Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Women’s ordination on vatican’s year of the priest

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 giugno 2009

On March 16, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI announced a Jubilee Year of the Priest beginning tomorrow, June 19, 2009, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the death of the Cure d’Ars, St. Jean Vianney. The year-long commemoration is intended to strengthen and reinvigorate the male, clerical priesthood.  The year is expected to close on June 19, 2010, with a “World Meeting of Priests” in St. Peter’s Square. The following is a statement from Erin Saiz Hanna, incoming Executive Director of the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), effective July 1, 2009. Erin Saiz Hanna currently serves as Assistant Director. In Pope Benedict’s letter to clergy, he states that the example and teachings of St. Jean Vianney should serve as a ‘significant point of reference’ for today’s clergy and quotes the saint’s teaching, ‘Without the Sacrament of Holy Orders, we would not have the Lord. Who put Him there in that tabernacle? The priest…. After God, the priest is everything!’ In fear of their escalating loss of credibility and influence, this dangerous mentality can only be described as the hierarchy’s desperate attempt to latch onto outdated doctrine used to oppress the people of whom they should be focused on serving.  Simply declaring this ‘the year of the priest’ cannot and will not rebuild credibility. From sex abuse scandals, to threats of excommunication, to denying that condoms are effective in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, ordained men have obliterated their moral credibility with the people of God. Since 1975, the Women’s Ordination Conference has worked for women’s full inclusion in the church, especially as priests, deacons and bishops, and for inclusive, participatory church structures where all Catholics take part in decision-making within the Church. We celebrate the countless women and men who make a positive difference in our churches and communities every day. Right now in every diocese, lay ecclesial ministers are working for justice and responding to the spiritual needs in our communities.  There are over 31,000 lay ministers in the U.S.A., surpassing the 29,000 diocesan priests in the country. It is important to note that 80 percent of these ministers are women.  Though the Vatican may call on us to praise our priests this year, we will not turn back the clock on our vision for a discipleship of equals.  When women are full and equal partners in every aspect of the Catholic Church, only then, will the Roman Catholic Church be associated with accountability, transparency and justice rather than hierarchy, exclusion, and scandal. Until then, we will continue to raise our collective voices and organize actions that will bring our church closer to the gospel values of Jesus.”
Founded in 1975, the Women’s Ordination Conference is the oldest and largest organization that works to solely ordain women as priests, deacons and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Catholic church.  WOC represents the 63 percent of US Catholics, and millions of Catholics worldwide, that support women’s ordination. WOC also promotes new perspectives on ordination that call for more accountability and less separation between the clergy and laity.


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