German Catholic Bishops Publish Interview Promoting the Idea of Women Cardinals
[Now that Osservatore Romano’s womyn’s page advocates womyn preachers at Mass, will this advocacy of womyn cardinals appear there next?]
March 8, 2016
The Vatican celebrates Women’s Day on 8 March, 2016. With the help of the organization Voices of Faith ( voicesoffaith.org/ ), an event is taking place at the Vatican where women “share their stories of strengthening the Church’s mission through their leadership,” according to the website of Voices of Faith. This event is the occasion for an interview with the journalist Gudrun Sailer ( www.katholisch.de/aktuelles/aktuelle-artikel/mehr-auf-den-rat-von-frauen-horen ) which has been published today on the official website of the German Catholic Bishops. Sailer has been working for the German Branch of Vatican Radio since 2003. She has written extensively on the role of women in the Vatican. In the interview with katholisch.de, Sailer bemoans that for women in the Church today it is still a problem that “they are often not being recognized due to a strong hierarchical thinking.” She adds that, in Germany and Austria, the bishops are increasingly aware that “something has to be done in order to be more just to women and in order to involve them more in decision processes.”
Sailer also praises Pope Francis for his having opened up more the discussion about this issue of the role of women in the Vatican. She says: “I think Pope Francis really succeeded to open up this field during the three years since he has been in his office.” When reminded by the website katholisch.de that Pope Francis says that female priests and cardinals are not going to be allowed, Sailer answers: “The problem lies in Canon Law. Only priests are allowed to make legally binding decisions concerning other priests. But there are propositions that male and female canon lawyers find together some room for laymen.” In her eyes, not every position which nowadays is taken by a priest requires an ordination. “On the contrary, rather few of them,” she added. Sailer continues:
There is also the proposal to create a new role for women in the Church. The cardinalate developed only in the 11th century – as an office of the Church, not established by Jesus. It would be possible to create such a new counselling office for women. […] I think it would be good to create such an office and to see how it develops.
In Sailer’s eyes, there is today a need in the Church “to listen more to the counsel of women.”
Exactly the same interview has now also been selected for posting by the official website of the Swiss Catholic Bishops ( www.kath.ch/newsd/neue-aera-der-oeffnung-vatikan-redakteurin-gudrun-sailer-ueber-frauen-der-kirche/ ).