Tuesday 25 October 2016

Sin of sexism and the church

Published 28/11/2012 | 05:00

• While the Church of England failed to allow women to become bishops by a mere six votes, we in the Catholic Church face Herculean efforts to even allow the open discussion of the possibility of women's ordination to the priesthood, as shown by the totally disproportionate sanctions handed down by the Vatican against clerics who conscientiously oppose this position.

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Within the past week an American priest, Fr Roy Bourgeois, who is internationally known for his work on human rights in Latin America, has been excommunicated, dismissed from the priesthood and laicised by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith.

The serious crime that this priest, who has given 40 years to the Catholic priesthood, committed to warrant the ultimate sanction of excommunication from the Catholic Church was not paedophilia or murder but his attendance at the ordination of a Catholic woman to the priesthood.

In a statement last week Fr Roy stated that, "my conscience compelled me to break my silence and address the sin of sexism in my church.

"My only regret was that it had taken me so long to confront male power and domination in the Catholic Church."

This punishment of a Christian like Fr Roy because he publically stated his belief in gender equality is a grave injustice in the eyes of God and all decent human society.

I handed in a letter of protest to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on behalf of 'We are Church Ireland' calling for open dialogue in the Catholic Church on the issue of women's ordination and to end the scandalous sanctions against priests and theologians who, led by the Spirit of God, advocate open dialogue on this issue.

The sin of sexism stains the Church of Christ and it is no wonder that the message of Jesus as preached by the church is rejected by so many of our generation.

Brendan Butler
The Moorings, Malahide, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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