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Friday, September 18, 2015

Bishop Francis Quinn on women's ordination

Catholic Bishop Francis Quinn (retired) has a piece in The New York Times - How the Pope Might Renew the Church - in which he endorses women's ordination, as well as optional celibacy for priests and communion for the divorced and remarried. The last priest* (that I'm aware of) who spoke up for women being priests was excommunicated, dumped from his religious order, and laicized, which explains why most priests with these opinions don't voice them until after retirement, if at all. Here's just a bit of what Quinn wrote ...

[...] Recent popes have said publicly that priesthood for women cannot be considered because the gospel and other documents state that Christ ordained men only.

Yet women have shown great qualities of leadership: strength, intelligence, prayerfulness, wisdom, practicality, sensitivity and knowledge of theology and sacred Scripture.

Might the teaching church one day, taking account of changing circumstances, be inspired by the Holy Spirit to study and reinterpret this biblical tradition?

[...]

Pope Francis prefers the simple title “bishop of Rome.” So I ask my brother bishop: Should we not convene a third Vatican Council just as ethical and paradigm-shifting as Vatican Council II of the 1960s?

A Vatican Council III would bring together the world’s bishops under the unifying guidance of Peter. It would include representative major theologians, scholars of sacred Scripture, scientists and appropriate academics, lay people of all ages, clergy members and parishioners, and officials of other faiths.

In addition to the three issues dividing the church, this council and future councils would explore the morality of world economies, spiritual life, human sexuality, peace and war, and the poor and suffering.

Such a council might slow or reverse the flow of the faithful out of the church. It would also stimulate a new conversation about God, one that shows young people that God is not an old man with a long white beard. God is infinite and unlimited ......


There's also a post about this at America magazine's blog - California Bishop Voices Support for the Ordination of Women. Here's an excerpt ...

[...] “I can’t see any reason why women shouldn’t be priests,” he [Quinn] said. “The church would benefit greatly.” Bishop Quinn said he had “personal ideas” about the ordination of women for decades, but in the past he “would never preach about it or say it publicly,” since Pope John Paul II had taken it “off the table.” .... “I don’t think I’m saying anything drastic in the [New York Times] op-ed, but I’ll hear from people,” he said.

There's also an interview with Bishop Quinn on this at National Catholic Reporter.

I'd like to believe that what Bishop Quinn has written will have an effect on Pope Francis but I don't think that's likely given the pope's negative views of women.

* Fr. Bourgeois wrote an open letter to Pope Francis last year - Is the Pope Christian? Fr. Roy Bourgeois Writes to the the Pope

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