandina, an early female Christian martyr. Rev, I’m surprised you did not mention Thecla and Perpetua.I believe that Episcopal Priest Barbie: High Church Edition was acctually the giftof women female priest to another. The vestments were handmade by one priest.It is probably fair to call most women Episcopal priest feminists, which means I doubt Barbie would function as a real role model for young girls. I also think ?Barbiis a bit anti-feminist but this one is a hoot.

  • KNZN10

    There are very few PEOPLE who have all the gifts/skills required for good leadership. Most leaders are mediocre IMHO. They lack courage AND compassion for the hard decisions, among other human failings. It’s no one’s fault except the people who put them in high places. Uneducated voters, oppressive traditions, laziness. This problem effects leadership within traditional women’s organizations as well. Catholics, be careful what you wish for.We need excellence in leadership, or else our leaders will remain the children’s toys that they are. Objects to be played with and admired by the apathetic masses. Episcopal priest Barbie sends many messages loud and clear.