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Vatican, Grassroots Call for Women Leaders, Ordination

More Women in Vatican Jobs? At a July press conference, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone announced that Pope Benedict is planning to give women “more space and more importance” in jobs at the Holy See.  According to the British newspaper The Guardian, many Vatican officials believe that a key reason for secularization in Europe is the disaffection of women, who used to be the backbone of Catholic congregations.  Bertone, who oversees the Vatican curia, said new appointments are now being planned and “in the context of the responsibilities of the women, there’ll be posts that they take up.” Women in senior Vatican roles are rare. Since governance is tied to ordination, women are excluded from any decision-making role that would give them authority over ordained men.

Brazilians, Aussies Call For Women’s Ordination.  According to the British Journal The Tablet a preparatory document for the Latin American Synod of Bishops described women’s ordination as “a pending debt.”  The statement was part of a 26-page “Synthesis of the Contribution of the Church in Brazil to the Conference of Aparecida” and was published on the webpage of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops at the end of 2006.  Speaking at a press conference, Brazilian Bishop Dom Celso Quieros said: “At the moment, we know that the dialogue in the Church on the possible ordination of women is closed. Which does not mean it cannot be opened.”  Asked if the “Synthesis” was referring only to ordaining women deacons, Fr. Jose Oscar Beozzo responded by noting that there are three ordained ministries: deacon, priest and bishop.

In August, well-known lay and religious Catholic leaders in Australia petitioned their Bishops to “encourage a wide-ranging discussion of the role of women in ministry and in the authority structures of the Church, including the question of women's ordination.” Petitioners also requested the ordination of married men and the return of priests who left the active ministry to marry. Australia’s 50 bishops were encouraged to acknowledge the “major crisis in ministry within the Australian Catholic Church,” and to discuss these issues at their November meeting. For full text visit http://www.catholica.com.au

Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordain Twenty-Three. The group Roman Catholic Womenpriests will ordain nine priests and fourteen deacons in the U.S. and Canada over the summer. This brings the total number of ordained in the worldwide movement
to 27 priests, four bishops and fourteen deacons. The women are serving in various grassroots faith communities across the United States.

Focus on FutureChurch

Summer 2007


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