Women in the Catholic Church

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The program turns the pages of history to disclose the reason behind minor roles of women in the Catholic Church. What is to blame for degrading the lofty position of women in the church bestowed upon them by Holy Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and epitome of a perfect human being. The patriarchal system of the Catholic Church that reduces the role of women to living stones, or the women themselves who make no effort to defend their inalienable social rights. The program shares viewpoints of renowned theologians and scholars to assess the possibility of putting an end to male domination in the Catholic Church and establishing a system in which women find equal opportunities to assume leadership positions.

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: “Not only is she a role model for women, but also she can be a role model for men, as well. She is the perfect human ever.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Xabier Picaza, Theologian & Bibical Expert: “Some say she is the true founder of Christianity, because she is the first one. According to the biblical writings San Marcus or San Juan, Jesus Christ knows it. Mary Magdalene or Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, are the main names mentioned in the Church before women. However, Mary Magdalene has become somewhat less common. But Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ is still ideal figure in the church.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Jose Ignacio González Faus, Jesuit and Theologian: “The Roman opposition accused the first Christians of making women commit sin. It’s a fact that in the early societies of Christians women were treated equally. A letter to the Romans speaks of a female messenger, although later there were some efforts to distort it. Still that messenger was a woman, and this was considered as an obstacle to Christianity. According to some biblical scholars like Pailo the first priority at that time, in the first century, was to cross Jews territories and spread Christianity all around the lands of non-believers. If we define it this way, the arguments over women will be overlooked ...”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Teresa Forcades, Benedictine Nun: “This is so interesting that it is considered one of the spiritual revelations. These revelations are different from religious jurisprudence, which discusses the knowledge of spirituality and theology, Religious jurisprudence is more engrossing than these things. But the truth is, these are parts of the history that talk about the realities of early Christian societies and it’s really intriguing that these manuscripts show a competition between the societies close to “Pedro” and the ones close to Mary Magdalene.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Jose Ignacio González Faus, Jesuit and Theologian: “I think we’ve forgotten that we have to have a universal and historical outlook. The issue of women is not exclusive to the Church. Based on our sources and what we know about the history of mankind, women’s right has been violated for any reason.”

TIME COCDE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: “Arsitotle inspected women only from the biological point of view and believed that men are superior to women considering the physical strength, intelligence and some other aspects. After the documentation of these texts, the sources in the scope of theology in the 8th century caused some trouble for the researchers who respected Aristotle’s notions about philosophy and biology. In this collision of notions, Aristotle’s point of view came out victorious and this thing prepared the ground for scholars to have degrading and humiliating judgments about the role of women.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Jose Ignacio González Faus, Jesuit and Theologian: “On the one side, Sex differences between men and women are much more than what they appear to be.Ovule was not discovered yet; in fact, they believed that men were the ones who cause next generations to come to life. On the other side, man who is the source of life, needs women because he can’t bear a child and give birth. This issue raises fear… and Man! Perhaps he comes to realize that we are not superior anymore.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: “Suspicion is the reason for man’s obsession and this issue along with philosophical notions of Aristotle and positive interpretations of San Pablo’s texts, which come from antiquity and the early Middle Ages, make the issue disputable.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], XabierPicaza, Theologian & Bibical Expert: Therefore, we have a church of men and the symbol of that church is woman. As it is mentioned in both Luke and John gospels women can be priests”.

