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April 17, 1992     The Message
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April 17, 1992

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17, 1992 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 By LAURIE HANSEN Catholic News Service SHINGTON (CNS) -- in of sexisnf' has rup- the "intended har- ly" between men and Says the third draft of bishops' proposed 0ral letter on women's tied "Called to be One in st Jesus: A Pastoral Re- lse to the Concerns of L for Church and Soci- te letter strongly sup- church's "unbroken on" of "calling only ordained priesthood." pledge to work Improving wages for and guaranteeing treatment for all per- ader the law. regard to their own the bishops say the ff deacons and priests cooperatively with Is so important that a "incapacity to WOmen as equals" ought COnsidered a "negative for fitness for ordi- e draft, written e of six bish- by Bishop .Joseph issue third draft of women's pastoral feminism. -- Explanation of the ratio- nale for not ordaining women to the priesthood. -- Quotations from Catholic women who com- mented on church teaching during a nationwide series of consultative meetings. The third draft states that it is not the "appropriate place" to discuss the "complex is- sues" related to the church's tradition of not ordaining L. Imesch of Joliet, II1., was sent to bishops in early April and was released April 9. The first draft was released in April 1988 and the second draft in April 1990. Between the issuance of the second and third drafts, U.S. bishops' conference leaders partici- pated in a Vatican-requested international consultation. The third draft is to be dis- cussed at the U.S. bishops' June 18-20 meeting, and is eir 'el, el elit 3 women to the priesthood. The bishops, however, urge "careful study" of a number of church ministry topics, including the sacra- mental nature of the priest- hood, the distinction between "the common and ministerial priesthood," and the relation between "jurisdiction and or- ders," that is, between church governing powers and the or- dained priesthood. The second draft had asked that a thorough study of the possibility of ordaining women as deacons "be under- taken and brought to comple- tion soon" and called for changing church norms ex- cluding women from certain lay ministries, such as lector and altar server. expected to be voted on at their November meeting. The third draft expands the second draft's description of Mary as a disciple, placing new emphasis on her role as "mother of the church" and one who had "obedient faith" and "continuing fidelity." It lists canons from the 1983 Code of Canon Law that allow women to participate as lectors and eucharistic ministers, as diocesan tri- bunal personnel and as chan- cellors of diocese. Gone from the document are the second draft's: -- Statement encouraging "participation by women in all liturgical ministries that do not require ordination." -- Discussion of Christian call for women's Lmissions, list 25 initiatives HINGTON (CNS]- .S. bishops propose U.S. diocese estab- Commission on women and society, to the just and equal of women and men continuing basis." llunction with the Js' Committee on n, the commissions act on 25 initiatives: tart early education to teach children to lthy and respectful" each other. l.-Ourage-- women to use girts and talents at every t church and society. rresent n'lore persua- Christ's teaching on ty, commitment and fi- ;tress the importance of operation and pro- programs. "sound informa- 3out the meaning and of Christian moth- and fatherhood. lop new initiatives tide of divorce, establishing marriage lters and providing education pro- married couples. childhood on that includes a Christian view of sexuality. -- Address the issues of human sexuality and birth regulation in the light of the Gospel and church teaching. -- Provide "continued, lov- ing support" for unmarried parents and their children. -- Offer abortion alterna- tives, pastoral counseling, outreach, financial assistance. -- Denounce violence against women through preaching and teaching, and expand ministries to women and children who are victims of domestic violence. -- Provide programs for youth and single adults. -- Expand church efforts to reach separated and divorced Catholics. -- Include special care for the poor, widowed, ehterly and disable, d in pastoral el'- forts; urge legislative action on behalf of these groups. -- Provide teaching and formation on the equality and dignity of women in the training of all persons in lay and ordained ministry. -- Ensure that all preach- ing, catechizing and church practices promote the equal-  education from ity and dignity of women, day care centers. rdmatmn topic confounds bishops ,,Y LAURIE HANSEN question of ordination." "Doing honor to both" offi- 'atholic News Service On the other hand, official church teaching on the sub- ject is clear: only men are called to the ordained priest- hood. Pope John Paul II has said the issue of women's or- dination is closed. Also in the bishops' minds was the fact that "there is a growing body of scholarship" questioning church teaching on the subject, said commit- tee member, Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester, N.Y. Use appropriate means parish bulletins, diocesan newspapers to publicize the contributions of women. Stand ready to collabo- rate with women religious leaders in planning for their missions and in supporting retired religious. Adopt language and be- havior that foster attitudes of mutual respect, appreciation, acceptance and collaboration between men and women. Provide spiritual sup- port and recognition for women whose primary work is rearing children at home. Encourage class schedul- ing and tutor availability to help women complete at least a high school education. Offer fair pay to women working for the church, pro- vide benefit programs and just procedures for promotion and