“Is it wrong to hope in anticipation of Lent that the archaic structures of the church—clung to so fiercely as unchangeable yet skewed so inordinately in patriarchal privilege—can be seriously addressed?”  (Excerpt from “Lenten appeal to Pope Francis on Women’s Ordination from John J. Shea, O.S.A.+”…letter edited for length below)

<<Dear Pope Francis,                                                        February, 2017
I hope you are well and that you are allowed to receive this letter. I pray for you and I am inspired by your obvious concern for the poor and the environment…

When you talk about the need for honest dialogue on the issues that we face as a church, I am somewhat heartened. You keep insisting: “dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.” In fact, you say: “dialogue fearlessly.”

Unfortunately, however, there is not now, nor has there ever been, any fearless—let alone gender inclusive—dialogue on the ordination of women, although this is arguably the most crucial issue in the church.

Can the sea-changing collaboration of bishops and theologians at the time of Vatican II serve as a model for what needs to happen today?  Can you empower that kind of thoroughgoing synod-like collaboration as part of your concern for honest dialogue in the church?…

Is it wrong to hope in anticipation of Lent that the archaic structures of the church—clung to so fiercely as unchangeable yet skewed so inordinately in patriarchal privilege—can be seriously addressed?

Pope Francis, will the day come when the church’s recognition of women rivals the mercy that is the cornerstone of your papacy?

Sincerely,John J. Shea, O.S.A.

Copy: Members of the Council of Cardinals>>

Source: Lenten appeal to Pope Francis on Women’s Ordination from John J. Shea, O.S.A. — Women’s Ordination Worldwide

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