We give hope to many people
Many women and men in the Catholic Church feel confused and disillusioned. The Second Vatican Council offered the prospect of real reform in essential areas of the Church’s life and work. These expectations have been dashed by the ultra-conservative words and actions emanating from the Vatican.
The following responses from our mailbag show that our website gives renewed hope to the thousands of visitors who read our material each month.
“I think it is high time the church woke up to the fact that it is in-excusable to run the church in the modern age like it is doing – almost like an exclusive – ‘members only’ club. I love the church and love being a Catholic, but I am at the same time totally dismayed at having to overcome Un-Christlike attitudes that have unfortunately become so entrenched so as to appear beyond hope. This is worsened I believe by the present pope, who in his capacity as head of the congregation for the faith, banned the use of inclusive language from the liturgy. So we can sit at home and read from an inclusive language bible about how we are a total part of Gods plan of salvation; but not hear that when we are in church – that’s male only language territory. In my opinion all that optimism, all that real hope for great and lasting change, all that excitement that poured out of Vatican II has been allowed to be squandered for the interests of a select few, like the church was left to run out of steam. On another level too – the church it could be said is also guilt of squandering talent – just think of all those talented women but also men who leave to get married. – I was overjoyed finding your well-documented and easy-readible web site. “
“As a young practising Catholic who believes that women should be ordained as priests, I thought that I was being somehow rebellious in my beliefs. Thank you for making me realise through your excellent web site that I actually share this opinion with large numbers (perhaps a majority) of Catholics, both lay and ordained. It’s good to know that a theologian and ordained member of the Church can take for granted the fact that most Catholics cannot identify with papal teachings, while at the same time not assuming that they have distanced themselves from the Church by rejecting these teachings. Thank you for helping me realise that I have the right to question Church teachings according to my informed conscience and that I am not obliged to blindly follow everything that comes out of the Vatican and the CDF. I wish you well with all your courageous work!”
* “I am eighty-seven years and have been frustrated all my life, with only the Spirit in me to give me power and hope. Women think differently and are different. Why o why have we women had to honor men on the altar without a woman’s voice? I think it is wrong, wrong, the church has oppressed us since Abraham, and men are controllers and dictators. I pray for that day when we see women as well as men with the Pope saying mass to praise God.”
* “I am a man. I wish to express my solidarity with you as you struggle for women’s ordination. It is beyond my understanding as to why the Church cannot permit women priests. It is preposterous to say that it is God’s will or against Jesus’ mind to admit women to the ranks of priesthood. I do not believe that God has any problem with women priests; nor do I believe that most men in the Church, both clerical and lay, have any serious objection to ordaining women. The problem is with the Pope and with some of his advisors. May be we will have to wait patiently for a leadership that is open to discuss the issue of broadening the definition of priesthood and has the courage to take the Church forward by doing justice to women in the Church.”
“Keep up the good work! A lot of people find it unbelievable that the Vatican will excommunicate female priests but will NOT excommunicate sex offenders.”
“I am a Catholic convert. I have felt called to the priestly ministry for quite some time now but was thinking of changing church. I am interested in learning more about women in the priesthood. I am very interested in preparing myself to become a priest, please send me any information I would need via email.”
* “Your site shows a kind of courage that is lacking in most of the priests I know who would agree with you behind closed doors but not out in the open. The priestly order seems to be so fearful of authority. I work in a major seminary. As a matter of fact I am going to a rite of ordination of Deacons this morning. I am happy for the men, but look forward to the day when women will be afforded the same opportunity to answer the call of the Holy Spirit. ”
* “For many years I have felt deeply the profound injustice of the Institutional Church’s exclusion of women from full sacramental participation in its life. I have written, spoken out and acted, all the while wondering where my brothers were in this struggle? Where are the men of conscience, integrity and courage who see the truth and dare to speak up?”
This website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.
The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars’ declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.
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