holds press conference in Rome on May 22, 2014 on 20th anniversary of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
Pope Francis: It's Time to Talk
At a press conference in Rome this morning, WOW marked the 20th anniversary of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis with the release of a joint statement calling for dialogue and an end to the ban on women priests.
Erin Saiz Hanna, of WOW's Leadership Circle and also Executive Director of the US Women's Ordination Conference pointed out, 'For 20 years now Catholics have been forbidden from discussing women's leadership. For 20 years now employees at Catholic institutions have risked job security if they talk about women's ordination.' She added, 'For an even longer time, Catholic women called to priesthood have had door after door slammed in their faces. People around the world are deprived of sacraments only because male Church leaders reject the women God is calling. God doesn't reject them; male Church leaders do. This is wrong.'
Miriam Duignan of WOW's Leadership Circle and Communications Coordinator for womenpriests.org said: 'It's true that Pope Francis is portraying a new image of the Church being open to all and that he is trying to shake off restrictions of the past. But despite this openness that's exemplified for instance by his response to questions about gay men in priesthood, 'Who am I to judge?', Francis holds fast to the old party line that says women in priesthood is not open to discussion. It's for men alone. Women are not welcome.' The community of faith recognises the women who are called. How long do women have to wait to be considered equal and worthy of receiving the same welcome by the official Church as men?'
According to Poland's Alicja Baranowska, 'The Church should not be afraid to re-examine customs -- even those with deep historical roots -- when they no longer communicate the Gospel. A male only priesthood does not communicate Gospel. It goes against the clear message that there is neither male nor female in Christ. It goes against so much evidence of women's leadership in the early Church. It goes against the teaching of Jesus and his inclusion of women in his mission and legacy.'
'As internationally love as Pope Francis is, the status of women in the Catholic Church is his blind spot,' said Kate Conmy of the US Women's Ordination Conference. 'If the Church has confidence in exclusion, it makes no sense that discussion about including women as priests should be banned. A refusal to dialogue gives away the fact that there is no strong theology to support the Vatican's position.'