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Isabel Gómez Acebo, Theologian: “The Church changed over the course of time. We have to consider this fact that woman has always been degraded in society. It’s true that woman had a really important role in the family, however, she had no significant role in public. We can say that Jesus Christ was not a feminist with respect to this issue. Of course, he was not. He was a man who belonged to that period. It is better to say that he would defend women though.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Madre Prado,Mother ,Conversion Abbey: “This house is the place that the society lives their daily lives in or they worship god here. There is unity among a group of many people of different backgrounds in this place, because there are many sisters here who have lived religiously and many new comers who have just started living this way. We hold meetings here to revive faith in mankind or to experience it for the first time and also experience living in our society. This is also a place for the ones who have difficulties, struggles and other saddening problems in their life. A place they can resort to and we feel that this is an invitation.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Teresa Forcades, Benedictine Nun: “I read the Bible before I turned 15 for the first time. This book had a great impact on me. when I finished reading it, I had a feeling of rage because I told myself how come I’d missed 15 years of my life and lived those years without knowing that such a book existed? The idea of becoming a nun hit me when I was looking for a quiet place to prepare myself for entry exam of specialty in medicine. I asked the nuns in Montserrat Mountain to join and they told me that the capacity was full. They told me that I could go with the nuns. But I thought that I didn’t want to do that. After that as I considered myself a feminist I said with nuns! Why not? Presupposing that they were not that much interesting to be with and they couldn’t be that much educated. So I said ok I’ll do that for feminism unity! I will do it. Participating in chorus and praying ceremonies had such a profound effect on me that after three weeks I realized my inner enthusiasm. I asked myself if I could live like that. And that was when a war started within me.”

TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Hermana Carolina, Nun: “I wasn’t religious in my childhood. I was a typical person with many questions about nihilism, meaninglessness and loneliness. I had a hard time passing adolescence. But these experiences gave me a lovely gift, and that was when I started going to church for praying. Quite simply I found an environment in which I could express my questions and inner confusions. Everything was beautiful in a humanistic way, beautiful. I started to grow from inside and outside. All these times I had this staunch feeling that Jesus Christ is waiting for me, to accompany me. He wants me and he takes my hand telling me” you are mine””

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Hermana Begoña, Nun: “They took me here. This wasn’t a logical decision or a conclusion by looking at the advantages or disadvantages, but it was the result of following a much stronger feeling that brought me here. I passed my childhood with inner confusions looking for the truth of phenomena and the importance of life. My presence in this world; what is my role in this world? On the other side I passionately defined my personality and characteristics. A power that pushed me to prosper.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Teresa Forcades, Benedictine Nun: Gertrudis is holy. it is considered holy in the Catholic Church and nuns consider her as a Saint in Bandiketino abbey. According to a statement by Alberto Magno, she listened to confessions and there was a long line in the abbey to confess. We have a female Saint for Bandiketino nuns which itself violates the Church law. Because they have recently asserted that a woman can’t have such a position and she violated this law by being a Saint just because she says that Jesus Christ told her to do so.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], XabierPicaza, Theologian & Bibical Expert: There are original and grand scientists like Hildegard and Matilde who not only knew Latin but also they know the knowledge of that era and introduced a new type of church in their own time, which was quite engrossing.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: In this era it’s not unorthodox to see women preaching in churches who know Latin and the current knowledge as well. Even they can be educators and in some certain cases, they can be a priest. Just like Hildegarda de Bingen and all the central monasticism women communities especially in Germany.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Teresa Forcades, Benedictine Nun: I think during the course of history and since the time of the creation of feminism, this notion was actually a claim to equality and this issue is not only socially valuable but also it is what god wants according to the Bible. That is to treat both men and women with absolute equal respect and there should be no case of superiority.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Ernestina Ródenas, President of Women in Church Organization: “It’s always been up to men to choose biblical and sacred scripts for chorus. And the important scripts which carried the basics of the Bible about how Jesus Christ would treat women were always kept hidden or neglected.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Lucía Ramón, Writer: “Violence against women is a common social fact in all the cultures. Although after the enlightenment, Christianity affected all the Greek and Roman patriarchy and today we still practice patriarchy.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], RoserSolé Besteiro, Writer: “A woman could establish a union or she could become a priest or a scholar. But it’s impossible for a woman to involve herself in religion or to be a theology professor, a medic in drug abuse related matters or a political activist at the same time. I don’t know about men, but it’s not acceptable for a woman to be active in all the fields. She has to come back to the abbey!”

TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Teresa Forcades, Benedictine Nun: Sometimes they want to justify these differences between men and women from a medical point of view. I have had some research and discussions about transgender surgeries. As an instance, medically they are to justify transgender surgeries and homosexuality. I’ve become accredited and famous in the Catholic communities and believers who think differently. In 2009 a vaccine for influenza, a virus that had gone internationally and alarmingly viral was made. I did meticulous research and made a video, which became quite famous later and had over a million viewers. I think that was the time when my fame crossed beyond the Catholic and Christian groups’ boundaries.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Ernestina Ródenas, President of Women in Church Organization: “Currently, she has been vetoed in Lérida Preventive Medicine Congress .Because medicine laboratories are the financial supporters of such congresses. She is not in their good book as a result she was vetoed so she could not participate in the Congress.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Teresa Forcades, Benedictine Nun: After that, anti-capitalist political activists gave me an offer. The population of the world is seven billion people. According to FAO, the food that is produced today can feed 11 billion people, however there are a billion people suffering from hunger. Although it shouldn’t be this way. A person who is truly following the Bible must have a radical stance towards this issue. I stood radically against it, and I believe the majority of Christians are of the same idea, so that offer wasn’t in accord with our political stance. This offer had nothing to do with any political party. It was about helping a society, which, under current conditions, is like that of Catalonia. so it can spread a different model of the present Neo-Liberal notion. A model that tells us it’s just a shame if people are dying from hunger and there is nothing we could do about it. Well, the substitute we are introducing via Proces Constituism, which is this movement, says that we can’t accept that people are dying from hunger. Clearly, this option can work better. But it needs a rearrangement of political power that is not under the influence of the power of economy.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: Tell Teresa Forcades that I admire her for her social skills as a woman, the studies she has done and the fact that she puts lots of effort in what she does. And I pray for her so she can accomplish her mission she wants to have in church.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Mar Milera, Coordinator of San Andres School of Evangelization: “ I had the chance to do whatever I could for San Benito religion but what changed my mind was the loyalty agreement. That means, you enter this place, you stay here, and you don’t leave. When I noticed that Teresa, for Cades is not loyal to this agreement, which she had accepted voluntarily, I asked myself whether it was the church or she who lied to me. When I look at her interest, which she has chosen of her own free will, I think what she did was wrong. If she wants to be a politician, as she has the civil right to do so, she says whatever she wants, or she does what she feels like doing, that’s ok. But this dual policy she has is not right in my opinion.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Jose Ignacio González Faus, Jesuit and Theologian: I love TereForcadas very much. I’ve known her since she was 16. She is a free woman and she is quite smart. We had little contact. If she wanted my advice, I would tell her, look Tere, put Nationalism aside for now because there are many people fighting for that. Work on poverty and women issues because the Church needs these more. It’s my opinion and what she wants to do is up to her.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], María Victoria Gómez, 60 Years in Seclusion: “What do nuns do, broadly speaking? Simple tasks, making cookies and chocolates. When I came here they were busy doing needlework .They were doing such things sitting all day long. I don’t know. Intelligence can bring creativity but if you work in such a limited workplace, you won’t be able to make progress. Well, I think there are many great women here who can’t progress as they should.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Mar Milera,Coordinator of San Andres School of Evangelization: “Dominid abbey " NuestraSeñora de los Ángeles de SantCugat " is the place in which my group and I practice our rituals. This is a very precious, bountiful place. This is a restricted abbey, and they devoted their life to praying in order to advocate the Bible. Although they are not that much young, they are warm and happy and they treat us like their own children. The truth is we feel happy here.”

TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], María Victoria Gómez, 60 Years in Seclusion: “The idea of leaving the abbey was happening gradually. What scared me was not being loyal to the love of Jesus Christ. I gradually came to realize that I could not stay loyal to Jesus Christ at the expense of ignoring my conscience. This was a strong call from inside of me to enter a contemplative life, united with god, and to be more responsible towards brotherhood. I left there with a sense of profound peace and freedom.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Sister Diana: “There are sisters who are studying theology and some others are studying other areas of religion. We study two hours a day. We take some courses that we can and we improve ourselves so we can communicate with the modern human. I think this era is the time of self-preparation.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Mother Prado: “I think we have whatever it takes to beprepared for the purpose of easy communication with modern human in order to omit cultural and era gaps. We are living in today’s world not in 17th or 18th century. We are living in this century .we want to be together in this century. We don’t want to go back in time or to Stratosphere.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], María Victoria Gómez, 60 Years in Seclusion: “You are not causing any trouble for the Bishop or the system if you don’t think, if you don’t study and if you don’t know.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Andrés Martínez Esteban, Church History Professor: “San Dámaso is a university for priests. This university is under the supervision of the Church and it’s dependent on the Bishop of Madrid and is traditionally in contact with the seminary, a place in which to-be priests are educated. Here we can study theology, religious jurisprudence, scholasticism. We also have interesting specialties like Christian and classic literature. Seculars, priests, theologians, the religious type, men and women they all come here for education in the field of theology.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Isabel Gómez Acebo, Theologian: The reason that a woman studies theology is her own enthusiasm. Why? what is the output of theology? Well, almost nothing, because most of the theology professors are men.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Andrés Martínez Esteban, Church History Professor: “Normally the number of male students is more than that of female students. Why?because most of our students are theologians. We have female instructors and female students who are knowledgeable, and on the whole, you can say they are very serious in what they do. They want to study theology because they like it. because they have religious concerns. They pose questions and look for the meaning of what they experience. They want to shape their faith. That is why in most cases we see women who feel responsible towards their job and family.”

TIME CODE: 25:00_30:00

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Xabier Picaza, Theologian & Bibical Expert: Until 100 years ago, only men could study and become a priest. All the scholars were men. But right now, there are more women than men studying in the Church. There are also more female instructors. Now, female scholars outnumber male scholars. And this fact has proven to be revolutionary in the Church.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Sister Francis: “Before I became religious, I had a good understanding of painting. I know that it was a God-given talent even before the time I became a religious person. When I moved towards religion, I was able to have them both at the same time and I gave real meaning to my art. It won’t make any difference to me which technique I ‘m using. Because what I want is the reflection of this hidden beauty. It makes no difference to me if it is something real or less than that, or if it’s painted by brush or palette knife. It doesn’t matter, be it watercolor or oil paint. All that matters is where it’s placed, to whom it’s been painted and the fact that it’s able to convey the message of God. These things matter to me most. It is important that it reveal the hidden beauty of god, which is not observable to the world.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Lucía Ramón, Writer: “Edith Stein is a great philosopher. A woman who made her way to faith from Judaism and heresy. Saint Teresa has helped her a lot. She deserves credit for her conduct and wisdom.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], María Pau TraynerVilanova, Theologian:“In the early nineteenth and twentieth century, despite the order of the Church, which mandated that women should not work in factories and they have to stay at home with the family, many secular women helped the Church and female workers. As an instance, in the first social encyclical, Pope Leo VIII lamented women who were working in factories. but later, due to the bad economic conditions, single women were allowed to work, but the rest of the women had to stay at home.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Mar Milera,Coordinator of San Andres School of Evangelization: “we secular people are like living stones in the Church. And we need to wake up and find other people, colleagues, neighbors, and all the people around us.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Soledad Suárez, President of Manos Unidas: Based on the current notion in the society, women have no role or any say in the society, it’s difficult to overlook the same lacks that women have in the society, because the Church is actually part of the society.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Isabel Gómez Acebo, Theologian: Do you want to drop it girl? I’ll take it. Ok? How is it going? I have a life full of vicissitudes. I got married when I was too young. I studied politics even though I had children. And after that I spent some years teaching theology at Comillas. There, we established a foundation for nursing homes. Every morning I ask god to help me forget myself and dedicate myself to others. But this isn’t enough because I don’t forget myself and I’m not fully dedicated to others. But at nights I tell him” hear me out, you haven’t helped me enough ”This is my way of spirituality, so simple, friendly, womanly, motherly, and grandmotherly .in this house when I’m kissing Tectum, they ask me what I am doing? Well! Kissing!Then an old woman says,” Isabel, you haven’t kissed me today”Yes, that is right, so I’ll kiss you twice now to make it up.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Manos Unidas:“Soledad Suárez”(the united hands),which started working 54 years ago, was established by a group of catholic women as a response to FAO for the world was struggling with hunger. They were ambitious and brave and they simply led us towards this task “putting an end to hunger in the world””

