We Are Church International Calls for Separate Dicastery on Women’s Equality, Calls Current Vatican Direction “Ineffective”
May 17, 2018.
[ Italian ]
Leaders of We Are Church International today expressed serious concerns about the expansion of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life to include deepened reflection on the role of women. The broadening of the mission, headed by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, is the result of new statutes issued by Pope Francis that took effect May 13, 2018.
Colm Holmes of Dublin, Ireland, Chairperson of We Are Church International, said, “It is certainly critically important that the Vatican reflect and take action on the oppression women experience in our Church and in most cultures. However, putting this responsibility under the direction of the very man who recently banned at least two equality-minded women from speaking at the Vatican raises doubt that real progress will be possible. In addition, couching the consideration of women’s roles in the traditional Vatican language of ‘the relationship between men and women in their respective specificity, reciprocity, complementarity and equal dignity’ and ‘feminine genius’ indicates a tenacious commitment to the very beliefs that put women in a second class status.”
Holmes continued, “We Are Church International calls on Pope Francis to establish a Dicastery for Women’s Equality. As former Irish President Mary McAleese pointed out in her remarkable address on International Women’s Day earlier this year, the Catholic Church needs to stop spreading the virus of misogyny and inequality throughout the world. A separate dicastery with a clear mission of dismantling the structures of oppression that result from Church teachings and practices is a necessary first step. We believe this Dicastery should be led by a team of directors, women and men, who can work collaboratively, modeling a new form of ministry and leadership at the Vatican. Their first mission should be to travel around the world, listening to women about their lives, their faith, and their relationship with the Church with no closed doors. What they learn should inform the Dicastery’s ongoing work of discerning the work of the Spirit.”
We Are Church International has long stood for women’s equality in the Church, including opening ministry and decision-making roles to women. The group supports all efforts that help advance this goal but sees the current direction as ineffective and problematic.
We Are Church International (WAC-I) founded in Rome in 1996, is a global coalition of national church reform groups. It is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church based on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.
March 28, 2018
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S.A. have begun a global revolution.
Pictured is just the gathering in Washington D.C. alone. There were "March for our Lives" rallies in 800 cities around the world from London to Berlin to Sydney. Young people are behaving like adults and too many adults are behaving like children. Martin Luther King's nine-year-old granddaughter led the crowd in cheering : "I have a dream: enough is enough!"
In the wake of this global movement, and coming on the heels of a meeting of 300 young people from various religions and cultural backgrounds who met with the pope, in his Palm Sunday message in St. Peter's Square, Francis urged young people to keep shouting and not allow the older generations to silence their voices or anesthetize their idealism.
This summary of the pre-synod meeting with young people was written by a team based on the input of all the participants from 20 different language groups and 6 from social media. They told the Vatican that they want a more transparent and authentic church. Their message will be delivered to the Bishops who gather for the Synod on Youth scheduled to be held in October later this year.
Future of the Church Depends on All of Us
So much of our Christian social justice values overlap with our political values today. Young people are standing up and speaking out. All of us need to listen to these vibrant and deeply committed voices and give them a platform to join all people of goodwill towards building a more just and caring society. The future of our families, our communities, our nations, and our world depends on all of us. Together we must change the way we govern ourselves. Together we can bring peace to our war-torn world. Together we can create a Church that is truly open, inclusive, and welcoming to all. We join with Pope Francis in asking you, young people, to inspire us saying: ""It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?"
We invite you to "cry out" and make your voices heard on our Facebook page . Go there now and let tell us what is on your mind.
We acknowledge that our organization is mostly comprised of older members of the Catholic community. But we assure you, our younger sisters and brothers, that we want to hear your voices. Please share with us your thoughts, your perspectives, your ideas and your aspirations for our Church and our world.
W hear catholic voices from across the globe speaking on women and leadership in the Catholic Church.
In her Voices of Faith address on 8 March 2018, Dr.Mary MacAleese referred to a call by the Jesuits to redress the situation of women in the RCC. This was resolved at the General Congregation of the Society of Jesus: Decree 14: “Jesuits and the Situation of Women in Church and Civil Society,” General Congregation 34 (1995). The full text is well worth reading. See link below from Boston College: https://jesuitportal.bc.edu/research/documents/1995_decree14gc34/. I hope others enjoy the wording. It reveals very dear intentions, although twenty-three years later the situation does not seem to have changed much for women in the Church!