Saturday, 13 August 2011

Calls for Female Religious Equality Spread

Following on from our story of the 1st Annual International Bhikkhuni Day it's interesting to note the increasing number of calls for the ordination of women priests within the Roman Catholic church. Just as within the Thai Forest tradition of Buddhism, women have been ordained in the Catholic tradition of Christianity against the dictat of each institution's leadership.

More than 150 Roman Catholic priests in the United States have signed a statement in support of a fellow cleric who faces dismissal for participating in a ceremony that purported to ordain a woman as a priest, in defiance of church teaching.

There has been a “Call to Disobedience” issued in Austria in June by more than 300 priests and deacons. They stunned their bishops with a seven-point pledge that includes actively promoting priesthood for women and married men, and reciting a public prayer for “church reform” in every Mass.

In Switzerland, Markus Buechel, bishop of the diocese of St Gallen, has said there was huge pressure on the bishops to discuss women's ordination. "We can no longer evade it," he says.

And in Australia the Catholic Bishop of Toowoomba, William Morris, has been effectively sacked by Pope Benedict XVI over doctrinal disobedience for his support for ordaining women priests and other liberal reforms.

Back in the States, just as within the Forest Tradition, people have gone ahead and by-stepped the restrictions by just doing it! The RCWP is an organisation of Catholic women priests, in their own words they are "an international movement within the Roman Catholic Church. The mission of Roman Catholic Womenpriests is to primarily spiritually prepare, ordain, and support women from all states of life, who are theologically qualified, who are committed to an inclusive model of Church, and who are called by the Holy Spirit and their communities to minister within the Roman Catholic Church."

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