Exclusion in need of justification

Exclusion in need of justification

"In need of justification is the exclusion of co-determination and not the participation of women in church life." This says Prof.in Dr. Dorothea Sattler of the University of Munster on the current debate about women in church leadership positions.

Note: Here you will find all the contents of the Blickpunkt Week "Women in the Church.

our site What does it mean in your eyes for the self-image of the Catholic Church that women do not even appear in ordination offices and also hardly in the executive floors of other church institutions??

Prof.in Dr. Dorothea Sattler (director of the Ecumenical Institute at the University of Munster): I think the image of the Roman Catholic Church is limited by this. It would be nice if the many gifts and charisms of women were also present in the image of the Roman Catholic Church.

our site You yourself are a university professor, so you have made it to the top in a professional field that was originally and still is dominated by men. What is your personal experience?

Saddler: It was a thorny path. I was the first woman in the field of dogmatics at an educational institution where candidates for the priesthood also study. That was not easy. But I also experienced in my generation – I was born in 1961 – that more and more women were admitted to theological disciplines. And we've already changed the appearance on the faculties there as well.

our site In fact, the really important decisions in the Catholic Church are still tied to ordination offices. What does this mean for gender justice in the Catholic Church??

Sattler: Indeed, the categorical exclusion of women from all sacramental ministries also means that we cannot participate. Already involved in decision-making in certain areas, but especially when it comes to synodal decisions. There we are excluded. Justification is needed for this exclusion and not for the participation of women in church life.

our site The abuse scandal has shown that there are also systemic causes behind it: keyword clericalism. To what extent could a reassessment of the role of women remedy this??

Sattler: There are two different ies. There may also be a connection. But there one must be very careful in the judgement. I think it is important to approach both questions argumentatively with a high degree of seriousness. And at the same time, I am convinced that the presence of women in communication structures of the Roman Catholic Church will not only change the outward appearance, but also the forms of interaction. For instance, the presence of women could increase the willingness to listen. It would also look with sensitivity at questions of sexuality.

Interviewer: At the spring plenary meeting, the German bishops decided that they want to achieve a 30 percent quota of women in leadership positions by 2023. How do you evaluate this?

Sattler: I find this extremely courageous. The bishops have thereby also declared that they want to control whether the goals are achieved. In my perception, this is clearly the way towards a higher presence of women.

The interview was conducted by Katharina Geiger.

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