TIME CODE: 30:00_35:00

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Lucía Ramón Writer: “Catalina de Siena: was a distinguished woman in the 15th century. She was a determined pioneer at that time. She blended two factors, and this is of enormous difficulty. She combined inner happiness and strong spirituality, with a sense of responsibility to handle the issues of that time to bring about peace and stability. There won’t be any justice unless we give equal opportunities to both men and women. I’m talking about the countries in which “the united hands” is operating. We can compare them in no way with what we see around ourselves. We fight the idea of seeing women as a tool in these countries.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], XabierPicaza, Theologian & Bibical Expert: some women like Teresa de Jesús are the ones who gain the leadership of the Bishops and the priests, because they have sufficient experience. They don’t incline towards the leadership of a certain notion, however their leadership is charismatic and personal.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Jose Ignacio González Faus, Jesuit and Theologian: This happens because the mutual feeling she shares and the great understanding she has, a feeling of freedom that no one knows where she gets that, along with her influential faith.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Xabier Picaza, Theologian & Bibical Expert: “Here we have two different outlooks. Two types of theology .one of them is proposed by the great German thinkers who claim that Jesus Christ is the savior and the other one which says woman is the symbol of the Church and women are more important than men, however not for the positions in ministries. Men must control ministries, which are the service sectors. There is also another perspective asserts that there is no difference between men and woman and ministries are not solely for men.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], RoserSolé Besteiro, Writer: It’s clear to me that they are sad about it. They talk about the dignity of women as if it’s been taken away from them, because they think dignity is only for them. Nobody took my dignity away from me but they did take away my abilities as a woman. As a woman, as a person who was baptized in this church and as a person who loves this church, I want to live differently.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: Perhaps, the only thing that has been neglected in church is studying women from a religious perspective. This is something that has not been addressed yet. However, I think women haven’t been actually discriminated regarding their role.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Unknown woman: “We have to prove that myths are lies but look at what Lucia Ramon says in her book. She says experiencing religious violence is a challenge for religion, which diminishes faith in women. Her concept of God can give credibility to heretical notions, which have adverse effects. Most of the women who have been mistreated think that God is annoying, He loves suffering and thinks of it as a way towards salvation. What does God say about it? What does the Church say? The Church doesn’t say anything about it. They say nothing.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Andres Martinez Esteban, Church History Professor: First of all, I’d like to emphasize that the role of woman in the Church is not troublesome. It’s causing trouble since we wanted it to do so.I asked the students here, and they have no problem with it. They are experienced and happy women.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Blanca Castilla De Cortázar, Philosopher And Theologian: “Priests are the only ones who are handling many things and there are organizations related to the church that are quite redundant, considering the religious aspect of the issue. Like" Cardelana to " which is a non-religious organization.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Lydia Jimenez, Consultant: “I don’t know if the organizations at the top are the only ones to make decisions. There are other organizations in the middle that present documents and files. Actually, they come second right after those organizations that make the decision. Even if there are Bishops or Cardinals involved. I can clearly state that I had my position in the church, which is truly valuable and I’d never thought of being in another position.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: “Woman is uniquely protecting humankind at the time of birth, during life and at the time of death. If we notice, the church is worried about taking care of men. You might conclude that promoting the place of women in the Church is in fact for purpose of removing their concern about women.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Mother Prado: What we do most of the times in the evenings and during the weekdays is to spiritually support the people of this region. So a car with some of our sisters are sent to different regions and towns and they hold choir groups, praying groups and question and answer forums. This is how we are in direct contact with the old and the young.”

