“Our participation in the Church is our right as baptized women”

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In January 2021 the Vatican officially established that the ministries of lector and acolyte are open to women.

For Pilar Rio, a theology professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, it's another step forward, but she believes there is a long way to go in the advancement of women's roles within the Church.

Theologian, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

“It's not about doing us a favor. It's not about granting us a certain number of positions. Rather it's a question of rights, and this is a right we receive from the sacrament of baptism.”

She believes women's full participation in the Church's mission is one of the proposals of the Second Vatican Council, which described the Church as the “People of God.”

Theologian, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

“The ecclesiastical doctrine of the Council is very clear. It focuses, I would say, on Chapter II of Lumen Gentium. It is true though that this concept has not yet been fully grasped by the Church.”

Pilar Río shared these thoughts during a special event organized by Rome Reports. Silvia Rozas, director of the “Ecclesia” magazine, also participated. She believes changes in structure are necessary.

Director, “Ecclesia” Magazine

“Perhaps the parish priest shouldn't be the manager, but rather, what he is meant to be: a servant. A leader, yes, but not a manager. In other words, there are certain ideas that might become concrete in a few years, because reality calls for them. The reality is that there aren't enough priests. It should be one priest for one parish. Here in Spain, there are priests who oversee maybe 20 parishes.”

Silvia Rozas believes women have a lot to contribute, for instance in the management of abuse cases.

Director, “Ecclesia” Magazine

“I think we have a lot to contribute. We can bring warmth, humanity, an ability to listen. Keeping the law in mind of course, but first we must listen.”

Clericalism and the scarcity of women with a formation in theology are obstacles to be overcome with time.

Translation: CT

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