NZ women tell Church authorities to enlarge the space of Church’s tent

enlarge the space of your tent

On Wednesday, a group of New Zealand Catholic women called ‘Be the Change’ participated in another Pink Shoes into the Vatican event.

Held on International Women’s Day, the event at Auckland’s St Patrick’s Cathedral plaza included a display of well-worn pink shoes.

The event was timed to coincide with midday Mass.

‘Be the Change’ invited Auckland Catholic bishop Steve Lowe to attend; however, he was unavailable. It also extended an invitation to Dean of the Cathedral, Fr Chris Denham, who, last year, attended in place of Lowe.

“Be the Change’ seeks to change the Church by allowing gender equality at all levels of the Church.

By encouraging the Church leadership to enlarge the space of the Church’s tent and be more inclusive of women, the group invites the Vatican to walk its own talk.

As well as the pink shoes, the women also pitched a small tent with a sign reading, “Enlarge the space of your tent.”

“Enlarge the space of your tent” is the title of a recently released Vatican document for the next phase of Pope Francis’ synodal process.

The group says the phrase, “Enlarge the space of your tent,” promotes a profound re-appropriation of the common dignity of all the baptised, starting with a desire of radical inclusion where no one is excluded.

In 2022, ‘Be the Change’ conducted similar events in Auckland and Wellington.

“A vibrant church requires a synodal structure in which all members share full equality by right of their baptism,” say the women.

“We chose International Women’s Day because we stand with our sisters across the world who seek justice and equality, not only in Church life, but in a multitude of areas of their lives.”

Also at the event, ‘Be the Change’ women gave out key rings, each with a little pink resin shoe, which they say is a tangible reminder of the journey for justice and equality for women in the Church.

‘Be the Change’ says it has created its own faith community that is helping bring justice, equality and an inclusive Catholic Church.

Core to the group’s beliefs is exploring how women can be part of the governance role of the Church and, to this end, it will stand alongside women who feel called to leadership and ordained ministry.

“Synod 2024 feedback from people across the world asks to the end of injustice and inequality for women and their inclusion in ordained priesthood and leadership roles in the Catholic Church,” say the group.

‘Be the Change’ Catholic Church Aotearoa is coordinated by Christina Reymer, Jo Ayers, Louise Shanly and Mary Thorne.


Additional reading

News category: Great reads, New Zealand.

Tags: , , , ,