|Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Yerevan, Armenia, to Rome June 26. (CNS/Paul Haring)|
Bridget Mary's Response: I am deeply touched that Pope Francis asked forgiveness of gay people and of "mistreated women." Pope Francis' words reflect the compassionate heart of Christ for those on the margins whom the institutional church has hurt through centuries of its toxic teachings and punitive policies.
May this apology lead to a change in teachings, policies and actions that promote a healthier church that proclaims the spiritual equality of all the baptized. The Catechism of the Catholic Church needs a major revision. If we are to live Christ's love as Catholics we cannot teach that anyone is objectively disordered! Each person is the beloved of God called to reflect the loving face of the divine in our world. No exceptions!
I pray that Pope Francis will begin a dialogue with our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement that will lead to the dropping of excommunication and punishments against our members and supporters. We are following our consciences and leading the church into living Gospel equality now. As Francis initiates the commission to study women deacons, he could also begin a healing process of the wounds of sexism with a dialogue with women priests.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org, firstname.lastname@example.org.