- Raised to the altars: one who fell for the poor
A champion of the poor or someone mixed up in politics? A man who died for the faith or because he was a political inconvenience? Archbishop Oscar Romero’s beatification today confirms his stature and illuminates his model of holiness
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Pope Francis on giving up television, speaking without thinking and refusing to cry in public
- Vatican media must reallocate resources for the internet age, says Lord Patten after major review
- World needs 'charism of Catholic universities', Cardinal says at ceremony to install him as St Mary's chancellor
- Burke warns Oxford audience of dictatorship of relativism in which Christians seen as extremists
- Even the gangs declared a truce for Romero’s beatification Clare Dixon in San Salvador
- Irish vote shows the Church needs to rethink its theology of sexuality Ursula Halligan
- Greatest threat to Palmyra is Western apathy Nadim Nassar
The Bishop of Basel, Felix Gmür, has permitted the democratically elected Basel Catholic church corporations (“katholische Landeskirchen beider Basel”), which are officially only responsible for church finances, to formulate an initiative appealing for equality between men and women as far as ordination to the priesthood is concerned.
The Basel “Landeskirchen” first submitted their equality initiative in 2012, aiming to oblige the church authorities to “work towards” women’s ordination. But as Bishop Gmür explained at the time, the faithful could ask their bishop to pass on proposals and wishes but they could not oblige him to change canon law, that in this case decreed that only men could be ordained.
Gmür and the “Landeskirchen” have since reached a comprise in the wording of the initiative which the bishop sanctioned on 8 May. Instead of obliging the church authorities to “work towards” equality, that is, that women could be ordained like men, the initiative now says the church authorities “submit the proposal” for equality.
“I personally can imagine a woman at the altar but it would be difficult to put into practice,” Bishop Gmür recently told the Swiss daily Aargauerzeitung. “Such a process would be a crucial test for the Church that might tear it apart. I’m afraid there would be schisms. We should first discuss the celibacy rule for men as that is only a matter of church discipline and not a doctrinal issue. In my view celibacy is not an essential precondition for the priesthood.”