Friday, April 15, 2005

Naming the Injustices: Where are the Women Priests?

Here in my Red State, you just don't see letters to the editor like this one. Maybe that's why it struck me with such force.

Women's equality ignored

"I was appalled that women priests were not mentioned as a solution to the priest shortage. Pope John Paul II was indeed a symbol of faith, forgiveness and humility to many people around the world. However, as a Catholic woman and member of the Women's Ordination Conference, I cannot ignore his painful inconsistencies and the draconian measures he took to stifle dissent and enforce obedience.

In July 2004, a Vatican letter ironically called for women to participate in secular governments, yet, by barring women's ordination, he excluded them from the governing structures of his own church. He also stated the discussion was closed. For those of us who continue to publicly support it, we have either been stripped of our church authority to teach, fired from our jobs, kicked off church property or excommunicated.

In my hopes for the future, I want a pope who supports women's ordination and the need for structural change in the church. A renewed priestly ministry would fully embrace the gifts of women and work to eradicate sexism, racism, heterosexism and all oppression within the church.

To make the dignity of all God's people a reality in the church, we must name the current injustices and create systems of accountability for the vivid reality of abuse, exclusion and oppression within in the lives of millions of Catholics and former Catholics today. We want church structures that speak to the day-to-day struggles of Catholic people -- structures that are inclusive, participatory and spiritually affirming for all God's people."

Sister Bridget
Mary Meehan
April 09. 2005