Legions of female church workers at every level in parishes and chanceries, at episcopal conferences — and even at the Vatican — welcomed and welcome Pope Francis’ efforts to eliminate clericalism. The general perception that “they” (clerics) do not need “us” (women) seems to be fading. Or is it?
The great diversity of the “church workers” on which the Catholic Church depends fall into two main categories: paid and unpaid. The great majority of paid professional positions are held by clerics. The great majority of volunteer, unpaid positions, whether professional or not, are filled by women. Of course, there is cross-over, but the exploitation of women in what is loosely referred to as “church work” is a scandal that Francis seems ready to repair.
For sure, restoring women to the ordained diaconate may be part of the answer, but it is not the only one. Let us look at three points: 1) Francis’ emphasis on lay involvement in the Church; 2) the problem of clericalism; 3) the possibilities for women deacons.
Read more at La Croix International (July 15)