Posts Tagged women in the church
My parish is different, you say? Good. Let its light shine downtown. Let it leap over the torchbearers and across the clerical divide to the bishop. Tell him what it all looks like. Tell him how the picture does not match the story. (National Catholic Reporter)
If you had the chance to attend Holy Week services in person or via television — and I hope you did — you probably noticed the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s a men’s church.
“The clerics — all vested — are in the sanctuary or at least up front. The rest of us are far away.
“Keeping the faithful at a distance was a hallmark of medieval Catholicism, so much so that St. Francis of Assisi tried to do something about it. Unable to bring the people closer to the celebration, he gave them the Gospel. His attitude, still flowering in the world, helps faithful folks assimilate the uncomfortable truth: they cannot be near the sacred. Especially women.
“Liturgy demonstrates the collision between the real and the unreal, between the truth and way the church treats women.”
By Phyllis Zagano, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
“We are throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization,” founder Lucetta Scaraffia wrote in the open letter. (Associated Press)
The founder and all-female editorial board of the Vatican’s women’s magazine have quit after what they say was a Vatican campaign to discredit them and put them ‘under the direct control of men,’ that only increased after they denounced the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy.
“The editorial committee of ‘Women Church World,’ a monthly glossy published alongside the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, made the announcement in the planned April 1 editorial and in an open letter to Pope Francis that was provided Tuesday (Mar. 26) to The Associated Press.
“‘We are throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization,’ founder Lucetta Scaraffia wrote in the open letter.
“In the editorial, she wrote: “We believe there are no longer the conditions to continue our collaboration with L’Osservatore Romano.'”
By Associated Press — Read more …
I have been tracking Vatican statements on women priests since the 1970s. They are invariably ahistorical and biblically naive. It is embarrassing. Worse, they bear false witness to the Jesus of history and are ultimately destructive to the body of Christ, especially the distaff side. (Christine Schenk in National Catholic Reporter)
Sometimes it is really difficult to be both female and Catholic.
“On the one hand, I couldn’t be prouder of the creative leadership taken by the University of Notre Dame and Pope Francis in working with oil executives to address climate change. It is amazing that dozens of Catholic institutions, including Caritas Internationalis, have divested from fossil fuels.
“On the other hand, I am dismayed by yet another statement from the Vatican — this time from Cardinal-designate Luis Ladaria — prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — about the non-ordination of women to the priesthood.
“I have been tracking Vatican statements on women priests since the 1970s. They are invariably ahistorical and biblically naive. It is embarrassing. Worse, they bear false witness to the Jesus of history and are ultimately destructive to the body of Christ, especially the distaff side.
“As a contribution to the ongoing conversation about women’s roles in our church, I present here a few examples from mainstream scholarship about Jesus and the female exercise of authority in early Christianity.”
By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
Orthodox move for women deacons called ‘revitalization’ not ‘innovation’ / National Catholic Reporter
“The reinstitution of the female diaconate does not constitute an innovation, as some would have us believe,” the theologians said. (National Catholic Reporter)
Orthodox liturgical theologians are voicing support for the decision of Patriarch Theodoros II and the Greek Orthodox Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria to reinstate the order of deaconesses.
“‘We respectfully support the decision of the Patriarchate of Alexandria to restore the female diaconate, thus giving flesh to an idea that has been discussed and studied by pastors and theologians for decades,’ nine theologians from theology schools and seminaries of the United States and Greece said in a statement dated Oct. 31.
“‘The reinstitution of the female diaconate does not constitute an innovation, as some would have us believe,’ the theologians said, ‘but the revitalization of a once functional, vibrant, and effectual ministry,’ the theologians said.
By James Dearie, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
They (Professor Gabriella Gambino and Dr. Linda Ghisoni) now become the third ranking officials in the department and are further evidence of Pope Francis’ determination to assign important positions in the Roman Curia to women. (America: The Jesuit Review)
Pope Francis has appointed two Italian women as under-secretaries in the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, which is headed by Cardinal Kevin Farrell.
“The Vatican announced this today (Nov. 7) and gave the names and professional profiles of both women: Professor Gabriella Gambino and Dr. Linda Ghisoni. They now become the third ranking officials in the department and are further evidence of Pope Francis’ determination to assign important positions in the Roman Curia to women …
“…’the laity have a vocation to fulfill in the church.’ Like Pope Francis, he (Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life ) said, ‘I am a firm believer that the future of the church depends on them. I have always felt the need to promote laity within the church, and within its organization.'”
By Gerard O’Connell, America: The Jesuit Review — Read more …
Ex-Catholic bishop of Phoenix accused of sex abuse of boy
“A former bishop who led the Roman Catholic church in metro Phoenix during a worldwide child sexual abuse scandal has been accused of molesting a young boy(link is external) 35 years ago. Retired Bishop Thomas O’Brien is accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing the boy on several occasions at parishes in Phoenix and Goodyear from 1977 to 1982. The Diocese of Phoenix says O’Brien denies the allegation.”
