ACP EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT OVER POPE’S COMMENTS ON WOMEN DEACONS
Saturday 11 May 2019
Pope Francis’s comments on women deacons at the press conference on the plane back from Bulgaria, his kicking the can down a timeless road, is a major disappointment. We had come to expect reactions like this from previous popes, but we thought Francis was different, and consequently our disappointment is greater.
The equality of women is critical for the credibility and the future of the Church. Introducing women deacons is such a minimalist step that if he cannot move on that, there is little or no prospect of any real movement towards equality.
His comments send all the wrong messages about women to women and men.
It confirms that women are not good enough, and that in the eyes of the ‘official’ Church men are more worthy than women.
It confirms that many of women’s gifts will continue to be wasted.
It confirms that the official institutional Church is a men’s Church.
It confirms that to be a full member of the Church, exercising all the privileges, you have to be a man.
It confirms that the Church is a structure built by men for men.
It confirms that the Church continues to be a clerical hierarchical patriarchy.
It confirms that injustice is built into the heart of the Church.
This is an enormous blow to reforming the Church and bringing it into the 21st century.
Now is the time for all of us who believe in equality to make our voices heard, clearly and without equivocation. There must be no fudge about where we stand; bishops, priests and people in the pews. Now is not the time for looking over our shoulders, thinking of our chances of promotion, or of offending those in authority. This is much too important.