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Statement released by RCWP Canada in response to Pope Francis' comments regarding the ordination of women in the RC Church

RCWP Canada National Leadership Circle | November 12, 2016

Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada (RCWP Canada) along with thousands of other Catholic men and women are once again disappointed by Pope Francis’s refusal to open up discussions regarding the ordination of women, citing yet again the statement of Pope John Paul II in 1994. Pope Francis seems to feel that the Church needs to follow that 22 year old declaration which was never said to be an infallible statement, rather than listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit clearly moving today within the Church, the people of God, and within the hearts and souls of hundreds of women who have chosen to follow their consciences and join other denominations or be ordained validly but “contra legem” (against Canon Law) as Catholic priests.
When did it become the norm that the words of a pope took priority over the movement of the Spirit within? Does Pope Francis really think that human words will stifle the Holy Spirit whom Jesus said would be with us until the end of time? One has to wonder what Pope John Paul II was afraid of, what was his negative view of women, from where came his failure to uphold the Church’s responsibility to speak out against injustice in all its forms?
The Catholic Church should be a leader in the world, speaking out against the sin of sexism and proclaiming loudly the equality before God of all persons. Sadly, the Church’s voice rings hollow because, by refusing to ordain women, it does not recognize the full personhood of all the baptized. It does not practice what it preaches when it refuses to listen to the Spirit speaking through the people of God.
Pope Francis has shared how he looks back on his first years as a superior in the Jesuit Order. He admits that he made mistakes and that if he could go back, he would do things differently. This took great humility. Is Pope Francis going to look back at this time in his papacy, and realize that it was a mistake not to listen to the voice of the Spirit speaking loudly and clearly for the ordination of women? This is the voice that must be listened to if the Church is to give any meaningful witness to the world today.
RCWP Canada National Leadership Circle
Contact: Jane Kryzanowski
Administrator, RCWP Canada West

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