Support the Café
Search our site

Small but steady push back on Vatican stance on women clergy

Small but steady push back on Vatican stance on women clergy

In spite of a clear policy that women’s ordination is not to be considered, and those entertaining the idea face stiff sanctions, there are still regular acts of defiance by Roman Catholic clergy who support the idea.


The New York Times points out today on the front page that there have been recent incidents in the US where more than 150 priests signed a letter in support of a fellow priest who participated directly in a woman’s ordination into the priesthood. In Austria 300 priests and deacons have supported a manifesto in support of woman’s ordination. And in Australia the National Council of priests came out in strong support of a bishop who was removed for simply speaking about the possibility of woman’s ordination as possible response to the rising crisis caused by a lack of priests.

“While these disparate acts hardly amount to a clerical uprising and are unlikely to result in change, church scholars note that for the first time in years, groups of priests in several countries are standing with those who are challenging the church to rethink the all-male celibate priesthood.

The Vatican has declared that the issue of women’s ordination is not open for discussion. But priests are on the front line of the clergy shortage — stretched thin and serving multiple parishes — and in part, this is what is driving some of them to speak.

“They are saying, ‘We don’t have enough priests, we’re closing down parishes,’ ” said David J. O’Brien, who holds an endowed chair in faith and culture at the University of Dayton, a Marianist Catholic college. “It’s a sign that the pastoral needs are sufficiently grave now that priests are speaking up and saying, ‘Wait a minute, you can’t just ignore the pastoral consequences of the things you do and say at the top.’ ””

More here.

None of these small signs of defiance have gone unnoticed by the Vatican. There are ongoing investigations in Australia and likely in the US into the actions of the clergy in question. And it has been the policy that anyone participating in a service that ordains women into the Roman Catholic priesthood faces almost immediate excommunication.

And yet the push back continues.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_012
2020_013_B
2020_013_A

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café