Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of God: Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Friday, June 7, 2019
Cardinal Kasper Says Francis will Allow Married Priests, if Bishops Request it, but not Women Deacons because of Millennial old Tradition by Inés San Martín, My Response: We're Not Waiting for Another 1000 Years Until Church Gets Over Sexism!
Cardinal Walter Kasper at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls on Jan. 18, 2019. (Daniel Ibáñez/CNA)
My Response: The argument that we cannot ordain women deacons because it would violate a "millennial old tradition" is like saying the Roman Catholic Church cannot change any doctrine because it is a thousand years old. How about the church's teachings on slavery and usury? For 1,800 years the popes and the bishops did not condemn slavery. And until the 17th century, popes condemned loans with interest as violating God's law. I agree with Cardinal Kasper that in many places, women today do ten times more than what female deacons did” as they were described in the Bible. Cardinal Kasper, like Pope Francis, appears to be in a muddle about women deacons. While Cardinal Kasper recognizes the work that women are doing is more than what women deacons did in the history of the Church, neither he nor Francis can get over the Church's deeply ingrained patriarchal bias that women are somehow subordinate by their very being and therefore, incapable of imaging the divine in official public ministry. Let's call this out for what it is - sinful sexism- that must be transformed if the Church is to reflect the Christ Presence in our world. The truth is women are doing the work of deacons and should be ordained by the institutional church not only as deacons, but as priests and bishops too. This is a justice issue. Thousands of women are called to serve. Thousands of women are qualified to serve. Millions of Catholics would welcome their ministry. All of us are the Church, not just Pope Francis and the hierarchy. The hierarchy cannot block women from following their God-given call to serve their faith communities as deacons, priests and bishops?
The good news is that women today are serving in public ministry as deacons, priests and bishops in spite of the institutional Church's rejection of our sacred mission. We are claiming our authority as equal members of the Roman Catholic Church to ordain women to minister to God's people in their local communities. There are over 250 world wide in our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement. We are not waiting for a thousand years for popes and bishops to get over sexism and embrace the full equality of women in the Church. Roman Catholic Women Priests are leading the Church towards inclusivity in the 21st century! Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, #womenpriestsnow, https://arcwp.org, email@example.com
ROME - German Cardinal Walter Kasper, considered a close theological adviser to Pope Francis, said that if during an upcoming meeting of bishops on the Amazon region the prelates asked for the ordination of married men, the Argentine pontiff would grant the request.
He also said that the ordination of women, even to the diaconate, is out of the question, as it would undermine a “millennia old tradition,” noting, however, that the Catholic Church would “collapse” without women.
“If the bishops agreed through mutual consent to ordained married men - those called viri probati - it’s my judgement that the pope would accept it,” said Kasper, former president of the Vatican’s Council for the Promotion of Christian unity. “Celibacy isn’t a dogma, it’s not an unalterable practice.”
“Personally, I’m very much in favor of maintaining celibacy as an obligatory way of life with a commitment to the cause of Jesus Christ, but this doesn’t exclude that a married man can carry a priestly service in special situations,” Kasper said.
The question of ordaining married men could be discussed during the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, that will take place this October in Rome.
“I would rather give my life than to change the law on celibacy,” Francis said, quoting St. Paul VI, who as the Argentine pontiff noted, was speaking “when times were tougher than now, in 1968-1970.”
“I’m not in agreement with allowing optional celibacy. No,” he said.
Francis did add, however, that he believes theologians should study the possibility of “older married men” being ordained, in “far, faraway places,” such as the islands in the Pacific, but even then, ordained only to celebrate Mass, hear confessions and anoint the sick.
The pope cited Bishop Fritz Lobinger from South Africa, who’s written on this issue. Yet, he insisted, this is a matter to be “prayed on” and discussed by theologians, and one he personally hasn’t meditated on enough.
“It’s not for me to decide. My decision is, optional celibacy before the diaconate, no,” referring to the fact that future priests typically are first ordained as deacons. “I will not do this. I don’t feel like standing in front of God with this decision,” Francis said.
Speaking in particular about female deacons, Kasper said that women today do “ten times more than what female deacons did” as they were described in the Bible.