1 For the Church's official teaching on the exclusion of women see Inter Insigniores - Declaration on the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 1976) and John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994), and the respective Roman commentaries on them (1977 and 1995). These texts are available in English at www.

2 Inter Insigniores does not employ trinitarian arguments per se, but it does employ gendered ones, such as Balthasar also uses, and which he runs back to the Trinity. One of the best discussions of Inter Insigniores is Wijngaards (2001).

3 This is not to deny the gay and lesbian movements within the church and their employment of queer theory. My point stands in so much as queer theory is not determinative of theology.

4 For an insightful and complex discussion of Balthasar as "conservative" and Karl Rahner as "liberal" - as symbolized by the two journals, Communio and Concilium - see Rowan Williams (1986: 11-34).

5 Inter Insigniores, unlike Balthasar, fails to explain why Christ was male. Its (faulty) arguments about "natural signs" and priestly "representation" make far better (even if still faulty) sense in the light of Balthasar's Trinity.

6 The theme of the unknowability of God and the maior dissimilitudo ends each volume of the Theo-Drama, like a chorus at the end of each act of an opera.

7 For the best expositions of Balthasar on Trinity and gender see Schindler (1996) and Pesarchick (2000). The latter hardly takes seriously any criticisms of Balthasar, whereas Schindler is far more sensitive and rigorously illustrates the range of issues opened up by Balthasar's gendering. For an excellent and nuanced appreciation of Balthasar on gender and divinity see Gardner and Moss (1999). See also Saward (1990).

8 See Rowan Williams (1999: 177).

9 At least not in the sections of the Theo-Drama under discussion (see also Balthasar 1988-98: II, 262), but elsewhere Balthasar does allow God to be called Mother, but not as a proper name, which must remain Father. See Balthasar (1990b: 30).

10 I define and deploy Irigaray's notion of homosexuate language to engage with trinitarian representations in D'Costa (2000).

11 Marina Warner (1990) tracks these problems. Beattie (1998) nicely takes to task Balthasar's Marian symbolic and his mapping of the "feminine"; and for a startling recovery of Mary from patriarchy see Beattie (1999). I also try to recover Mary from patriarchy in D'Costa (2000).

12 In this sense I agree with Williams' comment that Balthasar cannot be easily written off as simply offering a "rhetoric of sexual differentiation apparently in thrall to unexamined patriarchy" (Rowan Williams 1999: 177). Balthasar's trinitarian theology opens too many other doors, intentionally or otherwise, and Williams rightly concludes: "However hard we insist upon the simultaneity of the divine subsistents, we can say nothing of this simultaneity that is not abstract and formal unless we take the necessary (not to say canonical) risk of evoking simultaneity by telling a cluster of 'stories' that configure in different and reciprocal ways the relations of the trinitarian persons" (p. 177). See further Riches and Quash (1997: 146-67).

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