Archive for category Women in the Church

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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Catholic women sharply call for Synod to open to women’s participation, voices / National Catholic Reporter

A diverse global network of Catholic women is set to launch an expansive and compelling collection of writings before the opening of October’s Synod of Bishops, pointedly calling on the male prelates to include their half of humanity and its experience in the synod’s discussions.

“In 40 short essays mixing the sociological, theological, and sometimes deeply personal, the writers raise a number of weighty concerns for the hotly anticipated worldwide meeting of prelates on family life — centered on the fact that extraordinarily few women are invited or involved.

“At the heart of many of their concerns, however, is their own exclusion from the Synod process. While Francis has appointed 30 women to attend the Synod as auditors making contributions to the discussions, only the 279 male members of the meetings can vote …

“‘The absence of women’s perspectives at times of reflection on these issues is not only an act of disdain toward women, who make up more than half of religious and believers, it is also an impoverishment of Catholic life, writes (historian Lucetta) Scaraffia, one of 43 women writing for the essay collection, titled ‘Catholic Women Speak: Bringing Our Gifts to the Table.’”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

The collection of essays will be launched in Rome on Oct. 1.

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Women speak up about equality in the church from the heart of the Vatican / National Catholic Reporter

OK, I’m gobsmacked, as the Brits say (‘gobsmacked’: adjective, British, informal: utterly astonished; astounded). I spent four hours on International Women’s Day watching a Voices of Faith event ‘from the heart of the Vatican’ in which women shared stories ‘for a creative exchange of ideas from a female perspective.’ There were some amazing narratives.”

By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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For women’s day, group takes a message to the Vatican / National Public Radio

Today (Mar. 8) is International Women’s Day, and the Vatican is opening its doors to a group of women from all over the world pressing for greater participation in the Catholic Church. Today’s event was inspired by Pope Francis’ statements that women should have a fuller role in the life of the church. NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli has the story.”

By Sylvia Poggioli, National Public Radio — Click here to listen to the rest of this story.

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Women see themselves left out amid talk of change in Catholic Church / The New York Times

In the first two years of his papacy, Pope Francis has stirred great expectations for change among Roman Catholics who believe that the church has not kept pace with the social transformations of secular society.

“Nowhere are those hopes felt more keenly, perhaps, than among women, often the driving force behind local church communities, but who say that their voices remain marginalized.

“Though the pope has repeatedly cited the importance of women in the life of the church, critics say he has at times proved strikingly tone-deaf toward the sensitivities and needs of women (for example, describing five women he appointed to a committee as “the strawberries on the cake”).”

By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Vatican event seeks to gently push Francis on women’s roles / National Catholic Reporter

An organization seeking to influence Pope Francis’ view of women — and to propose female professionals he might tap to lead high church offices — will be hosting a live-streamed event from the Vatican for the second time next month.

“Called Voices of Faith, the event will feature storytelling presentations from 10 women from various parts of the world who have overcome adversity or have reached the highest places available for women below the hierarchy’s stained-glass ceiling.

“The event will be held March 8, the day marked as International Women’s Day, at the Vatican’s iconic Casina Pio IV, a white marble structure inside the Vatican Gardens that houses the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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