It is time for Pope Francis to take the next step - remove all penalties against women priests including excommunication and the category of "grievous crime" in canon law and affirm our prophetic leadership in ordaining women to foster the full equality of women in the Church since the Ordination of 7 women on the Danube.
I look forward to Pope Francis taking this important step toward healing the grievous sin of sexism in the Roman Catholic Church by dialoguing with women priests who have been living a new model of inclusive, egalitarian ministry with the people of God in our communities around the world.
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
The Women’s Ordination Conference welcomes Pope Francis’ July 13, 2022 appointment of three women, Sr. Raffaella Petrini, F.S.E., Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, F.M.A., and Dr. Maria Lia Zervino, to the Dicastery for Bishops as an important step in removing all barriers to women’s full participation in the life of the church.
These appointments follow Pope Francis’ recently announced reforms of the Vatican bureaucracy, which emphasize “canonical mission” or baptism as the criteria for leadership in the Vatican. This encouraging shift creates greater opportunities for co-responsibility and collaboration between men and women.
However, the appointment of women to Vatican positions cannot alone address the injustices women face in the church. Without gender parity within the Vatican’s dicasteries, women will undoubtedly confront a culture of clericalism and sexism that has long thrived within those walls.
We also note the deep irony that women may now aid in selecting bishops, a role they themselves are prohibited from holding on account of their gender. The exclusion of women from ordained ministries continues to deprive the church of women’s sacramental