Friday, June 9, 2017

SPAIN: "Let us not invoke tradition to exclude women"

Conference "Women and the diaconate. On the ministries in the Church "

Mª José Arana: "The diaconate is a ministry that must change. Let's reinvent it together! "
Carlos Osoro sponsored the symposium "Women and diaconate" of the Association of Spanish Theologians
Association of Spanish Theologians, June 9, 2017 at 12:33

"I dream of a Church in which women and men can participate from the vocation that we have"

"We are always between the space of concession and that of exclusion," which makes it urgent that "we imagine other possible spaces"


Osoro, in the women's and diaconate days

( Association of Spanish Theologians ) .- To listen, to creative fidelity, and to share and invoke the Spirit. At the invitation of Cardinal Carlos Osoro , Archbishop of Madrid, we began the Academic Seminar "Women and the Diaconate. On the Ministries in the Church " , which we, the Association of Spanish Theologians , celebrated last weekend.

The objective of this meeting between Italian and Spanish theologians was to reflect on women, the diaconate and ministries in the Church, with all this taking on special importance in the context of the opening towards the peripheries of the ecclesial community which continues to promote the Pope Francisco.

Marinella Perroni , an extraordinary professor of the New Testament at the Pontifical Institute of San Anselmo in Rome and guest professor at the Faculty of Theology Marianum, was in charge of presenting the first intervention of the day of Saturday 3, which dedicated to launch a proposal for an understanding criticism among the ordained ministries and community organization.

"Let us not invoke the tradition to exclude women" was the idea that soon wanted to transmit Fernando Rivas , professor of the Department of Sacred Scripture and History of the Church at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas. "The question of the diaconate of women is not a problem in antiquity," said Rivas in his intervention, since such a ministry is documented in canonical and ecclesial texts that cover the period at least from the Council of Nicaea in 325 to well entered The 12th century.

All this led the professor to rethink the relationship between asceticism and power and the body and politics, since the models of earthly power that developed in the Middle Ages made use of male categories, with the corresponding marginalization of women In the spiritual plane.

Moira Scimmi , a religious of the diocese of Milan and a professor of theology at the ITT Molinari High School, later supported Rivas' thesis that there was a significant female role in the Church since the beginning of the ancient Church, but unlike the Spanish professor , He wanted to highlight the pluriformity in which it appeared and then developed.

Scimmi also emphasized in his words the important idea that, although we normally think that the exclusion of women in the Church is a consequence of a rigid and rigid ecclesiastical hierarchy, there are in fact "hierarchies prior to the diaconate, priesthood or episcopate" that Have to be dismantled before faithful women can feel emancipated. Like the one of the man and the woman , for example: hierarchy that continues doing so much damage even in all the ambits of the present society.

After the intervention of Scimmi, we had occasion in the days of "dreaming Church" with María José Arana and Serena Noceti. Arana, a religious of the Sacred Heart, a doctor of theology and member of the Women's Studies Forum, stressed that "the diaconate is a ministry that must change, but we do not want to be changed . " "Reinvent it together!" Was his passionate appeal in this regard. Noceti, for his part - professor of systematic theology at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences "I. Galantini "in Florenci- encouraged us to rethink the diakonia in the context of a global transformation of the institutionality of ecclesial ministry.

The second day of the conference began with a roundtable discussion with Adelaide Baracco, Carmen Peña, Roser Solé and Cristina Simonelli on the conditions of possibility of changes in ecclesiality and ministries. Peña, of the Faculty of Canon Law of Comillas, spoke of the value of lay ministries.

Solé, a member of the Collective of Women in the Church and of the European Association of Women Researchers in Theology (ESWTR), insisted on the need to think of a "non-hierarchical synodality" from a feminist perspective that gets out of the daily contradictions in That women find themselves, both inside and outside the Church.

Finally Simonelli, a professor of patristic theology at Verona and the Faculty of Theology of Northern Italy in Milan, lamented that in the Church, women "are always between the space of concession and that of exclusion , Which makes it urgent that "we imagine other possible spaces" . A conclusion more than appropriate to two days of intense work in which, indeed, we have imagined the new places that women can start from now to place us, if it is the will of the Spirit and the Church.

Messages of support at the international level

We end this chronicle by sharing the messages of support at the international level that came to us as we finished the preparations of these days.

The member of the Vatican Commission in charge of the Reflection on the Diaconate of Women in the Church, Phyllis Zagano , sent us an English message whose contents we translate below:

Boy friends and girl friends,

Let me offer my best wishes and hope that your conference on women and the diaconate will be a success. I thank you for what you do.

Kristin de Troyer , president of the ESWRT, European Society of Women in Theological Research, sent us a video from Salzburg, from which we transcribe some ideas below:

I have seen that the theme of the Days is Women and Diaconate. Many of us are already deacons. We already work in the Church. Some of us already announce, we preach in the Church, we care for the sick, the children ... but the most important thing is that we are an example of the Catholic faith ... I hope you have a good day and please communicate the results ...

From Colombia, the group of Catholic presbyters, APCR América Sur , gave us these words:

From Colombia-South America, welcome our fraternal and solidarity greetings, with the best wishes at the Working Days that will be held: "Women and Diaconate. On the Ministries of the Church ". What a good date, they have chosen! Pentecost! It is the date, through Baptism, that we have been invited by women and men to raise the Founding Act of the Church, it has not been easy to establish the public and official record of our testimony, especially without our presence in It. With patience, that record will one day be made. Actions and attitudes such as the work performed in ATE, fill us with pride and hope, that the Light and Courage of Pentecost, accompany and always enlighten.

Fraternally, Marta Aida Soto Bernal, Olga Lucia Álvarez Benjumea, Maria Sofia Caro, Blanca Cecilia Santana Cortés and Lucero Arias Manco

With these support coming from different parts of the world, and with the words of Cardinal Osoro's support, we can say without reserve that we feel supported in our work and, above all, in our dream of building more inclusive spaces for everyone in the world. Church.

Http:// We want to get together

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