Church needs witness of women proud to be Catholic, archbishop says
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
“It’s high time” the church better explain why only men may be ordained, he said.
It is not because women are looked upon as being less worthy or able to minister to others, “it’s absolutely the contrary,” the archbishop said.
The priesthood is open only to men “because the male figure of the priest is a representative of Christ, the groom, who came to wed humanity” through his spouse, the church, he said.
A male priesthood “is only out of respect for this profound symbol of marriage,” Leonard said. “Let us remember and remind the church of her profound feminine nature as the bride of Christ and our mother.”
The archbishop spoke forcefully and with emotion, said Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, who briefed reporters about what occurred in the synod hall. The speech was a bit of a “shocker,” said one synod participant, because the archbishop is considered to be very conservative.
Leonard asked everyone to give thanks for “the quality and the specificity of the massive contribution of women to evangelization.”
“Without joyous women who are recognized for all of their qualities” and who are proud of belonging to the church, “there will be no new evangelization,” he told synod participants.
He called on church leaders to “never hesitate to entrust more important roles to women in the life of the church. We must find new and strong ways to do this,” he said.
In one of the four English-language groups, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York made great efforts to get the three women and four laymen in the group to speak and participate as much as the bishops, according to Rosica.
Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops