CNWE Signs International Joint Statement -Response to Vatican

Yesterday, the Vatican issued a clarification of its canonical procedures for how dioceses should handle priests who sexually abuse children. As part of the statement, they have added that the “attempted ordination of a woman” has now been added to the list of “delicta graviora,” or most serious crimes in church law, alongside the sexual abuse of minors.

This morning, twenty-seven international Catholic organizations issued the following joint statement in response:

We, the undersigned, express our solidarity with Catholics who continue to seek equality, including those who practice feminist ministries and those who are ordained. We know these women and men to be firm in their faith and courageous in their work as they seek an inclusive and accountable church, undeterred by threats of excommunication or other canonical penalties. In addition, we stand with our brother priests and bishops who are also being threatened by this new policy for their support of women’s equality in the church. Furthermore, we take great offense that good faith struggles for gender equality could be misunderstood as a sacrilege and placed on par with the sexual abuse of children. In 1976, the Vatican’s own Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded there is no valid scriptural reason for denying ordination to women. Therefore, we welcome such efforts to expand the scope and variety of ministry and we celebrate women’s faithfulness despite huge institutional obstacles.

We are gravely disappointed that the Vatican would largely repackage its sexual abuse policy norms from 2001 in yesterday’s re-issued statement without adding many meaningful changes to canonical procedures on how to handle the sexual crimes of its religious leaders. We stand with survivors in calling for the release of the names of all credibly accused Catholic religious leaders and for the Vatican’s immediate adoption and implementation of global child protection policies. Nothing less is adequate to the crying needs of a community torn asunder by its own leaders’ crimes.

Catholic Organization Signatories

Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), USA
Patrick B. Edgar, D.P.A., M.Div., President

BASIC (Brothers And Sisters In Christ), Ireland.
Contact: Una Ruddock
+353 1 621 6816

Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director,

Call To Action, USA
Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director

Catholics for Choice- Canada
Rosemary Ganley, Coordinator

Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, USA
Paula Ruddy, Bernie Rodel, Michael Bayly, Co-chairs
(612) 379-1043

Catholic Network for Women’s Equality, Canada
Paula MacQuarrie, Coordinator

Contact: William Manseau

Corriente Somos Iglesia, Spain
Raquel Mallavibarrena, Coordinator
+34 649332654

Catlicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Mexico
Maria Consuelo Mejia, Director
+5255 5658 1163

Catlicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Spain
Mar Grandal, President
352 88946

8th Day Center for Justice – Women’s Group, USA

Femmes et Hommes en Eglise/Genre en Christianisme, France
Danielle Penuel-Monneron, President
(0)2 33 90 78 10

Institute for Feminism and Religion, Ireland.
Mary Condren, Th.D., Director

Interreligious Convention of European Women Theologians
Lee Wax, Coordinator
0044-208 884 0476

Kerk Hardop, Netherlands
Marleen Wijdeveld, President
Isaac West, Editor-in-Chief

National Coalition of American Nuns, USA
Contact: Donna Quinn

Noi Siamo Chiesa (Italian Section of IMWAC), Italy
Contact: Vittorio Bellavite

Nous sommes Aussi l’Eglise, France
Lucienne Gouguenhem, Vice-President
33 1 45 88 04 92

Pax Christi Maine, USA
Bill Slavick, Coordinator

Conatct: Gloria Ulterino

Roman Catholic Faith Community Council of the Federation of Christian Ministries
William J. Manseau, Evelyn Hunt, and Thomas Quinn, Co-Chairs

Roman Catholic Women Priests, Europe-West.
I. Riedl, Coordinator
0049-089 845 830

Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc
Contact: Alice Iaquinta

Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER), USA
Mary E. Hunt and Diann L. Neu, Co-directors
301 589-2509

Women’s Ordination Conference, USA
Erin Saiz Hanna, Executive Director

WomenPriests.Org, International
Therese Koturbash, Coordinator
+44 (0)1923 779 446