Hope for a Female Pope
As a young woman growing up in modern society I have been witness to the ascent of women in both the political and corporate world. However, as I get older I become less and less satisfied with the façade of equality that women have become accustomed to. Still today, in the year 2013, women are treated less than men, and a prime example of this lies behind the walls of the Vatican.
This year’s selection for a potential Pope was a very diverse one, and I applaud the Church for that. Although, as the election for a new pope neared, I began to ponder the question: Why are there no women in the running? After some extensive research I have come to the conclusion that women are simply not allowed to be in the Papacy; and it doesn’t stop there.
To become a Pope, one must first become a priest, after that, a bishop and from there you may be chosen by the Holy Father himself to become a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. The Cardinals are part of the College of Cardinals, and their job, after the pope dies or in this case resigns, is to choose who will become the next Supreme Pontiff.
Women are stopped at the first step, being denied the opportunity to gain priesthood. Why is this you ask? Being one of the most controversial topics inside the Catholic Church, this question has been answered time and time again.
Some argue that since Christ himself was a man, that women cannot act on his behalf and be a “person of the Christ head.” Others claim that this is an unbroken tradition that dates back to the Apostles and that In the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states; “Only a baptized man validly (vir) receives sacred ordination.” However I do not see why this antiquated tradition cannot be changed. Over the past decade we have had a black president elected in the United States, and a lesbian premiere in Ontario as well. Society is moving forward and the Catholic Church should as well or they will be left behind with only their lethargic traditions.
There is a Canadian Cardinal, Marc Oulette, is fighting the good fight for women from inside the Catholic Church. After being asked about his stance on women in the church he replied by saying, “You have many women working in key positions, even if they are not ordained, but this is open to further development, but we have to go, you know, with the times-and it is not easy to move forward.” So there is hope, however small it may be.
Hopefully with or without the help of impartial members of the Papacy, women’s role in the Catholic Church will grow, along with the furthering of gender equality as a whole.