Sunday, October 18, 2020

Articles About Woman Priest Christina Moreira ARCWP and Women Who Applied to Be Clergy - Conversation with Papal Envoy in Paris
Christina Moreira ARCWP

A female priest has accused Pope Francis of paying only lip service to the equality of women in Catholicism.

– “Enigmatic” pontiff lacks concrete commitment to gender justice

Last week on two separate occasions – for his October monthly prayer intention and in the Angelus on October 11 – the pontiff insisted that in the Church “we must promote the integration of women in the places in which important decisions are taken”.

For Spanish-French priest Christina Moreira, however, that determination from the Pope to entrust more Catholic leadership roles to women sounds hollow without women’s ordination.

In an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE October 17, Moreira described as “enigmatic” the Pope’s calls “for a more incisive female presence in the Church”, and lamented that without allowing for female priests all the Pope is doing is offering women “carrots” and “cold comfort” without  truly committing to the reform that she and many other Catholics are hoping for.

– Gender discrimination in the Church “will end”

Moreira was one of the seven female “apostles” who in July applied to the Pope’s ambassador in Paris to enter into those ministries in the Catholic Church traditionally reserved for men alone, such as deacon, priest, bishop and nuncio.

Moreira – who ministers as a priest in progressive Catholic communities but would like to enter into communion with Rome – showed herself convinced that gender discrimination in the Catholic Church “will end, just as happened with slavery, with the veto on women voting, with the impossibility of celebrating homosexual marriages”, and with “an endless number” of other reclaimed civil rights.

Moreira observed that a “growing grassroots clamour” for change in the Catholic Church is building up as the faithful notice more and more the lack of vocations to the priesthood, the neglect of parishioners, the immaturity of the clergy in the face of sexism and other instances of institutionalised paternalism.

Though she admitted that “nobody knows what the definitive flashpoint will be” that finally leads to women priests, Moreira said nonetheless that she hopes that the Catholic faithful will soon get used to seeing “women wearing a stole and chasuble without it seeming outlandish”, and without those vestments seeming “fancy dress” just because they are worn by women.

– Compulsory clerical celibacy “has done a great deal of harm”

In her interview with EFE, Moreira also spoke out against the Catholic prohibition on priests marrying.

In that sense, the female priest – herself married to a male cleric – lamented that “the obligatory nature of celibacy has done a great deal of harm”, and has even led to the suicide of young people and other aspirants to Holy Orders.

“Celibacy that is consented and assented to, offered as a vow, as monks do, can be an incomporable treasure”, Moreira acknowledged.

However, she asked: “What meaning can it [celibacy] have from the moment it is something obligatory and not voluntary?” – even more so “without the proper formation and preparation” for young seminarians to prepare for that lifestyle.

Moreira also lamented that the Church’s insistence on celibacy has forced innumerable clerics to resign in order to get married – a state of affairs that has led the institution to “lose many human jewels for the ministry”.

Were the Church to drop the celibacy requirements, it could get back “treasures” of former priests who “know how to love, have a family, have raised children, have worked, have been unemployed, who have taken on responsibilities”, Moreira explained.

The female priest concluded by insisting that a lifting of the ban on married female and male priests would end the hurt done by priests hiding partners and children, mistreating women and abusing minors, in some cases with the knowledge of their superiors.

Moreira insisted that the time has come for a thorough clean-up in the Church. One that would finally bring transparency and democratic governance to the institution, and would do away with the sexism that has alienated the Church from a secular world increasingly unwilling to accept discrimination on the basis of gender identity, skin colour and other traits.

More on Novena on Christina Moreira:

Female Catholic priest, to hierarchy: “If you don’t want women to celebrate the sacraments, console and bless… stop baptising us!”

Christina Moreira ARCWP, second from left in purple stole, is a Roman Catholic Women Priest from Spain. She ihad a conversation with the papal envoy in Paris on Oct. 2nd.

