The following article was written by VOTF’s Sean O’Conaill and appeared in the Irish Times.
With the Vatican-appointed Church inspectors due in Ireland this autumn, Sean O'Conaill wonders if the patriarchs will announce the failure of patriarchy.
How many in Ireland believe that the pending visit to Ireland of nine Vatican-appointed inspectors, or visitators, can reverse the rapid decline in the authority of the Irish Catholic hierarchy?
So far, scant enthusiasm for the visit has been shown by Ireland's bishops themselves. It was left to the Irish Catholic to strike a tentative note of optimism in its headline of June 3rd: “Could this be the renewal we have been waiting for?”
For that to happen the visitors will need to do something quite sensational and unprecedented. They must announce that the patriarchal governing system of the Catholic church has been finally exposed as anachronistic, stifling and dangerous—and call upon the Pope to reform it...."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Well said, Sean! The Vatican needs to come to grips that the end of patriarchy is already a reality. The institutional church has lost its moral credibility. It must reform and renew to survive. Jesus showed us how to live as the beloved of God. Both men and women were his disciples and called to be the Good News as well as to share the Good News. The Roman Catholic Church is one of the last bastions of male clerical privilege and gender apartheid. Structural change is the only solution. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said 16 years before the the demise of apartheid in South Africa: "... our God... is a God of justice and liberation and goodness. Our cause...must triumph because it is moral and just and right. .." Reflecting recently on the collapse of apartheid, Tutu told TIME, "The texture of our universe is one where there is no question at all that good and laughter and justice will prevail." (TIME Oct. 11, 2010) So too the time for the full equality of women in our church has come. No more excuses, please, from the prelates in the Vatican.