Back the Church on Gender Equality
Geoff Harris, Rooi Els, Western Cape – Your front-page headline “Church to back gender equality on slave’s feast” (January 4) caught my eye. Wonderful news indeed!
As the SACBC acknowledges, “Despite men and women being equally children of God, women have been massively discriminated against”, and outlines the December 2016 SACBC pledge “for an end to abuse wherever it occurs, in the Church, in the family or elsewhere”.
Well, we don’t have to look very far for “the plank in our own eye”, do we? And I could not help wonder whether Jesus would perhaps have applied his well-known “white sepulchres” description to that statement, when one considers that the Church persists in relegating Catholic women to second-class status?
If that is not regarded as “abuse” or “discrimination”, then what is?
In accurately describing the dangers of abuse inherent in a patriarchal society, the bishops cannot afford to ignore the patriarchal nature of the Church. To do so would be the height of hypocrisy.
Perhaps the SACBC will outline precisely how it intends tackling this long-entrenched abuse?
Maybe the February 8 feast of St Josephine Bakhita will bring about radical changes in the Church’s attitude towards our women — but I am not holding my breath!
May 2017 bring many blessings to The Southern Cross and its readers — and especially the women of our Church, without whom the Church would never be the same.
It is high time their role was fully recognised.