Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jamie Manson on Pope Francis's Curiously Straitened Notion of Mercy When Women and Women's Ordination Are Under Consideration

For the University of Arizona's Z√≥calo Public Square blog, Jamie Manson explains the anguish of Roman Catholic women like herself, who experience a calling to the priestly vocation, but who are told by the pastoral leaders of their church that "[t]he body God gave women makes God incapable of working through women." Jamie concludes,

How can women ever achieve true empowerment when their religious leaders declare that women are not entitled to equal religious or spiritual authority? How will women ever see true equality when the church's hierarchy teaches that a woman's body is inadequate and invalid when it comes to possessing certain forms of power? 
The Roman Catholic Church, with its billion members and its rock-star pope, could have an extraordinary impact on improving the dignity, worth, and equality of women, especially in nations where women are dominated and devalued by the oppressive forces of patriarchal culture. 
Unfortunately, Pope Francis, who proclaimed this year that the church should open the doors of mercy to all people, continues to keep a lock on the door that bars women from answering God's call. 
It would be hard to calculate the losses that have resulted from the Pope's position. Hundreds of parishes have been consolidated or closed because of a lack of priests—while highly educated, well-trained, talented Catholic woman endure the humiliation of sitting idle and powerless. Perhaps saddest of all, countless Catholic communities lose the chance to be ministered to by the women who could have been some of their best priests.

And she's correct in coming to that conclusion, it seems to me.

(I'm grateful to Tom Roberts at National Catholic Reporter in his "Morning Briefing" column today for the link to Jamie Manson's essay.)

The photo of Jamie Manson is from her Twitter page.

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