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Reflections by the group of women who were ordained on the Danube


by the spokesperson for the group of women preparing themselves to be ordained on 29 June 2002

. . . .I think the (worldwide) upheaval about the ordination of women priests is losing its tension. Many have gained the insight that the ordinations that will take place in Austria and Bavaria are necessary and important, but that it is not supported nor desired by all, and won't be appreciated by the princes of the Church and by the Pope and can't be because the Pope has banned all DISCUSSION and the men in our Church do not even dare to breathe so scared are they. This is a fact.

To wait for the Pope to die and to say that the next one will (possibly) do better, is cynical and we women should not take this road! Let's not ignore the circumstances that are imposed on us and let's not close our eyes to reality. We must know that we will not obtain from the powerful a way that will be acceptable for all without the necessary discussions and courage: ROME DOES NOT DISCUSS WITH US!

So we must, those of us who are convinced that it is not only necessary to change something, but that, if we do not change anything to this Church we are becoming accomplices to the crimes and disturbances that are produced by the official Church, those of us, I say, must act with all the means at our disposal. This is a duty for women and men, who see and understand.

Our possibilities are not gigantic, but they are not inexistant. We do have resources that ground in the strength of our women's personality and on the way that we have chosen to follow towards the interior of this Church.

Our way is a way that lies open and can be followed. We are, of course, not world heroes nor superstars, as some of those who are weaker wish to make us, but we are neither stupid nor cowardly. We are naturally not the perfect ones who say that their way is the right one, but our way is one way and we follow it with all our strength, wisdom, logic and consistency that we are capable of. Some say other ways are better. Such a comparison is inadequate, for human beings can only follow one way in a specific situation. Human persons can never follow two ways, the possible one and the supposed "better" one. Human beings have to choose when they arrive at a crossroad for the road to follow, and this one will then be the only possible one. The other one does not even exist. So, for us there is just this one path (and no "better" one), because the Church obstructs each other way. Of course we would love to hear the Pope say: “The Church will admit women to be ordained from March 2002 on”. But such a hope is not realistic. Or have you ever heard it somewhere?

We have not heard it, and we refuse to excuse the institutional Church for the non-existence or the non-utterance of statements. The most reverend people involved could pronounce them any time, if they so wished, today or tomorrow. We would welcome them making their statements. We will wait, today, tomorrow and the next months, but it is not our fault that the leaders of this Church have not the strength to speak with us. As women we must not assume responsibility for the incapacity of others. We have to act ourselves according to our talents. To shy away from tasks and to look away from them and avoid them is no solution. To be fixed on ideal situations and be paralyzed in front of not implementable utopies even less.

Women should analise the actual situation in a very cool manner. But they should not excuse any power entrusted to men in the Church, should not pardon any man in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, should not protect any man in ecclesial domination who acts against his conscience and against the equality of rights for women and men.

Women should not defend the cowardly, women-oppressing powerful in this Church. These could act in a different way if they so wished.

As long as they will not do so, we will act independently and on our own responsibility. We women are not distancing ourselves even one centimeter from the basic idea of the Catholic Church. We are not acting a g a i n s t the Catholic Church, we are not converting to another Church, we are not initiating a war against the Catholic Church, but we are using our strength i n f a v o u r of the Catholic Church - for a Church that takes its mission towards the human persons seriously and that acts with responsibility towards each individual.

Dr. Gisela Forster, 4 March 2002

Ordinations 29 June RC women called to the priesthood Theologians on the teaching of the CDF The duty of speaking out Mistaken teachings by Popes in the past Womenpriests home page

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