Archive for category Women in the Church

Want to see Catholic women preach? Soon you’ll be able to. / America magazine

One of the more intriguing questions Pope Francis prompted earlier this year when he announced that a Vatican commission would study whether the early church had women deacons was: How would Catholics react to women preaching?

“Some Catholic women hope to find out.

“A new website called Catholic Women Preach will publish videos showing just that, Catholic women preaching. The reflections will draw from the church’s weekly readings. The women backing the project say they hope the videos will help Catholics deepen their faith and become more comfortable with the idea of women preaching.”

By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The National Catholic Review — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Doctrinal congregation convokes meeting on role of women in the church / Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter

Leaders of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith spent three days in late September listening to women theologians, canon lawyers, Scripture scholars and specialists in other academic fields talk about roles women have played in the Catholic church and roles they could play in the future.

“After the symposium Sept. 26-28 was over, the congregation issued a brief statement outlining the topics discussed and listing the women who made formal presentations. The congregation said the papers will be published at a later date.

“Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the doctrinal congregation, opened the meeting, which involved about 50 people, mostly women, and officials and consultants to the congregation, the statement said.

“The theme of “the role of women in the church” was explored first by looking at “the definition of the feminine vocation in Catholic tradition,” and proceeded to a discussion about concrete roles women have played and can play within the church.”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Are women within the Church getting paid the same as men? / CathNews.com

We need to ask ourselves if the pay rate or volunteer expectation of females within the Church is the same as a male. If the answer is ‘no,’ then is this morally acceptable, asks businesswoman Clare Burns in The Catholic Leader …

“Recently I became aware of a woman with two decades of experience at a senior level in industry, who regularly volunteers for a Catholic-based organisation, and has helped raise more than $50,000 for them.

“At a networking event the organisation’s chairman jumped tables to say he had ‘a great opportunity’ for her.

“This great opportunity turned out to be working two to four days a week for free with a number of responsibilities in a graduate-“level position.

“It is hoped this ‘oversight’ was an unconscious bias, rather than disingenuous.”

By CathNews from The Catholic Leader — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Pope Francis establishes commission to study women’s diaconate; appoints Voice of the Faithful St. Catherine of Siena Award recipient as member

Pope Francis has established a commission to study ordaining women as deacons in the Catholic Church and has appointed a recipient of Voice of the Faithful’s St. Catherine of Siena Outstanding Layperson award as a member. Among the 13 members, six are women, and four of those are lay women.

Voice of the Faithful has long sought women’s equality in the Church and, as part of that initiative, a women’s diaconate. This came closer to reality today (Aug. 2), as the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ “Study Commission on the Women’s Diaconate,” particularly to look into the role of women deacons in the early Church.

Appointed to the commission is Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University in New York. She has written widely regarding a women’s diaconate, has spoken often to VOTF audiences and received VOTF’s St. Catherine of Siena Outstanding Layperson award at its 2012 10th Year Conference in Hartford, Connecticut.

When Pope Francis said in May that he would consider such a commission, VOTF reiterated its call for all baptized Catholics, women and men, to have equal access to all positions within the Church and a voice in all decision-making processes.

At that time, Zagano said, “I am delighted that in this time of Pentecost the Spirit has brought the question of women deacons to the Holy Father’s mind, and I hope and pray that I will be able to assist whatever commission he establishes.”

Today, Zagano’s prayer was answered, and VOTF looks forward to the commission’s study and, eventually, a diaconate for women in the Church.

Voice of the Faithful presents its views on women deacons on its website in a paper it commissioned from Carolyn Johnson, Ed.D. Click here to read “Women Deacons: How Long Will It Take the Catholic Church to Open This Door,” and click here to see a bibliography of suggested readings on women in the Church that VOTF compiled for its 10th Year Conference in 2012.

Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.

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Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful would welcome Pope Francis’ women’s diaconate commission

Pope Francis may soon initiate a commission to study ordaining women as deacons in the Catholic Church, according to media reports today (May 12). Equality of women in the Church has long been an issue with Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful, which would welcome such a commission.

VOTF has long been called for all baptized Catholics—women and men—to have equal access to all positions within the Church and a voice in all decision-making processes. VOTF encourages conversation on all ministries and opportunities for women, with special attention to restoring the female diaconate.

Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., senior research associate-in-residence, Hofstra University, has written widely regarding a women’s diaconate in the Church and spoken often to VOTF audiences. She said today: “I am delighted that in this time of Pentecost the Spirit has brought the question of women deacons to the Holy Father’s mind, and I hope and pray that I will be able to assist whatever commission he establishes.” Zagano is the author of Women Deacons? Essays with Answers, and the recipient of VOTF’s St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson award.

The Pope made his comments on the possibility of a commission to study a women’s diaconate during a meeting in Rome today of the International Union of Superior Generals, which represents about a half million Catholic women religious.

Voice of the Faithful presents its views on women deacons on its website in a paper it commissioned from Carolyn Johnson, Ed.D. Click here to read “Women Deacons: How Long Will It Take the Catholic Church to Open This Door,” and click here to see a bibliography of suggested readings on women in the Church that VOTF compiled for its 10th Year Conference in 2011.

Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.

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Vatican newspaper essays say women should preach at Mass / Religion News Service

A series of essays in the semiofficial Vatican newspaper is urging the Catholic Church to allow women to preach from the pulpit at Mass, a role that has been reserved almost exclusively to the all-male priesthood for nearly 800 years.

“‘This topic is a delicate one, but I believe it is urgent that we address it,’ Enzo Bianchi, leader of an ecumenical religious community in northern Italy and a popular Catholic commentator, wrote in his article in L’Osservatore Romano.

“‘Certainly for faithful lay people in general, but above all for women, this would constitute a fundamental change in their participation in church life,’ said Bianchi, who called such a move a ‘decisive path’ for responding to widespread calls — including by Pope Francis — to find ways to give women a greater role in the church.”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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No Communion for the divorced and remarried, as women take back-row seats at Family Synod

Drafting committee cardinal: Synod will not provide Communion path for remarried

One of the prelates responsible for drafting the final document from the ongoing Synod of Bishops has said he does not anticipate that it will propose changes in the Catholic church’s practices towards the divorced and remarried. Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias — one of ten prelates who co-drafted the document after three-weeks of intense deliberations among some 270 bishops at the Oct. 4-25 Synod — said in particular that one specific proposal that might have allowed the remarried to take Communion would likely not be mentioned.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Women fear their voices will be sidelined in synod’s final report

The rows of seats in the synod hall, where Catholic bishops are meeting to discuss family issues, are filled with bishops and cardinals — all male. To find any women, look to the back of the room. The women’s distance from the heart of the synod hall reflects fears raised by women’s groups that their participation is a mere token on the Vatican’s part.” By Rosie Scammell, Religion News Service, on Cruxnow.com

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