On Friday evening October 13, I was invited to join a group of German women to tell the story of what we nine CNWE folks did in Rome the other week.
The occasion was a weekend pilgrimage in the footsteps of Hildegard of Bingen, directed by Annette Esser of the Scivias Institute in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. The participants were some 25 women, members of the local branch of the Katholische Deutsche Frauenbund (Catholic German Women’s League, or “kdfb”) from Cologne. The kdfb is one of two large Catholic women’s organizations in Germany that total some 500,000 members. Many of the women in the Cologne group are also members of Maria 2.0.
While the kdfb is the more progressive of the two organizations, both of them have come out strongly for the admission of women to all ministries in the Catholic church.
I described how CNWE was founded and who we are now. I sketched the background of the 1971 proposal from the Canadian bishops led by Cardinal Flahiff that the Vatican study admitting women to ordained ministries. I described how we prepared for the three specific events in Rome, how we made press contacts ahead of time, and how that paid off in terms of press coverage both of our presence and the rationale behind the WOW organizations’ actions. I even came equipped with our paraphernalia and demonstrated how we decked ourselves out for the Friday march — lanyards, canvas patches on our backs, wearing pink on Wednesday and purple on Friday. I told of how we had to meet the demands of the Italian police to carry out the march on Friday, walking in silence.
They were delighted with the strong sign of solidarity from Canada.
And I managed to present it all in reasonably decent German, and with much enthusiasm and excitement (probably very un-German!)
And so we enlarged our own tent a bit.