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Sunday, March 08, 2015

International Women's Day

- Women See Themselves as Left Out Amid Talk of Change in Catholic Church ... There is no place for women priests. Pope Francis has rejected such a change outright .... “This is the most sensitive issue in the Vatican, more difficult than so many others because it is fundamental to so many others,” said Tina Beattie, a professor of Catholic studies at the University of Roehampton in London. “We need to make him understand that this is a make-or-break issue for the church,” she added.

- Less than 20 percent of Vatican employees are women ... As of last year, only 18 percent of Holy See employees were women, up from 17 percent four years ago. In the separately administered Vatican City State — which runs the Vatican Museums, the Vatican supermarket, pharmacy, and tax-free department store — there has been a more marked increase, according to statistics released Friday. In 2004, 13 percent of personnel were women, rising to 19 percent in 2014.

- Why Pope Francis Won’t Let Women Become Priests ... Despite his talk of expanded roles for women in the Church, Francis is still firmly against ordaining women as priests or, for that matter, as clergy of any kind. He has even rejected the idea of reviving an older tradition of lay cardinals that would include women. (A lay cardinal is a nonclerical member of the College of Cardinals.) The proposal has drawn influential support from the likes of Lucetta Scaraffia, a historian and columnist for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, but Francis has unambiguously shot it down. Francis’s clearest statement on the ordination issue came during an airborne press conference in July 2013, when he was returning from Rio de Janeiro. “The Church has spoken and says no. . . . That door is closed,” he said.

- Pope Francis: The good, the bad and the ugly ... While he [Francis] has spoken on different occasions, even quite recently, about the need to involve more women at every level of the Church's structures, he has done absolutely nothing more than his predecessors to promote women to key positions at the Vatican. When speaking of women his vocabulary is, at times, tainted with an unmistakable trace of jargon identified with the macho Italo-Argentine male. Making jokes about mothers-in-law and constantly repeating other stereotypes about marriage and family life ala the 1950s betrays the pope’s disconnect with many women, especially in Northern Europe and the English-speaking world.

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