Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Benedict election as Pope seen as "coup, by an all-male, patriarchal, clerical church"

I think it is generally unfair to characterize opposing viewpoints by their most extreme adherents or the most absurd end of their spectrum. Therefore, the following should be read in jest, even though the authors are quite serious.

This is from the "Open Conclave" movement of feminists called Woman Church Convergence


Press Release of Women-Church Convergence
April 19, 2005

Women-Church Announces Cyberspace Forum on Women’s Equality; Challenges Pope Benedict XVI to Join the Discussion

Bridget Mary Meehan 703-671-1972 703-283-2929 sofiabmm@aol.com
Mary E. Hunt 301-589-2509 240-472-4587 mhunt@hers.com

Women-Church Convergence announces a cyberspace forum for a global conversation on issues, reforms and actions needed to shape the Catholic Church into a “discipleship of equals” in the twenty-first century www.women-churchconvergence.org.

Women-Church co-coordinator Bridget Mary Meehan asserted, “We are providing a forum for feminist voices around the world to join together in the work for Gospel equality and justice in our church and world. Women-Church Convergence invites Pope Benedict XVI to join in this dialogue.” Spurred by the success of the Women-Church on-line “Open Conclave” that facilitated the exchange of opinions among thousands of people while the cardinals sat in a locked room, feminist theologian Mary E. Hunt noted, “The Convergence sees this next step as modeling a new, 21st century way to be church where all are welcome.”

Women-Church Convergence is alarmed at the election of Pope Benedict XVI. We believe that the Spirit of God acts through the people of God and this selection reflects a reactionary-right-wing succession plan, perhaps a coup, by an all-male, patriarchal, clerical church.

As prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger released a letter on July 31, 2004, condemning feminism. As the enforcer of orthodoxy, he forbade the discussion of women-priests. We reject both the substance and the process of such teaching and assure concerned people of good will that such authoritarianism has no place in the Catholic community.

Women-Church Convergence calls on Pope Benedict XVI to distance himself from his former role as the arbiter of doctrine and to take on the mantle of a pastoral listener. Women-Church invites the new pope, whose role is to be a symbol of unity, to join in the dialogue and actions to bring about equality and partnership for women in all aspects of church life, including ordination to a renewed priestly ministry. Instead of condemning feminism, we expect Pope Benedict XVI to affirm the important values that Catholic feminists bring to the table and to recognize our leadership. A first step would be to invite Catholic feminists to fill fifty percent of the leadership roles in all Catholic institutions, beginning with the Curia.

Women-Church Convergence is a coalition of autonomous Catholic-rooted organizations/groups working for the empowerment of women in church and society.

No comments: