Cardinal Pell affirms ban on women priests
After a silent protest yesterday outside Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral by the group Ordination of Catholic Women, Cardinal George Pell said that women will not be ordained "in any lifetime".
Cardinal Pell made the statement to the Sydney Morning Herald, which reports today that "about a dozen protesters, men and women wearing the purple stole, the international symbol for women's ordination, watched in silence as the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, led the Palm Sunday procession at St Mary's Cathedral".
The silence was in accord with Pope John Paul II's 1994 ban on debate of the issue within the church.
The group told the Herald that no Australian woman has ever defied the papal ban, "but this is not for want of women who want to be ordained".
This morning's report says that the 1999 Australian bishops' report on women's participation in the church found strong opposition to the Pope's decree on women's ordination. The report led to the formation of the Bishops' Commission for Australian Catholic Women (CACW).
But the Commission's task is to foster a more even gender balance within the Church, not women's ordination. To this end, it is joining the Diocese of Cairns in the sponsoring of next month's National Conference for Women Leaders of Catholic Church Agencies.
CACW announces in today's issue of its Catholic Women's Weekly newsletter that it has been able to arrange discounts for women in small, financially-strained agencies who wish to participate in the 27-29 April Conference in Cairns.
"As the number of registrations continues to grow, we are now in a position to offer a discount to women attending from small Church agencies (a staff of three FTE or less), and to delegates attending from overseas (we have interest from PNG and NZ)," said the notice, which details what CACW is able to offer.
Those who have already submitted their Registration Forms are invited to advise CACW of the size of their agency so that their invoice may be amended.
CACW is also advises that there is space in the program for one more elective paper.
No women priests in any lifetime, says Pell after protest at Mass (Sydney Morning Herald 21/3/05)
Catholic Women's Weekly 21/3/05
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Ordination of Catholic Women
Commission for Australian Catholic Women
21 Mar 2005