Many Catholics yearn for a more inclusive and effective role for women in the Church. I am one of the many. For some, ordination is the holy grail of women’s rights in the church. Until this is attained, they believe, we have not achieved full equality or dignity. It’s all or nothing.
Sometimes this desire can blind us to the need for deeper reform, beginning with the concept of priesthood itself. For example, Pope Francis saddened many by reiterating the belief (promoted by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI) that the issue of women’s ordination is closed forever. I was saddened, too. What happened to all the great hope for reform?
I believe that reform will still come; especially for women in the church. This might mean putting the fight for women’s ordination on the back burner for awhile. Francis has some pretty big ideas in mind, namely the dismantling of the current clericalism and careerism that has burdened the people of God for too long. This is the good news.
My latest article in the Prairie Messenger explores some of the hope-filled messages found in the recent interviews with Pope Francis.