Cardinal role for women
Women should be allowed to become cardinals and to participate in the election of popes, a Catholic theologian has told an Adelaide audience.
The Catholic Leader reports that Divine Word Missionary Fr Stephen Bevans was speaking during his keynote address at a conference on last weekend to mark the 30th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi.
Fr Bevans is speaking on the same topic in Brisbane today and in Sydney tomorrow.
The conferences are under the banner of "Witness to the Gospel in Australia" and sponsored by Catholic Mission, the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes and Mission Net in the lead up to World Mission Day on 23 October.
While praising Evangelii Nuntiandi ("On Evangelisation in the Modern World") for its passion, elegance and eloquence, the internationally acclaimed writer, scholar and missionary cautioned against celebrating the document with "rose-coloured glasses".
In particular, he criticised the fact there was no specific mention of women in the document, despite the fact that in 1975 they "had a tremendous part to play in missionary work, especially as teachers, nurses and physicians", as well as those working as missionaries at home.
Fr Bevans said Catholics need to work to make the Church a place where women's voices could be heard.
He saw no reason why women could not be at the highest levels of parish, diocesan or Vatican decision-making and why they might not be invited to participate at events such as bishops' synods.
Fr Bevans is based at the Chicago Theological Union in the US, where he is part of a group of scholars from different faiths at the cutting edge of today's religious issues.
Cardinal role for women (Catholic Leader 2/10/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Mission priority better world, not converts (CathNews 23/9/05)
30 Sep 2005