Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Synod's Actions Mean Improvement on Some Fronts-Where's the Movement on Women? " by Maureen Fiedler

"OK, the working document from the synod on the family was indeed a "pastoral earthquake" for the gay and lesbian community (no mention of transgender folks, as far as I can tell) and for divorced and remarried Catholics. The tone from the Vatican was so positive that I was conjuring up memories of the tone of the church at the time of the Second Vatican Council.However, nothing in this document addresses the key issue facing the contemporary church: the role of women. In this case, the synod needs to affirm the equal status of wife and husband in the family: their equal responsibility to support the family, care for children, make financial decisions, maintain the household. It's important for such an affirmation of equality to be heard in North America and Europe, but it is perhaps even more important in the developing world, where the status of women is often regarded as officially secondary to that of the male. Of course, the synod itself has an inequality problem, just like the church as a whole. One hundred percent of the prelates in official attendance at the synod are male. They are not representative of families, which usually, but not always, have one of each: a woman and a man. The synod is, to put it mildly, not representative of family reality. Women and married men are totally unrepresented. The married couples in attendance are a step forward, yes, but they are observers and occasional speakers; they cannot vote..."

Bridget Mary's Response:
I agree with Sister Maureen Fiedler's analysis of the Synod. The issue of women's equality is the elephant in the Church. Until the Vatican affirms women as equal images of God and opens all ministries to women, including the priesthood, women will be second-class citizens. The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is leading the way toward gender equality in our church by ordaining women to serve as equals in  inclusive communities where all are welcome. We are the "Rosa Parks" of the Catholic Church! Bridget Mary Meehan, www.arcwp.org


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