Clergy Abuse Women Leadership
Title: Abuse scandal linked to status of women in Church
Author: Christa Pongratz-Lippitt
Publisher: The Tablet
It is a ‘matter of urgency’ to have more women in leading positions: Cardinal Marx
Cardinal Reinhard Marx has reiterated how urgent it is to appoint more women leaders in the Church.
“Changes in this field are really urgent and must be pressed ahead with,” he warned. “We talk a lot about the Church’s new social form and on no other point is this reflected more clearly”, Marx said last week.
He was commenting on the publication to a wider audience of an address he held at the Council of Cardinal Advisors in Rome in December 2019. The secretariat of the German bishops’ conference published it as part of a series it is producing on conference presidents.
In his 2019 address in Rome, Marx recalled that in the 2018 study of clerical sexual abuse commissioned by the German bishops’ conference, which showed that 3,677 children and adolescents had been abused by 1,670 priests between 1946 and 2014, clerical structures and a clerical administration had been named as a factor in the massive abuse in the Church and its cover-up.
“Women in leading positions in the Church – and this is precisely not a matter of women’s ordination – contribute towards breaking up closed male clerical circles and associations in the Church…For the sake of our credibility as a Church and our credibility as bishops, we must do everything we possibly can to get women to take up leading positions in the Church,” Marx wrote. “The developments and experiences of recent years in the Church in Germany – and probably worldwide – show us that for young people, both men and women, serving the Church has become less and less attractive. They simply do not believe that the Church will treat women as equals or really allow them to participate”.
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