Posts Tagged Mollie Wilson O’Reilly

Women’s Work: The pope makes it harder to keep women out of liturgy / Commonweal

“It (motu proprio, Spiritus Domini) removes a major excuse that men have used to keep women at a distance from the altar of the Lord. But it doesn’t require them to give us anything we don’t already have. Changing canon law in this way doesn’t force ordained men to get used to working with women. At best, it nudges them toward recognizing that they should want to.”

Commonweal (Also Voice of the Faithful webpage “Women’s Roles” — http://votf.org/node/1589)

“It must be difficult for a mainstream journalist covering the Vatican beat on days like January 11, when Pope Francis’s motu proprioSpiritus Domini, was announced. How to convey the significance of a tweak to canon law that clarifies women’s eligibility to be lectors and acolytes at Mass? Aren’t they…already doing those things?

“Pity the reporter who must quickly explain the existence of ‘stable ministries’ in the Church, and the now-obscure practice of formally instituting lay men into those roles. Even the most committed American Catholics were perplexed when the news broke because, as Anthony Ruff, OSB, wrote at the Pray Tell blog, ‘Up until now, females couldn’t be installed in these ministries, but they could do these ministries anyway.’ It’s no wonder so many outlets framed the news in terms of what hadn’t happened: ‘Pope says women can read at Mass, but still can’t be priests’ ran a typical headline.

“‘The Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women,’ Pope John Paul II declared in 1994 in an attempt to shut down that debate. Francis quoted that pronouncement in a letter accompanying Spiritus Domini, but he also wrote that he hoped the change he was making to canon law would help men preparing for ordination ‘better understand they are participants in a ministry shared with other baptized men and women.’ Francis’s modification to one canon—changing ‘lay men’ to ‘lay persons’—eliminates a long-standing excuse for discrimination against women, although you won’t find him or any other Vatican official putting it in those terms.”

By Mollie Wilson O’Reilly, Commonweal — Read more …

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Francis wants more women theologians advising the CDF / Commonweal

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano (not yet published in English), Cardinal Gerhard Müller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, revealed that Pope Francis has directed that more women be included in the Vatican’s international theological commission …

“According to (Cardinal Gerhard) Müller (head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), the number will increase to ‘five or six,’ which ‘would be a significant increase,’ Tornielli points out …

“What kind of difference could that make? Well, imagine if the U.S. bishops’ conference committee on doctrine had sought out the input of some women theologians before expressing its alarm at Johnson’s not-very-radical thoughts on female images of God.”

By Mollie Wilson O’Reilly, Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this article

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The U.S. Sisters & the Holy See / Commonweal

Why hasn’t Pope Francis stepped in to get the Vatican off the nuns’ backs? After all, he has said he wants a more collegial church, in keeping with the vision of the Second Vatican Council. He urges priests and bishops to focus on encounter and outreach. He talks about leadership roles for women.

“And yet the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 2012 “assessment” of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious stands, and the LCWR—composed of the heads of some 80 percent of U.S. sisters—is still under orders to reform its ways to the satisfaction of the CDF. If Francis really wants a less authoritarian, more mission-focused church, shouldn’t he have called this whole thing off already?”

By Mollie Wilson O’Reilly, Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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