January 21, 2020
By Celia Viggo Wexler
Failing to empower women narrows the church’s vision and makes it less equipped to be a force for good in the world.
Recently, the Catholic Church took two small steps for womankind: This month, Pope Francis named the first woman to a managerial position in the Vatican’s most important office, the Secretariat of State. And in October, the world’s bishops suggested that Francis reconvene a commission he had created, at the urging of nuns, to study the ordination of women as permanent deacons — church ministers who are able to perform some of the duties of priests, but not to say Mass or hear confessions.
Yet these reforms only make clear how little power women hold in the church, where they constitute about half of Catholicism’s 1.2 billion adherents. Not only are women barred from ordination to the priesthood, they are not even allowed to vote at Vatican synods, convened to advise the pope about challenges facing the church.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.