Women priesthood or de-clericalization of the church?
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It is disturbing to see the powerlessness of Catholic women to respond to what they perceive as their Spirit-led vocation
Pope Francis greets a group of nuns during a Jubilee audience at St Peter's square on June 30 at the Vatican. (Photo by AFP)
The question of women priesthood in the Catholic Church has been a thorny issue for several decades. Once again it is alive in media debates as Pope Francis reportedly affirmed the church's stand of not ordaining women while speaking to journalists early this month.
The pope affirming the church's stand to a frantic "Never, ever?" question, supposedly raised by a Swedish journalist onboard the papal plane, echoes the fear of many that their dreams of finding women 'at the altar' could be smashed forever.
Reports portray strong reactions. Some are angry as they see the church fixated on the tradition of an all male priesthood that they believe has become obsolete for our times. For some others, the papal statement is baffling. Though he signaled to signs of hope on the gender question — through the different pronouncements and gestures of inclusion — he is not ready for radical changes that would facilitate the expansion of women's roles in the church. And so, there is a sense of frustration.
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