By The Associated Press in The New York Times
- Lawsuit accuses former Phoenix bishop of sexually abusing boy(link is external), By Matt Stevens, The New York Times
- Dark cloud of alleged sex abuse continue to follow former Phoenix bishop O’Brien,(link is external) By Sean Holstege, Phoenix New Times
Canon expert: Vatican protected bishops for centuries
“The ongoing canonical trial of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron(link is external) is significant in that it’s only the second time in centuries a bishop has been put on trial by the church, said Thomas Doyle, a Catholic priest and former board member of the Canon Law Society of America. The last archbishop to undergo a canonical trial — Jozef Wesołowski, who was accused of sexually abusing children in the Dominican Republic — was defrocked in 2014.”
By Steve Limtiaco, Pacific Daily News
German abuse report ‘shocking’ and not the end, Church expert says
“Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a leading anti-abuse expert and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, called a report documenting hundreds of cases of physical and sexual abuse at a German boys’ choir ‘shocking(link is external),’ and warned that as the taboo lifts in other parts of the world, similar accounts are likely to keep emerging.”
By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com
On abuse: Francis yet to make critical clerical changes
“NCR’s editorial, ‘On Abuse: church has changed but not enough,’ rightly identifies the all-male clerical culture as a critical factor in the sex abuse scandal(link is external), but it fails to point to the failure of Pope Francis to change parts of canon law that embody that culture.”
Commentary by Kieran Tapsell, National Catholic Reporter
Bankrupt archdiocese files objections to creditors’ reorganization plan
“The bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says the latest reorganization plan proposed for the church by creditors would strip it of all assets required to pursue the church’s mission(link is external). The archdiocese filed its objections to the creditors’ plan Friday (Aug. 4) and urged acceptance of its own $156 million settlement. ‘The committee’s plan isn’t a reorganization plan, it’s an unlawful dismantling of the Catholic Church in the Twin Cities,’ read a joint statement from Tom Abood, chair of the Archdiocesan Finance Council and Brian Short, a member of the Archdiocesan Corporate Board of Directors. ‘The committee’s plan is also simply unworkable from a legal or practical basis.’”
By Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
African Jesuit Fr. Orobator quests for women’s inclusion in church structures / National Catholic Reporter
“We stand before God, as Cain was, befuddled by a question that we simply cannot wish away at the wave of a magisterial wand. The question is: ‘Church, where is your sister? Church where is your mother?'”
When theologians or others raise concerns about the exclusion of women from decision-making roles in the Catholic church, critics often say such concerns only come from a certain subset of the Western faith community. They say those in places like Africa, where the church is burgeoning, have other worries.
“Yet one of the most trenchant voices in recent years for the full inclusion of women in Catholic ministry has been a Nigerian Jesuit theologian and priest. In 2012, for example, he came to the premier annual theological conference in the U.S. with an unsparing message.
“Discrimination against women within the Catholic community is so manifest, said the priest, that the church ‘totters on the brink of compromising its self-identity as the basic sacrament of salvation.'”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The current Vatican commission exploring the possibility of women deacons has raised a number of questions about their role in the church. As ordained ministers who are neither priests nor lay people, the actual role of deacons in the parishes where they minister remains unclear to many Catholics. What are deacons, and how has their role changed over history?Could women deacons revolutionize pastoral ministry and transform the church? How can the diaconate better meet the changing needs of the faithful today? Join us for a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture and America Media featuring:
- Nancy Dallavalle, theologian and vice president for mission and identity at Fairfield University
- Deacon Greg Kandra, blogger at Aleteia’s “The Deacon’s Bench,” multimedia editor at Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
- Rita Ferrone, contributing editor at Commonweal and blogger at “Pray Tell Blog”
- George Demacopoulos, theologian and founding co-director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University
- James Martin, S.J., moderator, author and editor-at-large for America Media
By The Editors at America: The National Catholic Review — Click here to read the rest of this article and access links to videos and transcripts of the roundtable discussions.
The new Vatican commission studying the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons in the Catholic church will be meeting in Rome for the first time as a full group Nov. 25-26.
“The dates of the meeting, anticipated in recent months, was first reported Saturday by the U.S. newspaper Newsday, which spoke to commission member and NCR columnist Phyllis Zagano.
“Pope Francis’ creation of the commission, formally known as the Study Commission on the Women’s Diaconate, has been seen as signaling an historic openness to the possibility of ending the Catholic church’s practice of an all-male clergy.”
by Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
“Women priests or not, gendered theology is hurting the church.”
One thing everyone can agree on about Pope Francis: His press conferences give us something to talk about. This week’s was no different. When asked about women’s ordination, the pope recalled St. John Paul II’s assertion that women could never be considered for the priesthood as a final, settled matter …
“More troubling than the question of whether women can participate in the church’s sacramental ministry as priests is the infiltration of such a gendered ecclesiology into the highest echelons of the church’s hierarchy.”
By Natalia Imperatori-Lee, America: The National Catholic Review — Click here to read the rest of this article.