A Catholic Renewal

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onsdag, maj 23, 2007
Katolsk ojämlikhet dokumenterad i USA
Report Reveals Widespread Injustice Against Catholic Women (Washington, DC)

As the school year draws to a close and report cards are issued, a coalition of Catholic justice organizations has also issued a national report card on the status of women in the U.S. Catholic Church that shows wide disparities between women's and men's roles. The report, the first of its kind, reviews conditions in 23 of the nation's 146 Roman Catholic dioceses and archdioceses. Women participate in about equal numbers with men in public roles as readers and communion ministers. However, it is behind closed doors where women face the most daunting barriers in Catholic education, on diocesan advisory boards and in diocesan employment settings.

"Pope Benedict XVI has said that it is 'theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity, ' but our study shows that women are relegated to the margins when it comes to positions of influence within the Catholic Church," says Prof. Susan Farrell, a lead analyst of the report. "We've issued an 'F' to the dioceses when it comes to representation of women in religious education and a 'D' in hiring women for top jobs."

The ground-breaking study investigated women's status at cathedral liturgies, in seminaries, on diocesan councils and in diocesanemployment settings. Although women's public visibility in Catholicism has risen, for example, with men and women serving equally as lectors at cathedral liturgies, bishops rated only a "C" when it comes to including girls as altar servers when the bishops preside at masses. One disturbing result: respondent surveys indicate only 29% ofseminary faculty are women. This compares with the 37.5% of women faculty nationwide (American Association of University Women, Tenure Denied, 2004 Report). Additionally, the surveys reported that there is still not gender parity on diocesan councils and boards, with men making up the majority of members on diocesan pastoral councils, Catholic Charities boards and diocesan finance councils. Additionally, the surveys showed that only 34% of women are diocesan "Level 1" employees, Level 1 being those who report directly to the bishop.

There are some bright spots. The bishops got an "A" for providing tuition assistance and scholarships for men and women preparing for lay ministry, as recommended in 1998 by the USCCB's Secretariat on Family, Laity, Women, and Youth in their report, "From Words to Deeds." Additionally, the bishops are appointing more women to their pastoral councils. On diocesan pastoral councils, women were 42% of the total. In two dioceses, there were equal numbers of women and men and in one, there were 3 more women than men. The full report with more statistics is available online at http://womensjusticecoalition.org

"We call for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to address these inequalities and to support women's gifts in church ministry, education and employment," says Rea Howarth, coordinator of the Women's Justice Coalition. The Coalition has sent its study to the USCCB and to each bishop individually with the request that the bishops address the six recommendations in this report at their November meeting. "One key recommendation is that the bishops make certain that seminarians and lay church members learn the full story about the roles of women in the development of the early church. The failure to learn our own history lies at the heart of many of today's disagreements, " Prof. Regina Bannan, another lead analystof the study, pointed out.

"Even though women make up the majority of parishioners in the pews, relatively few sit on diocesan councils, in seminary faculty chairs, or in decision-making offices," says Howarth. "With the release of this report, we're working so that Catholic women have a seat at the table, not just in the pews."

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postat av Charlotte Therese Björnström @ 20:19  
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    "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (okänd källa)

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Copyright: Charlotte Thérèse, 2007

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