FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2012
Contact: Erin Saiz Hanna, email@example.com
On holiest of days, Pope slams women's ordination supporters
Response from Erin Saiz Hanna, Executive Director
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Roman Catholics globally joined together for the feast of Holy Thursday, to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus the Christ and welcome the Easter Triduum, the holiest days for Catholics. It was during the Last Supper that Jesus gave those gathered a new commandment -- to "love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
While during these holy days we would presume to hear Pope Benedict XVI echoing Jesus' call for love and inclusion, instead the Pope put forth a message of fear, intimidation, and oppression. In his homily earlier today, he denounced "disobedience" within the church and strongly reprimanded priests who support women's ordination.
The Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) is discouraged that the Pope would use this sacred time in our religious tradition to attack his fellow priests, who in good conscience, support women's full inclusion in the Roman Catholic Church. It is not these priests who are disobedient, it is the hierarchy who has lost touch with the people of God.
Out of fear of the growing numbers of ordained women and the overwhelming support they receive, the Vatican is trying to preserve what little power they have left by attempting to extinguish the widespread call for women's equality in the church. It will not work.
More than 63 percent of U.S. Catholics, and millions of Catholics worldwide, support the ordination of women. The Vatican's own Pontifical Biblical Commission found in 1976 that there is no scriptural reason to prohibit the ordination of women. The Bible describes how women were prominent leaders in Jesus' ministry and early Christianity. In all four gospels, Mary Magdalene was the primary witness to the central event of Christianity-Christ's resurrection.
It is long overdue for the Vatican to listen to its own research, its own theologians and its own people who say that women are equally created in the image of God and are called to serve as priests in a renewed and inclusive Roman Catholic Church.