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Sr Cora Richardson's excellent letter is published in The Irish Times (12 September 2020). But The Irish Times deleted the second sentence ("Ursula van der Leyen ....")
The most urgent agenda for the survival of the Catholic Church is to correct its gender imbalance. Ursula van der Leyen has given the world a lesson in achieving gender balance in the College of European Commissioners.
For two thousand years male leaders of the Church have tried for no good reason to keep power and control in their hands. The time has come for women to claim their God-given role – remember Mary Magdalene – to share equality in the church.
Church leaders have to accept that the patriarchal/ecclesiastical world is obsolete if there is to be a future for the Church. Look around us: intentional communities that support the leadership of women are increasing daily and returning to the theological essence of the Eucharist.
It was Jesus who said “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them. I am a missionary religious for over 60 years, and some papal statements e.g. “Women can never be ordained” (Pope John Paul 11), Seem to me to be “codology dressed up as theology” as Mary McAleese put it.
I have never felt called to be ordained, but I feel called to stand up for the many women e.g. St Therese of Lisieux, who do. As the poet, Christopher Fry put it in “A Sleep of Prisoners”: So many thousand years to wake, But will you wake for pity’s sake”.
Sr Cora Richardson