German Catholic women push for new female Bishops' secretary after incumbent steps down

Half a million German Catholic women demand access to priesthood

Germany’s largest Catholic women’s organisation has for the first time called for the ordination of women to the priesthood, passing a unanimous resolution to this effect in a Federal Assembly in Mainz.

For the record

“We are proud of this strong vote, which confirms in black and white what we have been committed to for decades,” said Mechthild Heil, Federal Chairwoman of the Catholic Women’s Community of Germany (KFD) after the vote of 92-0.

The KFD had until last Friday’s decision only come out in favour of the ordination of women to the diaconate. Its new resolution affirms its belief in the “strength, will, and confidence of us women to finally shape and lead our Church on an equal footing”.

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One level deeper

The arguments of the KFD for the admittance of women to the priesthood rest on two pillars: the equality of women with men in common law and in the UN Human Rights Charter, and the benefits to the Church that women be allowed to administer the sacraments.

“The exclusion of women contradicts our societal values in terms of equality and democracy and must be corrected”, the KFD resolution affirms.

“I am deeply convinced that women and men alike are blessed with God-given talents”, said Heil.

Why it matters

The full equality of women with men in the Church is a cry being heard louder and more frequently not only in Germany but also in Catholicism worldwide.

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Last month’s “Maria 2.0” strike movement gave media visibility to a growing grassroots movement that now, with the support of the 450,000 members of the KFD, Church leaders risk ignoring at their peril.

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