Canadian Catholic Women Supporting Gender Equality Respond to Election of Pope Benedict XVIMonday, July 26 2010
TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ - The Catholic Network for Women's Equality (CNWE), a Canadian grassroots group working for women's equality in the Catholic Church, responds with deep concern to the election of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, based on his prior performance and role in the church. Yet at the start of this new papacy, CNWE cautiously hopes for the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Roman Catholic Church - one where it finally begins to practice social justice and gender equality. We therefore lay out our requests to Benedict XVI:
- We encourage you to respect and listen to the diversity of voices within your church. Organizations become unhealthy when dissenting voices are silenced, as with the previous papacy. The long-ignored and marginalized voices of women in your own church, asking for equality and for their full human rights to ordination to the deaconate and priesthood, must be heard and acted upon.
- We plead with you to encounter the oppression of women within your own church. Women, especially in the developing world, have few rights and we ask you to fully recognize how irresponsible it is to force teaching on contraception for women that comes from male authority. The church's preaching against condom use in AIDS infected Africa and other areas is the height of irresponsibility.
- As an academic, we ask you fully to protect the academic freedom of theologians within the church. Too many have been silenced for dissenting views and the church must begin to be open to the full range of their voices and views.
- We expect the full participation of lay people in the life of the church, including all decision making; the opening of the priesthood to married priests and openness, respect for and dialogue with other faith traditions. - We encourage you to continue to let indigenous people animate their worship in their own language and with their own music and dance.
- We expect you to continue the sensitivity of the church toward enculturation of the gospel and liturgy.
- We expect you to respect, welcome and treat with dignity gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and to work for their full inclusion within the life of the church and society.
About The Catholic Network for Women's Equality The Catholic Network for Women's Equality (CNWE) is a Canadian grassroots organization of Roman Catholic women and men who work for justice and equality for women in the church and in the world. CNWE supports the Women's Ordination Worldwide Second International Ecumenical Conference July 22 to 24 at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Visit CNWE at www.cnwe.org . For further information: or media inquiries, please contact: Kathleen McWilliams, (403) 293-5359, firstname.lastname@example.org