Monday, May 3, 2010
Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Sharpens Rift Over what a Priest Should Be/Vatican Model Outdated/ Needed a Church of Equals /Time for Womenpriests
Catholic sexual abuse scandal sharpens church rift over what a priest should be
Progressive Catholics and theologians in the US and Europe say the Vatican's model of a priest is outdated. The global sexual abuse scandal has sharpened the church's inner struggle over how to reform that model.
By Robert Marquand, Staff writer / May 2, 2010 -
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
Munich, Germany; and Paris
"One member of the Benedictine order who is close to the university but was not authorized to speak to the media described the directives, which came out of Cardinal Ratzinger’s office, as part of a “purification of the church concept in which women should not be in the classes. A lot of us feel this creates instead a fortress church, a reclusive model…priests leave school and immediately go into communities and work with married people, and women, but have had little contact with either group in their priestly formation. This all originated in the Vatican.” ...
"At the same time, a shortage in priests is looming. "
“The problem for us isn’t the future, the problem is now,” says a French priest in the 16th district of Paris."
"Numbers are falling: Some 700 foreign priests, mostly from Africa, work in French parishes. "
"In Germany, one finds Polish, Indian, and African men taking up priestly slack. A senior priest in Bavaria says his graduating seminary class in 1982 had 90 priests; this year’s class has fewer than 10... "
The Vatican needs to stop isolating its priests from healthy relationships with women. Women are not the problem, clericalism and discrimination against women are playing a destructive role in the Catholic Church today. There is no vocation shortage in the Catholic Church if women and married priests were officially sanctoned. In the 21st century, the Catholic Church needs to practice the equality that Jesus modeled to embrace all women and men who are called and gifted for sacramental service. We need a vibrant priestly ministry that is inclusive, Christ-centered and community oriented, where Jesus' example of a discipleship of equals is the ideal. The Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement offers the church a renewed model of priestly ministry in partnership with the people with whom we serve in grassroots communities now. There is no room in the Catholc Church for sexism and discrimination against women. the Church needs women now more then ever to step to heal and transform Catholicism. Bridget Mary Meehan