October 25, 2019

Why Letting Catholic Priests Marry Could Be a Massive Step Back for Women
Tetra Images/GettyThis week in Rome, change is in the air in the unlikeliest of places: the Vatican.Expectations are high that at the conclusion of a month-long meeting of Roman Catholic Church leaders, known as a Synod, there will be a recommendation to change the 1,200-year-old rule requiring mandatory celibacy for priests.Since Pope Francis’ election in March 2013, these Synods have met every October to discuss pressing issues in the church. This year’s gathering is focused on the Pan-Amazonian region where the land is enduring catastrophic environmental destruction and indigenous peoples are threatened with multiple forms of cultural genocide. Catholics in the region are also affected by a severe shortage of priests, to the point that some are forced to go without access to the Eucharist for months, sometimes even years.This particular Synod, which began on Oct. 6 and will conclude this Sunday, Oct. 27, has been anticipated for years, with speculation that the Synod Fathers, as they’re called, may open up the possibility of ordaining married men to the Roman Catholic priesthood, at the very least in struggling regions like the Amazon.After three weeks of meetings here in Rome, with 10 of the 12 working groups discussing the ordination of married men, some Vatican watchers are speculating that the Synod may vote to recommend this major change in church law.Experts in church doctrine say that the change would be relatively easy since mandatory celibacy for Catholic priests is a “church practice,” and not a “revealed dogma.”This is in stark contrast to the ban on women’s ordination to the Catholic priesthood, a doctrine, Pope Francis has said more than once, that is unchangeable and not up for discussion.Though many will see married priests as a groundbreaking moment of progress in a church that has been retrograde in its approach to all issues related to gender and sexuality, it may cause a serious setback for women.Proof of this is evident in the workings of this Synod.There are nearly 230 male bishops, priests, and one brother currently meeting in the Synod Hall, 180 of whom will have a vote in the group’s final decision. There are 35 Women in the hall serving as auditors, 20 of whom are nuns. Not one of these women has a vote.Last year, Catholic women activists made international headlines when they campaigned for women to have a vote in the Synod. (The New York Times dubbed them “modern day suffragists.”) That demonstration led the Synod Fathers to declare a greater inclusion of women’s voices in church structures a “duty of justice” that requires a “courageous cultural conversation.”But they never managed to muster that courage. Women were denied a vote again this year. If married men are allowed to be priests, it won’t be because a woman had any say in the matter.The treatment of women at this Synod is consistent with the way women have been treated by an all-male hierarchy for centuries: they are voiceless, deprived of any decision-making power, barred from developing church doctrine, and refused all opportunities to serve in sacramental roles. It is hard to imagine how the addition of more men into the current all-male clerical structure would do anything other than reinforce the second-class status of women in the church.A married male clergy will simply give more power to more men. Women will be made subservient not only to celibate men but to married men, too.The inner workings of this year’s Synod have been more secretive and opaque than usual. However, during the event’s opening press conference on Oct. 7, a striking revelation was made by Sister Teresa Cediel Castillo, who ministers with women in the Pan-Amazonian region.She said that women “know that they are baptized, and therefore, prophets and priests. Women baptize children. If there is a marriage, women witness and celebrate the marriage. If someone has need of confession, we listen to the bottom of our hearts. We may not be able to absolve according to the Church, but we listen with humbleness.”Pan-Amazonian women have empowered themselves and embraced the power of God that works through them for the sake of a people in desperate need.What will happen to them and their ministries if married men are suddenly given sacramental power and authority over them? Will the people still turn to women in their most crucial moments when a married man will be able to offer them “the real thing”? What would stop married male priests from supplanting their roles? The Synod Fathers have repeatedly lamented the degrading treatment of both the Amazon and of women in the region. Yet they fail to see that at the root of all of this suffering is the fundamental idea that men and women are not equal—the very ideology they perpetuate in their rigid insistence that women cannot be priests.The disproportionate levels that women suffer from poverty, violence, abuse, and lack of education is a direct consequence of this sexist ideology. The ravaging of the life-giving resources provided by our earth is also a direct result of the patriarchal idea that men are entitled to total dominance over nature for their own gratification. If the Catholic Church, with its global political influence and its charismatic pope, allowed women equal status to men in its priesthood, they could be a powerful force for economic, environmental, and social justice. Allowing married men into the priesthood while continuing to bar women’s ordination will only justify the patriarchal belief that men should rule over the family, the church and the Earth’s resources.In the Orthodox churches and the Mormon Church a married male priesthood has done nothing to crack the sanctified belief that men are superior to women. Why should things play out any differently in the Roman Catholic tradition with its millennia of marginalizing women?If indeed there is a victory for married Catholic men this weekend, before we celebrate, we should consider the ways in which a new moment of justice for married men will only exacerbate injustices already faced by women and our planet. 
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Adam Levine addresses fan grabbing him during Maroon 5 performance | Page Six Celebrity News
October 27, 2021
81owF0TCJtI
Angelina Jolie says her kids can borrow ‘anything’ in her closet: ‘Take it’ | Page Six
October 27, 2021
xpjGjm8bnpo
Wendy Williams’ ex-husband Kevin Hunter is engaged to Sharina Hudson | Page Six Celebrity News
October 27, 2021
sqaYVw39mEU
The TMZ Celebrity Tour Meets the Fake De Niro | TMZ TV
October 26, 2021
KAgksJS0VfU
Tarek El Moussa And Heather Rae Young Get Married in Montecito | TMZ TV
October 26, 2021
WOVxOhxb8Gs
Alec Baldwin 'Rust' Actor Says Camera Was Protected During Shooting, Not Actors | TMZ
October 25, 2021
bASh7PtfiPU
Salma Hayek, Kit Harington and the cast of ‘Eternals’ Dish on Angelina Jolie’s Halloween Party
October 27, 2021
h05wj5x_pNo
Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji Dish on Season 5 of ‘Insecure’
October 22, 2021
KA7ZEjY3rvk
Kristen Stewart Opens Up on 'Eternals' LGBTQ Inclusion, Ruby Rose Battles with WarnerBros | The Take
October 21, 2021
7d3MFpaP2L8
PCA Reality Buzz, Halle's "Catwoman" & James Bond Is Filthy
October 27, 2021
tJjnMJhXB7A
Messy Pizza Peter, Tiger King's Back & Gwyneth's Table Talk
October 27, 2021
dXYdhYFxjIo
Jada Pinkett Smith Talks Sex Life With Will Smith | E! News
October 27, 2021
q5gotA6q7Fg
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.