Within the Catholic Church, the Superior General of the Oberzell Franciscan Sisters, Sister Katharina Ganz, has complained of asymmetrical communication "from the top down". This is the reason why women are now asking the question of power.
Only consecrated men have the sovereignty of interpretation over what is church, she said in an interview with the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (Friday).
The Superior General asks, "Why should sexual masculinity be a necessary condition for the man to represent Christ when, conversely, the Church is to be the bride of Christ's bridegroom? Then the church should consist only of women."Whoever thinks he can derive power relations from symbolic language would not be well advised.
No pope has yet defined the exclusion of women from ordination as dogma, religious said. "A vote of a council or synod of bishops on this does not exist."
"The church is marginalizing itself"
Consecration has given men a power "of which we have at best an inkling of how much abuse has been committed with it in the context of confession or pastoral care alone – not least in women's convents," said the superior general. Not only men would have committed violence. "Women's communities have also been guilty in the past, especially in home education. What makes the difference is the extent and intensity of sexualized violence."
It was a question of who was working toward a "different church". "In numerous countries, the effect of the current conditions of admission is that there are hardly any young priests left.
This may change the church much more fundamentally than some of the things women think and want," the nun said. Sacraments could simply no longer be administered. "The church is marginalizing itself."