News / Europe

Catholic Women Press Ahead Despite Vatican Prohibition of Priesthood

Catholic Activists Press for Female Priestsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
March 05, 2013 2:45 PM
As Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world gather for a conclave in Rome, and pilgrims watch for the white smoke that heralds a new pope, some Catholics are pushing for more progressive actions, such as allowing women into the priesthood. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports from St. Peter’s Square.
As Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world gather for a conclave in Rome, and pilgrims watch for the white smoke that heralds a new pope, some Catholics are pushing for more progressive actions, such as allowing women into the priesthood.
 
Time can appear to move slowly at the Vatican, where religious orthodoxy rests on solid pillars.
 
But Giuseppe Visotto thinks the time has come for a little flexibility. “The church has to adapt to modern society. The world is changing rapidly and the church has to follow in each and every respect,” he said.
 
Half a world away, one Catholic congregation meeting in a Protestant church in Baltimore, Maryland, has already cast aside the prohibition on female clergy.
 
They are part of a movement that started in Pope Benedict’s native Germany in 2002. There are now around 150 ordained Catholic women worldwide, and Gloria Carpeneto is one of them.
 
“Women represent half the experience in the world,”  Carpeneto said.

She adds, the church loses out by limiting the priesthood to men. It’s not that they do not understand women, she says.

“But there are some unique experiences that women in the pews have and they’ll never hear those or see those reflected if there’s not a woman’s voice," Carpento said. "Nor will the men in the pews by the way. ”

Ryan Sattler agrees. “God does want women - Jesus wants women - to be full members of this beautiful traditional church we call Catholic,” he noted.

Around one third of people raised as Catholics in America have left the church. Some join Protestant denominations that do ordain women.
 
So why not do the same?
 
“Many Roman Catholic women priests have asked that of themselves, because it would be like that [snaps fingers],” explained Carpento.

But she says it would be unfair for the church to say to them: “‘We raised you. We called ourselves your mother. We kept you in the fold. We taught you. And now when you are in the fullness of your spirituality and you want to serve God, go down the street, the Episcopals will take you," said Carpeneto. "That’s just the craziest thing!”
 
So they hope things will someday change.
 
The Vatican has decreed that any bishop who ordains a woman priest is automatically excommunicated.
 
Despite this, Italian priest Romulo Fenu says women are revered in Roman Catholicism. “The woman, with Christ’s Maria, acquires a fundamental importance in the life of the church," he said. "So it’s absolutely not discrimination.”  

Sister Clare Marie Klein, a member of the Felician Sisters order, shares that view.

“Oh, absolutely, I think if Christ wanted to ordain women, he would have ordained his blessed mother, like she is seen as the highest but that does not downgrade the dignity of women at all," she said.
 
It’s widely expected that the next pope will be at least as conservative as his predecessor. But if he is, he risks driving away even more progressive Catholics from the body of the church.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid