Women's Ordination Conference USA have issued the following Press Release
Rome, Italy: The Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) applauds the women religious of the International Union Superior Generals (UISG) for brazenly dialoguing with Pope Francis on leadership and ministerial roles for women in the Church, including the opening of the diaconate to women. In response to the sisters' questions, Pope Francis agreed to launch a Vatican Commission to study the diaconate to include women, stating: "It would be good to clarify this."
Opening a commission to study the diaconate for women would be a great step for the Vatican in recognizing its own history. Decades of research on this topic has already been published by renowned feminist voices. WOC recommends that the Vatican's commission include the following scholars: Gary Macy, Dorothy Irving, Ida Raming, Sr. Christine Schenk, John Wijngaards, and Phyllis Zagano.
Nach Aussage von Hans Küng selbst hat Papst Franziskus auf sein Schreiben geantwortet, mit dem der Tübinger Theologe eine freie Diskussion über das päpstliche Unfehlbarkeitsdogma gefordert hatte. Wie der Onlinenachrichtendienst National Catholic Reporter (NCR) berichtet, habe Papst Franziskus ihm über die Berliner Nuntiatur einen Brief zukommen lassen, in dem die Anrede „Lieber Mitbruder“ handschriftlich verfasst sei und in dem er sich offen für eine Diskussion zum erst seit 1870 geltenden Unfehlbarkeitsanspruch ex cathedra zeige.
Den Brief selbst wolle Küng aus Gründen der Vertraulichkeit nicht herzeigen, doch er sei begeistert über die Öffnung, die Papst Franziskus bereits mit der Veröffentlichung seiner apostolischen Exhortation Amoris Laetitia und nun auch mit der Antwort auf seinen Aufruf zur Diskussion gezeigt habe. „Das ist der neue Geist, den ich mir stets vom Magisterium erwartet habe“, zitiert NCR Küng. „Diesen neuen Freiraum, so meine Folgerung, gilt es zu nutzen, um die Klärung der in der katholischen Kirche und Ökumene umstrittenen dogmatischen Festlegung voranzutreiben“, betont Küng. Dem Papst gelte für diese neue Denkfreiheit „mein tief empfundener Dank“, berichtet auch die Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) unter Berufung auf den Theologen.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Tuesday that the clergy should serve lay people and not make use of them and spoke out against clericalism, calling it one of the greatest distortions affecting the Church in Latin America. His comments came in a wide-ranging letter reflecting on the role of the laity that was addressed to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The Pope’s letter was a follow-up to the commission’s recent Plenary Assembly whose theme was “the indispensable role of the lay faithful in the public life of Latin American countries.” In his letter, Pope Francis explained that he wished to follow-up the discussions and reflections that emerged during the Plenary Assembly in order to prevent them "from not bearing fruit."
He urged the clergy to look closely at the people and lives of the lay faithful and avoid falling into the trap of adopting certain slogans on their behalf that seem well-meaning but in practice don't succeed in supporting the lives of our communities. Pointing to the example of a famous phrase “it’s time for the laity,” he noted that in this particular case, that clock has ground to a halt.
Catholics decry modern-day inquisition
An international group of Catholic sisters, priests and lay people, all of whom have been ‘delated’ (i.e. reported) and subjected to ‘examination’ by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), formerly known as the Holy Office of the Roman Inquisition, have said that this body “doesn’t reflect the gospel values of justice, truth, integrity and mercy that the Catholic Church professes to uphold” and that are called for by Pope Francis. They also say that the CDF “acts in ways that are out of keeping with contemporary concepts of human rights, accountability and transparency that the world expects from the Christian community and which the Catholic Church demands from secular organizations.”
“Can you get justice from a body that acts as investigator, accuser, judge and jury and then imposes the penalty?” spokesman for the group, church historian Paul Collins asks. “And then, if an appeal is made, it is heard by the same people,” Collins adds. The accused have to deal with secrecy and anonymity, often having to negotiate with the CDF at third or fourth hand via a network of superiors and bishops. “People are not informed as to who accused them,” Collins says, “there is no presumption of innocence, the accused don’t know who is judging them with prosecutors acting as judges; they don’t even know who their defense counsel is. They are usually never given a chance to defend themselves verbally and in person. Letters go unanswered for months, or are “lost”.