Posts Tagged Christine Schenk

Jesus founded a movement led by both men and women / National Catholic Reporter

I have been tracking Vatican statements on women priests since the 1970s. They are invariably ahistorical and biblically naive. It is embarrassing. Worse, they bear false witness to the Jesus of history and are ultimately destructive to the body of Christ, especially the distaff side. (Christine Schenk in National Catholic Reporter)

Sometimes it is really difficult to be both female and Catholic.

“On the one hand, I couldn’t be prouder of the creative leadership taken by the University of Notre Dame and Pope Francis in working with oil executives to address climate change. It is amazing that dozens of Catholic institutions, including Caritas Internationalis, have divested from fossil fuels.

“On the other hand, I am dismayed by yet another statement from the Vatican — this time from Cardinal-designate Luis Ladaria — prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — about the non-ordination of women to the priesthood.

“I have been tracking Vatican statements on women priests since the 1970s. They are invariably ahistorical and biblically naive. It is embarrassing. Worse, they bear false witness to the Jesus of history and are ultimately destructive to the body of Christ, especially the distaff side.

“As a contribution to the ongoing conversation about women’s roles in our church, I present here a few examples from mainstream scholarship about Jesus and the female exercise of authority in early Christianity.”

By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Are things looking up for women in the church? / National Catholic Reporter

A plethora of conferences about women have popped up all over Rome in the last three months. The Vatican’s former hard-line freeze on discussing women’s roles may at last be thawing out.

“The Pontifical Council for Culture’s controversial February event, ‘Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference,’ was the first to break the ice. A month later, Voices of Faith hosted a searingly honest discussion by female theologians and activists from inside Vatican walls.

“Then, on April 14, the U.S. embassy to the Holy See sponsored an interreligious conference on ‘Women’s Leadership in Conflict Resolution: Faith Perspectives.’ Cardinal Peter Turkson shared a private conversation he had with Pope Francis, who told him he saw no obstacles to a woman or married couples being appointed as the new secretary of justice and peace or as heads of the pontifical councils for the laity and for the family. (Turkson, however, was careful to remind attendees of the need to “de-couple” the question of women’s roles from priestly ordination.)

“Most recently, Rome’s Pontifical University Antonianum and four embassies to the Holy See sponsored an April 28 conference on women in the church. Significantly, Catholic Health Association president Sr. Carol Keehan was an invited speaker.”

By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Women speak up about equality in the church from the heart of the Vatican / National Catholic Reporter

OK, I’m gobsmacked, as the Brits say (‘gobsmacked’: adjective, British, informal: utterly astonished; astounded). I spent four hours on International Women’s Day watching a Voices of Faith event ‘from the heart of the Vatican’ in which women shared stories ‘for a creative exchange of ideas from a female perspective.’ There were some amazing narratives.”

By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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The apostolic visitation report was laudatory, but the sisters remain caught in ambiguity / National Catholic Reporter

Well, I’ll admit it, the Vatican’s apostolic visitation report has been on my mind. For over two years, my community’s leadership diverted precious time, energy and resources away from sorely needed ministry to the marginalized to address a searching Vatican inquiry that we had neither chosen nor had a part in shaping.

“Over these past stressful years, my feelings veered widely from anxiety, to sorrow, to anger, to pain. I was regularly sustained, however, by various sister leaders around the U.S. who, although also deeply affected, seemed imbued with an impressive calm.

“So when I heard the congregation for religious would live stream a press conference to report on their findings, I knew I wanted to hear what U.S. sister leaders thought about it all first, if I could.”

By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Why are we silencing women (and lay) preachers? / National Catholic Reporter

Bishop Salvatore Matano, the new bishop of Rochester, N.Y., is in the process of ending a 40-year custom of permitting lay ministers to preach at Mass. Most are women commissioned to preach by the former bishop, Matthew Clark. All have advanced degrees in theology and all have served for many years in various diocesan leadership positions. Many are or were parish administrators in a diocese where one-third of all parishes are without a resident priest. (And things are going to get worse. According to the diocesan website, the number of active diocesan priests is expected to decline from 140 to 62 by 2025 — a decline of almost 60 percent.)

“Preaching at Mass by prepared and gifted laity, especially laywomen, flourished under Clark, who interpreted church law broadly, though the practice actually began under his predecessor, Bishop Joseph Hogan. Clark, who retired in 2012, was nationally known for supporting expanded roles for women in the church.”

By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Speaking of the roles of the laity and of women in the Church reminds us that Voice of the Faithful® has long advocated for ordaining women to the diaconate. An example of the impetus for women deacons in the Church recently occurred in Ireland. When Bishop Kiernan O’Reilly of Killaloe Diocese began a permanent male diaconate, women began asking him to include them in his call for deacons. You may support them by writing to Bishop O’Reilly. His email address is bishop@killaloediocese.ie. Remind him that, “for the first half of its history, that is, for more than 11 centuries, women were ordained to the diaconate by bishops, within the sanctuary, with the laying on of hands.” (from the Voice of the Faithful document “Women Deacons: How Long Will It Take the Catholic Church to Open This Door“)

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Underreported Survey Responses for Synod on the Family a Valuable Tool for Vatican / National Catholic Reporter

Last week, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, reported on survey responses from U.S. dioceses in preparation for October’s first session of the Synod of Bishops on the family. Kurtz’s report was underwhelming at best …

“There is no real dialogue here, no real listening, only the assumption that Catholics will change their minds if bishops talk louder and longer …

“One large national survey that went mostly unnoticed by the media is worth discussing here because it provided an opportunity for Catholics from anywhere in the U.S. to give feedback, not only those in the 72 U.S. dioceses out of 195 that offered online surveys. Conducted in November and December by 15 progressive Catholic organizations, the survey reports on 16,582 respondents from across the United States …”

By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.

Voice of the Faithful® was among the progressive Catholic organizations supporting this survey.

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