A group of women gathered in St. Peter’s Square last Tuesday to protest the exclusion of women from the Roman Catholic priesthood, reports the American Free Press. According to the National Catholic Reporter, the eight protesters demanded “full and equal participation” in the church, as they marched on the Vatican holding signs reading “Ordain Catholic Women,” “Vocation is important, not gender,” and “Born to be Priests.” The march was stopped almost immediately by police officers.
Prior to the demonstration, groups advocating for women’s ordination held a press conference to protest the Vatican’s three-day celebration marking the end of Pope Benedict’s “Year for Priests,” reports the Associated Press.
Erin Saiz Hanna, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, told reporters, “The absolute hypocrisy of the ‘Year for Priests’ celebration cuts to the core of what is wrong with the hierarchy today,” reported the National Catholic Reporter. According to the Associated Press, Hanna continued, “While the hierarchy spends their time covering up scandals and throwing major celebrations for themselves, Catholic women are working for justice and making a positive difference in the world.”
Mary Ann Schoettly, one of more than 100 women who have been ordained by female bishops and secretly consecrated by male bishops, told the American Free Press, “Reclaiming our ancient spiritual heritage, women priests are shaping a more inclusive, Christian centered Church of equals in the 21st century.” Donning a traditional Catholic priest’s collar, Schoettly vowed that the fight for equality has just begun.