grievance. Support legislation that assists poor families. Condemn pornography and exploitation of women and children. Seek government assis- tance in providing church- sponsored child and adult :lett:rec i . he 1 lit .t'IINGTON (CNS)- ac of women's ordina- the priesthood has u the U S bishops aout their eight-year ' of writing a pastoral Women's concerns. ird draft of the pas- tates that for some v'tne entire issue of In the church contin- revolve around the cial church teaching and this new scholarship proved too difficult to do within the pa- rameters of a pastoral letter, said Bishop Clark. As a result the third draft contains a statement of offi- cial church teaching banning women's ordination, but it does not detail the reasons behind it, he said. The sec- ond draft had included an ex- planation of the church's position. The third draft amends this plea, calling only for "contin- uing dialogue and reflection" on the "meaning of ministry" with regard to ordained dea- cons, lectors, acolytes and servers at the altar. Eighteen pages shorter than the second draft, the third has an introduction, three chap- ters and a conclusion. The first chapter focuses on the differences between men and women and conse- quences of the sin of sexism. Chapter 2 focuses on women's societal and per- sonal relationships, combin- ing what were two separate chapters in previous drafts. Chapter 3 concentrates on women's concerns for equal- ity in the church and the church's response and call for "unity of service." The third draft says that in the United States, patterns of hiring, pay, advancement and benefits in the workplace often penalize women. Those who work full-time earn ap- proximately 65 cents for every dollar paid to men. It says a woman's dignity is "destroyed in a particularly vicious and heinous way" when she is treated violently. It calls on Catholic parents to advise their children about the dangers and conse- quences of unexpected preg- nancies. "If, however, such a pregnancy should occur, peo- ple need to stand by their daughters and encourage them not have an abortion; they should give the mother the support she needs to choose life for he child," the draft says. -- November 1982: Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe of Jef-I ferson City, Mo., outgoing chairman of thebishops' Ad | Hoc Committee on Women in Society and the Church, I suggests at the fall meeting of the U.S. bishops that they | consider writing a.pastoral letter on women: The bishops | discuss the proposal b/it do not VOte on it. July 1983: The ad hoc committee; chaired now by Bishop Joseph L. Imesch of Joliet, Ill., endorses the idea of' a pastoral letter. November 1983: The bishops attend a two-day work- shop on women in the church. During the meeting they unanimously approve the project of a pastoral letter. May 1984: A committee of six bishops, headed by Bishop Imesch, is appointed to study the issues and write the pastoral. Seven women consultants, including a na- tional staff member and a writer, are appointed to assist. -- 1985-86: Consultations are held in 100 U.S. dioceses, involving an estimated 75,000 Catholic women. In March and August 1985 the committee holds hearings in which representatives of 24 national Catholic women's organiza- tions express their views. Local consultations are also con- ducted on 60 college campuses and 45 military bases. March 1988: The first official draft  the product of five writings and revisions  is approved by the bishops' Administrative Committee for distribution to the bishops, April 1988: The draft is sent to the bishops and made public, Tentative plans call for discussion of the first draft by the bishops when they meet in June 1988, diocesan consultations on it during the rest of the year, and presen- tation of a second draft for final debate and vote by the bishops at their meeting in November 1989. June 1988: The bishops hold their first formal discus- sion of the proposed pastoral at their meeting in Col- legeville, Minn. Individual bishops call for a more de- tailed analysis of sexism, fuller treatment of church teachings in some areas and revision wherever necessary in light of an expected papal statement Oil women. September 1988: U.S. dioceses begin consultations on the first draft. Meanwhile, Pope John Paul II releases a 119-p,age document on women, titled "Mulieris Digni- totem ' ("Tile Dignity of Women"), January 1989: The bishops' Committee on Women in Society and in the Church sponsors an East Coast meeting of diocesan women s commissions in Elkins Park Pa., to discuss the proposed pastoral letter. A similar West Coast meeting is held in February. Bishop Imesch says the sec- ond draft will not be finished in 1989. March 1990: The second official draft  the product of four writings and revisions since release of the first draft  is approved by the bishops' Administrative Com- mittee for distribution to the bishops and as an agenda item for the bishops' general meeting in November, September 1990: The Administrative Committee, at the Vatican's request, postpones consideration of the dec, ument by the U.S. bishops until they have consulted with other bishops' conferences from around the world. May 28-29, 1991: At the Vatican-requested interna- tional consultation on the pastoral letter held in Rome, U.S. bishops are urged to consider changing the document from a pastoral letter to one of lesser authority, expanding the human anthrOpology section, removing a request for quick resolution of a Vatican investigation into ordaining women as deacons, and developing more fully the Marian dimension of the church. March 1992: The Administrative Committee approves sending a third draft of the pastoral to bishops for discus- sion at their June meeting at the University of Notre Dame. I I I II III I I I I I II I II I I I I I I Chronology of the pastoral [ WASHINGTON (CNS,) -- Here is a synopsis of the his-| tory of the U.S, bishops proposed pastoral letter: i