February 22, 2019
By Colm Holmes
‘Guided by the Holy Spirit we must come together and find new inclusive governance structures to replace the old patriarchal model, which has broken down’, writes Colm Holmes.
SENIOR CATHOLIC BISHOPS from all over the world gather in Rome this week for a four-day summit on clerical sexual abuse, which some say is the most serious crisis in the church since the Reformation.
Child sexual abuse will rightly top of the agenda, but it’s also just this month that Pope Francis admitted that Catholic priests and bishops have sexually abused nuns and that that abuse is likely to still be happening.
“I think it is still going on because it’s not something that just goes away like that,” said Pope Francis. He correctly identified that it is a cultural problem, the roots of which lie in “seeing women as second class”.
That was a very honest admission by the pope – that women are seen as second class within the Catholic Church. They were viewed that way by society at large for many centuries – women were there to raise children but men were in charge.
That has changed dramatically in the last 100 years, at least in western countries, with women getting the vote and almost all career paths being open to them.
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