KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter
April 24, 2020
By Cindy Wooden
Vatican City – For some priests and seminarians, “women represent danger, but in reality, the true danger are those men who do not have a balanced relationship with women,” said Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
The cardinal was interviewed about the role of women in seminaries and seminary formation for the May issue of the women’s supplement to the Vatican newspaper; the interview was published April 24 by Vatican News.
Asked if a lack of women involved in priestly formation programs is to blame for the discomfort women and priests can experience in each other’s company, the cardinal said, “the problem is probably deeper” than that and begins with how women are treated in one’s family.
“There is awkwardness because there is fear — more on the part of the man toward the woman than the woman toward the man,” he said.
“We must radically change” how priests interact with women, the cardinal said, which is why “during formation it is important that there is contact, discussion, exchanges” with women.
Having women on seminary formation teams as professors and counselors, he said, also “would help a candidate interact with women in a natural way, including in facing the challenge represented by the presence of women, attraction to a woman.”
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