TIME CODE: 35:00_43:00

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Sister Calorina: “Take a breath between each sentence, let it become a habit … Laa,Laa,Laa”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: “Pablo IV set up a special commission known as Pope Commission to study the role of women in society and in the Church. People study the role and corporation of women and their right in society and in the Church. Unfortunately, after three years of convening meetings there has been no significant conclusion.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], XabierPicaza, Theologian & Bibical Expert: But in the end, they came up with a resolution in the year 68-69, which fearfully asserted that despite the importance of women in Christianity, women cannot hold a position in the ministries of the Church.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian:At that time and after 1970,the Anglican church accepted that women could have a position in this church. Therefore Pablo IV, who was is at odds with the Anglican church on an international scale, wrote to their Senior if they continue taking such measures, they will end up separated from the Catholic church.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], XabierPicaza, Theologian & Bibical Expert: Moreover, female Bishops remain in the same system in the Angelican church. That is, the fact that we can have women instead of men in these positions wouldn’t cause a drastic change.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Blanca Castilla De Cortázar: “There have been many advances since the time of Vatican II. The new legal religious jurisprudence is one of the examples. In the past, secular men were assigned to some tasks of the Church, somewhere you would see “virlaicus” is written; now you can see it’s been changed to “laicus” , that means a woman is allowed to have any position. She can be a judge or an economist and have a position in all managerial levels in the Church. Undoubtedly, she can be a teacher, a researcher or a theology professor. There is no obstacle without doubt.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Teresa Forcades, Benedictine Nun: What Juan twenty-third did was actualizing all those preaching and preparation for a change.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Blanca Castilla De Cortázar: “I understood the lack of theory and started doing something huge to improve philosophy and religiosity to achieve that goal. This is something quite new because ithasn’t been accepted yet. Probablyit’s too much of a new thing. In the Pope’s circular about the place and dignity of women, it’s been said that woman is the image of Godfor the first time in the history of education in the Church.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: “Juan Pablo II says,” I tell you my brothers the Church have no authority to make women priests at all. And all of the people loyal to the Church must take it into account.” Later Cardinal Rarzinger, a member of priests’ council, was asked if it was necessary to obey this order. He answered that was irreversible and it must be obeyed.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Andrés Martínez Esteban: “It’s not because the church doesn’t want it, it’s because of the order by Jesus Christ which says men must hold positions in the Church.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Teresa Forcades, Benedictine Nun: I think there is high expectation of him. They want him to have a different tone, not only a different tone but also they want him to cause real change not shallow ones. I hope these hopes and expectations result in something good in the coming years. But I believe, a real change of the justice in the society and in the church doesn’t come from the heavens. The basics in the society bring about change not the Pope, the king or the government.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Josep Saranyana, Theologian: “This statement was really provocative. there is a lot of meaning to it. After a short while, a grand Spanish Bishop was askedabout it. Then he answered that he had been sad as well! He added: we Spanish Bishops are sad about it(about the role of women). In the end, he said that he had believed there had to be more studies about the better participation of women in cultural issues and cases like that. I think Pope’s point wasn’t what the lay interpreted. What he meant is,it’s impossible to promote the place of women in the Church so they could go to small local church and take part more in cultural activities.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Isabel Gómez Acebo, Theologian: “in the 21th century, it’s hard to believe that God didn’t want us to be priests. And saying that “this is what God said”… I’m 99.9% sure that man said these words.It’sonly 0.1% likely that God said these words. But I believe man said those words for 99.9%.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Lucía Ramón,Write: “The only way to increase women's participation in the Church is to open the doors of spirituality. I understand that if there isn’t any change in the power structure in the Church ministries, we’ll see clergy women acting the way Margaret Hilda That cherdid. She could be the Pope. I think the whole thing is beneficial to Christian community.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Mar Milera,Coordinator of San Andres School of Evangelization: if we look atthe (Holy) Scriptures once again, we’ll realize that the secret of spirituality is hidden in the last supper. Jesus wanted to be with only 12 men. Ithink God had no plans to give women a spiritual place, because Jesus Christ would have invited her mother, who was the best possible choice.”

SOUNDBITE [Spanish], Jose Ignacio González Faus, Jesuit and Theologian: I have studied the Holy Scripture and some other books on this issue. Personally, I think there is no problem with it and we can’t say that Jesus would not choose women. Actually, he couldn’t choose women at that time. The first time when Juan Pablo II said the same thing and a journalist quipped:” neither could Jesus choose a Polish man to be a priest…””

   

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