Even if the Catholic Church invites more women to leadership, it will not increase religiosity
In mid-March, a new Vatican constitution was released that will allow women to lead certain Vatican offices. It was an unexpected move, not only because of the consistently conservative stances on political issues for which Catholicism is known, but also because the pope had opposed this specific action as recently as 2015. It will come as no surprise. maybe not those who have seen searches. stating that a majority of American Catholics say their views on issues such as contraception and homosexuality directly oppose church doctrine. Although this is progress, it is just a drop in the bucket as Pope Francis remains against and does not want to take action regarding the ordination of women. It is, unfortunately and predictably, behind the curve. Unwittingly, the Pope and other Catholic leaders, whether official or part of prominent Catholic organizations, contribute to the diminishing importance of religion in today’s society and for younger generations who find that diversity within the Church is important.
Pope Francis is, compared to previous Church leaders and Church positions, quite progressive and received much credit for these choices from more progressive Catholics despite his hardline stance on the ordination of women and his opposition to same-sex marriage. Pope Francis gave positions within Vatican leadersp to several women, a clear departure from those who held the positions previously.
What is so disappointing about the Church’s opposition to the ordination of women is the mental leaps and assumptions that Catholics are asked to make to respect these limits. It is the logical fallacy that the apostles were exclusively men that provides the supposedly undeniable proof that Jesus believed only men could and should be ordained. Another reasoning suggests that a woman cannot be ordained because women cannot be representative of Christ since Jesus himself was a man. This deeply offensive argument is debunked by world-renowned Catholic theologian Phyllis Zagano in her book “Women: Icons of Christ,” as she asserts that this reasoning only reinforces the ugly conclusion that women are unclean and is rooted in anti-feminine views. There is a danger that in the future women will no longer want to dedicate themselves to a religion that will not allow them at all to dedicate themselves fully to it.
All of this leads to a critical point, which is that the Church’s failure to create a religion centered on welcoming all with an equal degree of fervor will cripple her. Younger generations, although they often still inherit religious beliefs from their parents, are much more open to concepts such as plurality and acceptance of different beliefs. According to a report according to PEW research, 45% of teens agree that many religions can be true. Additionally, 61% agree that you don’t have to believe in God to be considered moral. Younger generations, even religious ones, are unwilling to accept the narrow-minded boundaries prescribed by their religious leaders. Going even further, on the whole, American Catholics disagree with the level of political engagement of Catholic churches and organizations. 62% of Catholics agree that American churches should not get involved in politics. They see the Catholic Church as a force for good when it does not get involved in imposing positions on the privacy of others.
This does not mean that there are no advantages to religion which, especially in these complicated times, cannot help people. Religion can bring peace to people, be the support they need and bring comfort. It is because of these advantages that the Catholic Church, its followers, and other obviously exclusive religions must consider changing their beliefs. Without this evolution, without greater acceptance, without current and younger generations, the Catholic Church will lose its vitality and importance.