Just like John Paul II did during his papacy, Pope Francis has recently been moved to apologize for a Church history of male authoritarianism, male domination, the enslavement of women and sexual violence against women. But the fact remains that acknowledgements and apologies without concrete action for change remain meaningless.
Despite occasional apologies, our Church continues to worship patriarchal power and male domination. Despite the inclusive leadership modelled by Jesus, it is a Church controlled by men, for men. The current sexual abuse crisis that has gripped the worldwide Church is a tragic reminder of why this corrupt, patriarchal model must change.
Approaching Easter, we recall the fact that it was women who Jesus chose to witness and preach the Good News of the Resurrection. Despite this, we will not hear any women preaching the Gospel in any Catholic Church on Easter Sunday anytime soon. The voice of Mary Magdalene has been overpowered by a 'manshow' that is more comfortable with keeping her silent, alone and dismissible. She is barred from the pulpit.
Despite the Bible commemorating the service of Deacon Phoebe (and a recent papal commission on the ordination of women as deacons), there has been no report or significant movement from the Vatican toward the restoration of the ordained women's Diaconate.
Despite the Bible telling us about the Apostle Junia and despite Mary the mother of Jesus being the second most prominent model for sacramental priesthood (the first being her own son), these women would be barred from service in ordained ministry today on account of their lack of their 'missing maleness'.
Charity in the form of kind word or apologies is no substitute for justice withheld. Depriving our Church of priests just because they happen to be women is an injustice to all Catholics and an insult to Jesus' model of equality and inclusion. The hostage-taking of Christianity by the all male clerical caste is wrong. Why is Pope Francis allowing this injustice to continue when Jesus reminded us that we are all in his image and that we are all asked to bring his message of love to the world?
Dear Pope Francis, if Jesus chose Mary Magdalene to be the herald of the Good News, why won't we be hearing a woman preaching the Gospel this Easter Sunday?
Your sisters in Christ,
Women’s Ordination Worldwide