Womenpriests and Women Priests

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Pope Francis is gathering an official Vatican group to study Catholic history and scripture to determine whether there is precedent within Catholic tradition that would justify allowing Catholic women to become deacons. (Deacons have much more limited roles than priests in the Catholic tradition. They are not allowed to preach or preside over mass.)  This is good news for feminists who don’t mind change at a glacial pace. (Though, given global warming, glaciers might be changing faster than the Catholic church.)  One group of women got tired of waiting for the Vatican. They are the women who makscreen-shot-2016-10-31-at-2-42-03-pme up the Roman Catholic Womenpriest movement, and I am so glad to see that the the group’s  ordinations keep happening.  The controversial actions that they are taking, including their die-in at Pope Francis’ visit to Washington, adopt the methods that the Church’s liberation movements  have used in the past to protest global injustices such as poverty, racism, and militarism. These women and their supporters are charging ahead of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which advocates for change from within the Catholic system. Both movements play important roles in bringing gender equality to the Catholic Church.  Want to know more? Watch former Catholic priest and Maryknoll missionary Roy Bourgeois talk about how his conscience led him to start speaking out in support of women’s ordination. The path he took led to his excommunication and defrocking after 40 years in the priesthood.  “I was asleep for many years,” he said, before recognizing how Catholic tradition is used to justify sexism. “The call for the priesthood comes from God. Who are we, as men, to reject God’s call of women to the priesthood?”  It brings to mind a recent line quoted by Pope Francis, “Who am I to judge?”  Well, as pope, he is called upon to judge whether sexism is a Catholic value.  What role does a penis play in the Eucharist?  I am pretty sure it is incidental. – Suzanne

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