We want a new Church! Open Letter from Catholic Women to Pope Francis
We want to greet you, Pope Francis, as women who, from the perspective of faith, pursue the hope that profound changes will allow the Church to present itself to the world as that light of which the Encyclical Lumen Fidei, your first letter to the Catholic community, speaks.
We hope, first of all, that your choice of the name Francis means a program to renew the very structures of the Church, as well as its doctrine, in faithfulness to the figure of a man from Assisi who shook the world with his radical attitude.
Catholic women as we are, we want to live a faith that brings freedom and not condemnation, threat or fear. We respect and admire your gestures in the simplicity of welcoming people. Thus, we had hoped that as Pope you would bring fresh air to the Church, as did John XXIII. That as Pope you would bless all families, both hetero and homosexual; that you would understand that a positive experience of motherhood or fatherhood does not result from the biological possibility of generating life, but from the capacity to love, respect and educate a child. That is why we read with sadness your first letter to the Catholic people reaffirming the heterosexual form of union as the only expression of true love. When will the Church be open to the real diversity of ways of loving and expressing human sexuality? When will it understand that there is a huge universe of possibilities of fulfillment for a human being?
We want a new Church. A Church in which women are acknowledged for their own merit, for their autonomy in leading their lives freely; Acknowledged as community leaders, with full access to priesthood and fully part of the decision making process; A Church which esteems the religious communities of women who evangelically work for the poorest sectors of our country. We wish them to be respected and admired for their audacity and generosity. We want a Church in which celibacy is not mandatory and the running of communities is a decision made by all the faithful, both male and female.
We want a new morality for human sexuality and reproduction that acknowledges the moral value of the decision by Catholic women to discontinue a pregnancy. Research data indicate that the majority of women who undergo an abortion in Brazil are Catholic. May they do it not despite their faith but supported by their faith, with the certainty that God understands them, as one of them put it after an abortion. