Friday, October 26, 2018

Women's Ordination Conference: New York Times: Vatican Faces Modern Day Suffragists

New York Times: Vatican Faces Modern-Day Suffragists
Dear Bridget,

We hope you realize the enormous impact we are making together. Because of our demonstrations, dialogues, petitions, and international media coverage, bishops have been asked to confront sexism at their front door throughout the Synod in Rome. 

Our chant: "Knock, Knock! Who's there? More than half the Church,"brought the many closed doors women face in the Catholic Church into clear view. 

In just two weeks, more than 9,300 people signed a petition for voting rights for women religious superiors at the Synod. We've been deemed the "Vatican Suffragettes"  and "Modern-day Suffragists" by international media. And bishops and cardinals have had to answer questions about women's participation in the Church nearly every day at the Synod press briefings.

Back in April of this year, we launched our series, Catholic Women Called, and set a goal of bringing the stories of women called to renewed priesthood, equality, and full participation in the life of the Church to Rome. 

And we did.  Our online Catholic Women Called series was viewed more than 21,000 times. Our roundtable discussion, Discerning Women, featured two women called to priesthood and two international theologians calling for reform and inclusion just five minutes away from the Synod Hall. 

In our final installment of Catholic Women Called, we have woven together the voices of women called to renewed priesthood, and we challenge the institutional Church to celebrate and empower the ministries of women. Knock, knock: More than half the Church already does. 

Catholic Women Called: Are we Listening?
Thank you for your solidarity and generosity this season. We refuse to be silenced by Church polices and structures that discriminate, and because of your support, we are louder and more visible than ever. 
For equality,

Kate McElwee, Executive Director
Katie Lacz, Program Associate 

P.S. Thanks to so many of you who have renewed your membership and sent donations in to support our work this Fall. If you didn't receive a renewal notice in the mail, please consider making a membership gift today to support our grassroots movement for equality. We are so much stronger with your support. 
NCR Editorial: 'Knock, knock. Who's there? More than half the church!'

Most Catholic women are long over papal constructions of "feminine genius" or being cast as strawberries atop a cake or interpretations of Mary that stop at some magical virginal docility and ignore the harsh reality of a mother dealing with an itinerant preacher son who ends up on the wrong side of civil and religious law.

Knock. Knock.

More than half the church wants in. They have a lot to offer that's been missing.

New York Times: Vatican Faces Modern-Day Suffragists, Demanding the Right to Vote

"Two modern-day American suffragists had a plan.

During this month's Synod of Bishops, an international gathering at the Vatican, Deborah Rose-Milavec and Kate McElwee, who lead groups dedicated to advancing women in leadership roles in the Roman Catholic Church, made sure that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the synod's general secretary, was presented with a hefty pink folder.

Inside was a petition with more than 9,000 signatures and one specific request: Allow female religious superiors at the synod to 'vote as equals alongside their Brothers in Christ.'" 

Huffington Post: Catholic Activists Demand Women's Voting Rights At Major Vatican Meeting

"The debate over whether women can vote at the Synod of Bishops has become a flashpoint for those seeking proof the centuries-old, male-dominated Catholic church is finally willing to listen to women's voices." 
Petition Delivery: 9,300 signatures to the Synod Office

Kate McElwee and FutureChurch Executive Director, Deb Rose-Milavec brought the "Votes For Catholic Women" petition to the Synod office in Rome. 

Thanks to everyone who signed and shared the petition. We now know the USG and UISG (men and women's religious umbrella groups) are working to draft a proposal to Pope Francis to address voting rights at Synods. Read the article on Global Sisters Report.

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