An old story
Women doing the real work but not recognized. What’s new? Preparations for a Catholic synod of bishops from the Amazon posed another version of the story.
Conservatives objected to suggestions for ways the Church could meet the vast needs of people threatened by ecological destruction in the Amazon basin. The document opened for consideration ordaining married priests and . . .
What did it say about women? It suggested identifying “the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role they play today in the Church in the Amazon."
A timid approach to women’s ordination. Official ministers in the Catholic Church are ordained—the only true and sure way for women to continue the work they already are doing.
But U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke said he would undertake a 40-day "crusade of prayer and fasting" in hopes that the synod’s document would not be approved because it contains "theological errors and heresies." I can’t read or write this without smiling at the foolishness.
German Cardinals Walter Brandmüller and Gerhard Müller, a former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, also criticized the document.
Women will have no voting rights at the synod that is focused on the very ministry they are leading. But women spoke up. "That was a surprise," said a participant originally from Argentina.
Very, very powerful statements from women. It was quite refreshing.
The priest had been working at the Vatican for two years.
Living in Rome in a very clerical environment, personally for me it was a refreshing surprise to see that they had no fear in saying whatever they want.
A consultant said women are the ones working in the indigenous communities and are “the very presence of the Church.” He was moved by women’s statements because, he said,
They are the ones maintaining the faith, the tradition, and even the presence of the Catholic Church.
So, it was very sorrowful to hear how neglected or excluded they feel in many ways.
Church structure does not allow recognition of women’s enormous achievements. Another adviser said,
Women are practically the ones who are leading communities of faith in Latin America.
Such recognition of women is abhorrent to conservatives. Francis seems determined to avoid roiling conservatives yapping at him, because he refuses to challenge the rule set by John Paul II and Benedict XVI—no women’s ordination. Francis’ language seems an attempt to mollify liberals. He says women should not be “clericalized.”
While I press for women’s ordination, I’m not anxious about it, because time is on the side of women. The longer the official Catholic Church delays, the less relevance it will have in real life. Its institutional structure will crumble.