Ascension Sends Petition to Cardinal George

Wednesday Journal
September 8, 2010

As we reported here three weeks ago [Pastor apologizes for church's insensitivity, Inside Report, Aug. 18], Rev. Larry McNally of Ascension sent a letter to the Chicago Sun-Times criticizing the Catholic hierarchy for both the way in which women's religious orders were being investigated and the Vatican's July 15 statement including ordination of women with pedophilia on its list of grave sins.

Members of Ascension last weekend showed their support for McNally's position by signing a petition to "express our solidarity with Catholics who continue to seek equality and respect for American women religious, for those who practice women's ministries and those who support women and married men who are called to ordination. We know these women and men to be firm in their faith and courageous in their work as they seek an inclusive and accountable church, undeterred by threats of excommunication or other canonical penalties. In addition, we stand with our brother priests and bishops who are also being threatened by this new policy for their support of women's equality in the church. Furthermore, we take great offense that good faith struggles for gender equality could be misunderstood as a sacrilege and placed on a par with the sexual abuse of children. In 1976, the Vatican's own Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded there is no valid scriptural reason for denying ordination to women. Therefore, we welcome such efforts to expand the scope and variety of ministry, and we celebrate women's faithfulness despite huge institutional obstacles."

Rev. McNally planned to deliver the signed petitions to Cardinal Francis George on Tuesday. Cardinal George is leaving today for a trip to Rome.

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