The gesture in itself is unusual: an apostolic nuncio receiving a woman who serves as a priest and who has applied for one of the positions that the Catholic Church reserves exclusively for men. When Christina Moreira left the Paris nunciature on Friday, her face was a mixture of emotion and tension after a not easy meeting but at least it has taken place. Which is almost more than what this French woman of Galician origin and the seven other women who months ago decided to defy the rules of the Church and stood for positions of bishop, deacon, nuncio or priest to denounce the "immense injustice" of prohibit women from occupying ecclesiastical posts reserved exclusively for men.

“I am grateful for the hospitality. It is the first time that I am received, knowing who I am, in a place that represents the government of my church ”, she said at the end of her meeting with the highest representative of the Vatican in France, the nuncio Celestino Migliore. Moreira has spent 5 of her 56 years giving mass in A Coruña, since she was ordained priest by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, of the —not recognized by Rome— Association of Roman Catholic Priests (ARCWP, in English). This has been the last of the seven meetings that the ambassador of Pope Francis has held, with great discretion, since September with these women, including a transgender, who demand a role and a necessary recognition of a Church of which, they maintain, they are fundamental part.

A gesture greeted by these secular Catholics, from very different origins and careers - from doctors in theology to masseurs - but all deeply believers and eager that women like them can have a more active role in the Catholic Church. But it is not enough, they warn.

“We thank Celestino Migliore for this gesture of openness and his kind attention. It shows that a dialogue is possible (…) But a cordial listening is not a reform ”, emphasized the members of the group All Apostles in a statement read by the theologian Sylvaine Landrivon, candidate for bishop.

“We are convinced that the Church is at a turning point in its history. It needs to recognize - in word, but above all in deed - that women have the legitimacy to occupy all positions, be they secular or ordained, governance or spiritual. The Church, as an institution, must overcome once and for all its doubts in order to open the doors widely to women. If you want to remain faithful to Christ, you must remember that he never used gender criteria, "added Landrivon, accompanied by five other applicants who say they want to speak with the pope and that the French Episcopal Conference also listen to them, something that until now it has not happened.

The unusual protest began on May 25, when the theologian Anne Soupa - the only one who to date has not been received by Migliore - presented her candidacy for the archdiocese of Lyon, replacing Cardinal Philippe Barbarin , a symbol of silence for decades. of child abuse in the French Catholic Church. Two months later, on July 22, seven other women also formally ran for nuncio, deacon, or priest. What better day, after all, than on the name day of Mary Magdalene, the faithful apostle of Jesus undervalued and even ignored for much of the history of Christianity, to claim a greater role for women in the Catholic Church.

"The Church needs women everywhere, I would say even in hell, because the Church needs to be a human church, and the human, if there is no feminine, cannot exist," Moreira said in an interview with EL PAÍS. The priest of the Comunidade Cristiá do Home Novo de A Coruña, married to another priest- "There are two of us at the altar," she smiles - and the mother of a girl, she is very clear that the absence of women in the ecclesiastical leadership is not a basic problem but a problem of hierarchies. “The institution uses a tradition that does not go back to Jesus, but much later, which says that men have been ordained. And I go back to Jesus and I go back to the first domestic communities, where when Jesus was resurrected, when the community began to be created, suddenly, people gathered in houses, in rooms. And who was in charge at home? Midwives, women. They organized the first Eucharists in their homes ”.

The transgender Loan Rocher, 64, was the first to be received, on September 14, by Migliore, who arrived in Paris in March to replace the nuncio Luigi Ventura, accused by several men of touching . “I told her about my desire to be a deacon to unconditionally welcome those who feel rejected by her church. I evoked believing LGTBIQ + people, who often have no other option than to be Christians from the periphery ”, he explains. Like Moreira, he assures that it is not a problem of the bases, but of the hierarchy. "On the ground we have openings, we are listened to, but at the top they are still not up to date, so there is a problem."

For these women, the Church has a problem, but it is not feminine. "If the churches are emptied, if there are no vocations, it is because they really have a problem among them and they do not want to open their eyes to the reality that society has evolved and they have stayed in another era," Rocher warns. “The message of the Church, right now, is hard to get people excited about. That is the problem that the Church has, not women, ”Moreira agrees.

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