Catholic Church has no future without women

The Catholic Church has no future without women, Catholic journalist Joanna Moorhead said at an International Women’s Day webinar on Monday.

“We are talking about the survival of the Church,” Moorhead said.

Whether women have a future in the Church is no longer a women’s issue but an issue for everyone, Moorhead told the 200 women of faith at the webinar.

The question for the Church, however, is – ‘does the Church have a future without women?’, she said.

“Of course it doesn’t,” Moorhead stressed. The church has no future without women.

She noted the implications of younger Catholic women falling from the Church – a Church that needs members to survive.

Another participant, Zuzanna Flisowska-Caridi of Voices of Faith, recounted her “quite extraordinary,” experience of the German Church’s synodal path of reform.

The process has brought together lay people, religious and bishops to discuss four major topics, she explained.

These topics cover: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women in ministries and offices in the Church.

The question that needs asking now is how the German Church’s experience of the synodal path can be used by the global Church. The “big question is how we organise power in our Church.”

It is “a question that the Church is really afraid of, but it is a question we cannot avoid any longer,” she said.

The first women’s synod will be held in the UK in September, she noted. It will work internationally with women’s groups for change.

Another participant, Kate McElwee, told the webinar the institutional Church’s “commitment to oppression is extremely devastating.”

She noted Pope Francis’ call to the faithful asks us to encounter people in a genuine way. To deeply understand and transform our relationships in the world, we have to meet and talk with people, he stresses.

“So, I ask the same of him.

“Meet these women and young people and listen to their voices and honour their vocations, so that we can transform these structures that harm our entire human family,” McElwee said.

Moorhead mourned the Church’s total failure “to seem relevant to the generation of my daughters.” She is concerned for her grandchildren who are unlikely to have the same connection with Catholicism as she or her daughters had.

“I think the Church could be far more effective in the world and could really fulfill its social justice mission and live the Gospel if it recruited women in a full way,” McElwee said.


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News category: World.

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