..."There is no awareness of the physical, emotional and socio-economic realities of a woman's life in relationship to her ability to bear children, or of the relationship of those realities to poverty...While this is a particular burden for Catholic women, we are all subject to a medieval theology of women on which Catholic Church leaders, including Francis, base their promotion of public policies that compromise women's health and lives around the world.... What is relatively new is that in the eyes of the church, the greatest sin is not chemical warfare or ethnic cleansing, prisoner torture or blowing children up with bombs, but ending a pregnancy, even at the zygote stage. And while women who have abortions are automatically excommunicated, not even priest rapists or murderers are subject to the same censure." (Women Priests who devote our lives to serving God's people in inclusive Catholic communities and our supporters are subject to automatic excommunication too. As a gesture of good will in this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis should lift all automatic excommunications and punishments against all Catholics who follow their consciences including women priests, divorced and married Catholics, gays, lesbians and transgender.) Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org)
Pope Francis also extended mercy to the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, allowing their priests to hear confessions, a step beyond Pope Benedict's lifting of the excommunications of several of their bishops. Unfortunately, Francis made no such gesture towards the excommunicated members of Roman Catholic Women Priests or their advocates, such as expelled peace activist Father Roy Bourgeois. Though advocating a greater "role" for women in the church, Francis is a steadfast opponent of women's ordination...More recently, he's doing better, calling for "radical equality" between women and men, equal pay for equal work, support for balancing work and family and the opportunity for women to be employed "where important decisions are made" (except, of course, in the church hierarchy)."
Angela Bonavogliais the author of “Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church” and the classic oral history, “The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion,” with a foreword by Gloria Steinem. Former Ms. contributing editor, Bonavoglia has written for The Nation, Salon, Newsday, the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, the National Catholic Reporter, Religion Dispatches, Women’s Media Center and more; she blogs at the Huffington Post. For more, go to:www.goodcatholicgirls.com.
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