DignityUSA Calls on Catholics to Challenge Vatican Abuse of Power

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DignityUSA joined 26 other Catholic organizations around the globe in expressing outrage at the Vatican’s including the “attempted ordination of women” among the “delicta graviora," or most serious of crimes against Church law. This puts ordination of women on par with clergy sex-abuse.

Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke urged all Catholics to challenge the Vatican’s action. “For decades, DignityUSA has promoted an inclusive priesthood in the Catholic Church,” she said. “We know that God’s call to public ministry is not limited by gender, age, sexual orientation, relational or marital status. In addition, we have sought justice and appropriate care for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Catholics who have suffered abuse by our clergy, and the betrayal of having Church officials support the perpetrators and cover up the abuse. Devoted Catholics know that placing the ordination of women and the clergy abuse crisis on the same level is a grave error and an affront to all who try to remain faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“The unqualified welcome of the Vatican pronouncement by the US Council of Bishops demonstrates once again their failure to comprehend and adequately respond to the needs of the Church in this country. Bishop Wuerl’s declaration that women now serve in ‘Church leadership positions at all levels’ is simply untrue, and blatantly discounts the harm done by centuries of barring women from ordination—the only path to true power in the Catholic hierarchy.”

Duddy-Burke shared her concern for Catholics who will feel alienated by this action. “It’s very important to remember that the Vatican and the bishops do not represent the totality of the Catholic Church,” she said. “Catholics can find rich, vibrant faith communities in house Churches, intentional Eucharistic communities, and communities led by married priests, Roman Catholic women priests, and lay people all across this country. This misstep by the Vatican will motivate many more people to make healthy choices about their spiritual lives and to speak out against the misuse of church power.”