23 March 2016
Let’s be crystal clear: this debate is not about female access to the priesthood
A few months ago, I attended a press conference that, had it been at almost any other institution, would have seemed ridiculously outdated. The issue was the participants. There was a big stage, a long, wide table, and six speakers. All of them were male.
No prizes for guessing where I was. Yes, you got it: the Vatican. The six men on the dais included one bishop, three priests, and two laymen. Where Rome is concerned, “diversity” means non-priests (and you’ve got to hand it to them; if I’d been at the same press conference 20 years ago, all six figures on the stage would probably have been ordained).
But as diversity goes, it is not quite cutting the mustard in the twenty-first century, where most organisations are rightly increasingly aware of the need to represent minorities who might feel that white, able-bodied men are not necessarily suited to articulate their situation.
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