Laity: more gender justice in the church

Laity: more gender justice in the church

Catholic laity spoke out in Trier in favor of improving the situation of women in the church. At the thematic forum "Women: Perspectives," they pleaded for a church that should be equally attractive to women as well as men.

In working groups, the 200 or so participants suggested setting up staff units for equal opportunities in the German dioceses and carrying out gender equality analyses. In addition, greater attention should be paid to gender equality when hiring employees.

More understanding for women

Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier argued that the ie of women in the church should not be viewed purely in terms of results. "This is a topic that has a lot to do with emotions and passion, and we have to treat it attentively and respectfully," said Ackermann.

Marienburg youth pastor Jan Lehmann pleaded for more understanding for women who are unable to pursue a career as priests in the Catholic Church. "To watch one's own life's dream die, I find that a quite terrible idea. Then to come with the Bible or tradition – that is not the adequate answer for me," criticized Lehmann.

Image of God not purely male

Helen Schungel-Straubmann, a theologian from Kassel, called for a change in perspective on the question of whether women should be allowed to hold ordained office in the church: "It's not a women's problem or a marginal problem, it's much more a men's problem," she said. The biblical image of God is not a purely masculine one. In some places, God is portrayed as a mother. "The men who wrote the biblical texts were always children of their time and represented male interests," Schungel-Straubmann said.

The forum, which lasted from Friday evening to Saturday, was the third and last round of discussions on the occasion of the diocesan synod called by Ackermann, which ends in December. The first forum dealt with the topic of "Divorced – Remarried". The second was under the heading "Sexuality. Life". The ies address questions that, according to church law, cannot be the subject of a diocesan synod itself, since answering them is beyond the competence of a diocesan bishop.

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