Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pope Francis and Women's Ordination

Erin Saiz Hanna in an article in the NY Times:
In the document [Evangelii Gaudium], [Pope] Francis states, “The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general.”
Where Francis misses the mark is suggesting that women are seeking ordination simply as means to gain power. While women’s decision making and leadership is certainly vital, the fact of the matter is women are called by God to serve alongside their brother priests. For a pope who seems so in tune with the marginalized, how does he not see that women are weeping and yearning for justice in the church? How can his sense of social justice not extend to the women of the church and their capacity for ordained ministry?

I find the language of Pope Francis fascinating: "...it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general." That sounds like something he should be considering as a reason for not keeping the priesthood a 'boy's club'. Certainly a worldwide organization of men who have protected others in that fraternity from prosecution ~ or even exposure ~ as sexual abusers (using their power to gain what they wanted), it would seem the addition of the balance of genders would be welcome. There is a lot of flowery language around why women's ordination cannot even be discussed, yet I have heard no substance to the edict. It's like a parent saying to a child, "Because I'm the parent, that's why." That's an exercise of power that offers no explanation, no availability and no recourse. It's also the very statement that begins the child down the path of rebellion.

How do you feel when someone tells you 'no' without supporting reason or evidence? What do you think women called to priesthood should do?

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