Women ‘clap back’ at Francis comment they do not need to be priests to lead in the church

women need not be priests

Catholic women have clapped back at Pope Francis after he called their struggle for ordination “clericalist” and “disrespectful”.

According to Novena News, the women’s response is a reaction to Francis statement that women do not need to be priests in order to lead in the church.

Novena News reports that many Catholic women remain unhappy that the pontiff has not furthered the cause of women’s ordination beyond a ‘timid’ opening to the study of the possible restoration of the female diaconate.

In a statement November 24, the Womens Ordination Commission (WOC) said it rejected the Pope’s “mischaracterisation” of its own movement and others like it “working for a renewed priesthood, free from clericalism and gender discrimination”.

They continued.

“Women’s exclusion from ordained ministries not only undermines their capacity to make decisions as leaders, but reinforces cultural and social discrimination, and perpetuates structures that subordinate women and can lead to gender-based violence.

“Until the hierarchy starts accusing every man seeking ordination of ‘clericalism’, we ask that the pontiff stop projecting the problems and corruption of his male hierarchy onto women longing to serve the Church.

“We urge Pope Francis to listen to women who long for equal recognition of their ministries and an equal place at the church’s governing tables”.

The WOC closed its reply to Pope Francis inviting him to join them this weekend to celebrate their 45 years witnessing to the “abundant gifts of those working for ordination justice”.

The pontiff makes the remarks on the women’s ordination movement in a new book he authored with his English-language biographer Austen Ivereigh.

The book entitled ‘Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future’, is to be released December 1.

In it, the pontiff defends himself against accusations that he has not done enough to further the leadership of women in the church.

He argues that he has tried to “create spaces where women can lead, but in ways that allow them to shape the culture, ensuring they are valued, respected, and recognized”.

The Pope cites as evidence for his claim the fact that he has appointed a number of women to high Vatican roles, “so that they can influence the Vatican while preserving their independence from it”.

Francis also notes that in Catholic dioceses across the world women often serve in leadership positions. These include running Catholic schools or hospital systems, or heading up diocesan departments.

“Perhaps because of clericalism, which is a corruption of the priesthood, many people wrongly believe that Church leadership is exclusively male,” the pope states in the book.”

“To say they aren’t truly leaders because they aren’t priests is clericalist and disrespectful,” he adds.



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