For Immediate Release: July 29, 2013
Contact: Erin Saiz Hanna
+ 001 202.675.1006 (USA)
Statement from Executive Director, Erin Saiz Hanna
Washington, DC - "The Women's Ordination Conference is deeply discouraged to learn of Pope Francis' remarks regarding women's ordination.
In an interview given to reporters on July 28 en route to Rome from Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis made it very clear that this papacy sees women as separate, but not equal to men, and will keep the door to women's ordination closed, citing Pope John Paul II as his reasoning.
Pope Francis' cop-out rationale illustrates a very selective theology: to blame a previous pope for his stance on women priests, and then in the very same interview contradict his predecessors by acknowledging an open understanding for gay priests.
Instead of looking to Pope John Paul II for the answer, Pope Francis could have looked to a variety of sources. He could have quoted the Vatican's own the Pontifical Biblical Commission that concluded in 1976 that there is no valid scriptural or theological reason for denying ordination to women. Pope Francis could have cited history that documents women's leadership in the early church, or acknowledge the great works Roman Catholic Womenpriests are doing today. He could have looked to Jesus who welcomed women as his equal.
Pope Francis stated that the "church has spoken and said no." The church was not Pope John II in 1994 when he forbade women's ordination nor is it Pope Francis today. The church is made up of the people of God and Pope Francis could have looked to the majority of Catholics who support the ordination of women, recognize that women are created in God's image, and strongly believe with God a door is always open."
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