When will there be women pastors or bishops? ask catholics

To be a woman bishop, parish priest, deacon, nuncio … incongruity ? Several Catholic women ask, symbolically, to access positions reserved for a long time to the clergy, male. Formed as a collective, they seek to internationalize their approach.

There are seven of them, from very different backgrounds. One is a colonel of the Air Force Citizen Reserve, another psychotherapist, a theologian, another translator … Catholics, engaged in a parish or a community, they dream of offering their services to prohibited functions. to women in the Roman Catholic tradition.

To do this, they formed a collective this summer, All Apostles! and claim a Manifesto denouncing the silence of women by the Church for centuries and calling for a salutary act of disobedience to the ecclesial doxa.

Then, at the end of July, they submitted their files to the nunciature in Paris, requesting an audience with the Vatican ambassador in France.

They would like to be pastor, deacon or bishop

I am fully aware of the incongruity of my approach, testifies one of them, Sylvaine Landrivon, aspiring, at 64, to become bishop.

We women are recognized in administrative positions, but at no time in Bible teaching positions. It’s serious, regrets this doctor and former teacher in theology. However, we have another way of presenting the Good News, which is not andro-centered.

Another member, Claire Conan-Vrinat, 40, consultant in a consulting and training firm would like to become a deacon, which would allow her to pronounce homilies and make sacraments, baptisms, funerals …

It would be a shame if the Church deprived itself of the diversity of our life paths, of our commitments, of our qualities., explains this woman. Who wants to be reassuring: no question of taking power instead of men. We’re all baptized, we’re all brothers and sisters.

At 56, Christina Moreira, translator, involved in a community in Spain, would like to be a pastor and support one of the abandoned parishes in France, where people are only entitled to one mass once every six months, because of the vocations crisis among priests.

In Western societies, gender equality has progressed. There is only the Church that resists, she said, judging that it is time to act, Pope Francis being an open man who listens.

For her part, Hélène Pichon, 51, aspires to become a nuncio. For this Air Force colonel with a rich diplomatic background, why a lay woman (not a member of the clergy) could she not perform this function ?

The collective is inspired by action by Anne Soupa, a 73-year-old theologian who threw a stone in the pond on May 25 in applying to the Archdiocese of Lyon … to succeed Bishop Philippe Barbarin.

Son Skirt Committee, an association of 300 members who have raised these questions regularly for more than 10 years, has also joined forces with All Apostles. Just like the feminists of the platform Oh my Goddess, representing a younger generation.

Pope Francis works on women’s access to the diaconate

Proof that the debates around the place of women in positions of responsibility are still relevant today. And can interfere. Sylvaine Landrivon had to file a complaint after receiving a letter of death threats at the end of July, the days following the filing of his file at the nunciature.

It’s a glowing subject, which calls into question a number of foundations of the ecclesiastical order, notes Anne-Marie Pelletier, biblical scholar and theologian. If she has reservations about the form of the gait, she concedes that this gesture gives visibility to realities to which the hierarchy of the Catholic Church very strongly resists.

She herself is part of a commission appointed at the beginning of the year by the Pope Francis, which must work on women’s access to the diaconate.

For her part, she advocates associating the question of women with that of secular men who have no more power than women and feel helpless.

Waiting, All Apostles, to reach more widely, got in touch with several other similar movements abroad, Voices of faith, Maria2.0 for example. At the end of August, a conference was given online on social networks, simultaneously translated into… seven languages.

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