Catholic women call for strike

Catholic women from Münster in Germany are calling for women to go on strike.

“We women want to see genuine change in our Church. We want to contribute and have our say. We want women and men, on equal footing, to follow their calling in harmony and move forward in the same direction: that of Jesus Christ, who asked us all to bring his message of love to the world,” the parishioners say.

They want women in the German Catholic church “not to step foot in a church” to wear white, and to stop “all voluntary service” from 11 to 18 May.

“We will celebrate Mass outside, in front of the church,” they say in their campaign.

The idea of striking began during a monthly meeting focusing on the papal encyclical Laudato si’.

“We were dejected by the revelations of sexual assault committed by priests and by the persistent exclusion of women, which is one source of the problem,”Elisabeth Kötter says.

They – along with other women – decided to go on strike.

Their campaign is called “Maria 2.0,” and its logo is an image of a woman with her mouth taped shut.

“We wanted to give some direction to the increasing and longstanding unease that we’ve all felt,” Ruth Koch says.

Thanks to social media, the call quickly spread across the diocese. Around fifty visitors left messages of support on the women’s Facebook page:

“Finally! A practical campaign, we’ve waited a long time for this!” “Let’s not keep quiet anymore, this is urgent.”

Among the supporters were both women and men of all ages.

The Catholic Women’s Association of Germany (KFD) has guaranteed its support.

Organisers confirm Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck and his vicar general, Father Klaus Pfeffer, are following the Facebook page.

“The call is also aimed at all those who have suffered at the hands of the Church and have left,” Kötter says.

The organisers have written to Pope Francis. They gave the letter to Cardinal Reinhard Marx to pass on to the pope at the summit on sexual abuse last month.

The women want a change in the sexual moral code that is in keeping “with the reality of human life,” for the lifting of mandatory celibacy for priests and for women’s access to all ministries.



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