ROMAN CATHOLIC WOMENPRIESTS – CANADA (RCWP – Canada)
RESPONSE TO THE PAPAL ELECTION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Canada East: Cathy O’Connor, Roman Catholic Woman Deacon email@example.com
Canada West: Monica Kilburn Smith, Roman Catholic Woman Priest
firstname.lastname@example.org (Calgary, AB)
Marie Bouclin, Bishop, RCWP: email@example.com (Sudbury, ON)
Facebook Page: Roman Catholic Womenpriests Canada
Yesterday, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic Womenpriests – Canada (RCWP – Canada) join with the Roman Catholic Church around the world in welcoming Francis I as the next Pope.
He begins his papacy amidst a great need for reform and renewal within the Church. If it is to be a vehicle for bringing the Gospel to contemporary society and into the future, the Church will need to transform the present culture of patriarchal authoritarianism and recognize the full baptismal equality of all Catholics. This was the thrust called for by the Second Vatican Council, and it is our hope that Pope Francis will once again let the fresh air of the Holy Spirit into the Church. With over one billion members, the Church and the faith of its people can truly be a global force for good in the world.
RCWP Canada calls for the structural changes necessary to ensure that the gifts of women are brought to all levels of church ministry and leadership, including ordination to priesthood. We also call for a restored focus on social justice concerns, such as violence, poverty, war, and the environment. Women and children are the primary victims of abuses of such basic human rights. Discussion concerning institutional reforms and moral issues need to be participatory, open and transparent.
As Catholics we draw upon a long history of faith and reason in responding to the signs of our times. RCWP invites all Canadian Catholics to join us in praying that Pope Francis I will call for an end to the sin of sexism so that we can truly be the Body of Christ – a community of believers where the equal dignity of female and male disciples of Christ is honoured. (Gal 3:28).
Members of RCWP Canada wish Pope Francis I well. We hope to be able to work with him and all others in leadership in the Catholic church in building a more inclusive, just and accountable institution. We pray that the new pope is given the grace to hear and to see needs of the whole People of God, taking to heart the commission of Jesus to his patron St. Francis of Assisi to “rebuild my house”. We commit with him to dedicate our lives to helping the Gospel flourish in today’s world.
Roman Catholic Womenpriests Canada are part of an international reform initiative within the Roman Catholic Church. Our mission is to prepare, support and ordain predominantly women who are called by the Holy Spirit and their communities to offer a renewed priestly ministry in vibrant grassroots communities where all are equal and all are welcome.
March 14, 2013