Photo: A February 2020 protest of Spanish Catholic women for equality in the Church

Madrid Catholic women have deplored the Church’s “dangerous reverence for the ‘sacred and consecrated’ male”.

– In preparation for a 2022 “Women’s Synod”

The Madrid-based group Revuelta de Mujeres en la Iglesia (“Revolt of women in the Church”) took to Twitter November 9 to explain a project they have been working on with a view to the “Women’s Synod” the global Catholic Women’s Council is organising for Rome in 2022, so as “to bring our collective experiences, reflections and struggles for the equal rights and dignity of women to the institutional centre of our Church”.

In a Twitter thread with their customary hashtag “Until equality becomes a habit”, the ‘Revuelta’ group recalled that the Synod has as one of its goals “to address the issues that will help us achieve full recognition, dignity and equality for women in the Church”.

In the service of that aim, the group shared three proposals that it said it had discussed and agreed upon “that we believe can bring about change and bring our Church closer to the Community of Equals that Jesus proposed”.

– “Outdated”, “medieval” Catholic anthropology “disregards the richness of the magisterium of women”

Never losing sight of the fact that the Women’s Synod “aims to promote the dignity and equality of all women in our globally diverse and multicultural Church”, the ‘Revuelta’ first of all decried the “violation of the human rights of women in the Church”.

The collective blamed those rights violations on Catholic “clericalism and patriarchy”, and on the Church’s “dangerous reverence for the ‘sacred and consecrated’ male”.

“His use and abuse of powerr has led to gender-based violence” in the Church, the ‘Revuelta’ denounced.

It added that the current Catholic vision of the human person “has outdated, medieval roots” and is responsible for the “inequality and submission” of women, in the same way that it “prevents the integration of women into all the organs of the Church and disregards the richness of the magisterium of women”.

– Feminist theology must be “path and indispensable reference point for profound change” in Church

A second point the Madrid Catholic women addressed in their Twitter thread Monday was the need for “integrating feminist theology into the Church as a path and an indispensable reference point for profound change”.

Such an assimilation of feminist theology “would lead to a change in exegesis; a reading of history that rescues silenced women; changes in the liturgy, in the sacraments and in the language of the Church; a new understanding of ministries, [and a] dialogue of the Church with feminism” and feminist movements in wider society, the ‘Revuelta’ explained.

The third point the group raised was the need for “analysing ecclesial reality based on data, to denounce the inconsistencies with the Gospel message and to propose the necessary changes” to bring the Church back in line with its roots.

Fleshing out that point further, the ‘Revuelta’ explained that it is a matter of Church structures better reflecting “the reality of the diverse and multicultural Church.

“Millions of people – and communities – without pastoral care. The theological impoverishment of the presbyterate, especially in rural areas. Ministries exercised by women without any recognition, undervalued”, were some of the points the women mentioned.

The ‘Revuelta’ concluded its reflection by denouncing the inequality evident in women not being allowed to speak and vote in high-level Church meetings such as official Bishops’ Synods.

That inequality, they said, is just another show of the “cynicism and inconsistencies that are manifested both in Church documents and in the daily practice” of Catholic women as they continue to face embedded structural sexism and misogyny.

More Novena stories on Catholic women’s rights:

March 2020: “Jesus was a feminist!”: Hundreds of Spanish Catholic women cry out for equal rights in Church

February: Spanish Catholic women “losing patience” with Church: “Without deep changes it will never be the Church of Jesus”

February: 130,000-strong petition in Germany, “revolt” in Spain, global protests… Catholic women’s frustrations reach boiling point

February: Spanish women theologians shout “Enough!” with “deep discrimination” in Church, call on Catholic women to “revolt”

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Progressive Catholic journalist, author and educator. Working on social justice, equality and Church renewal.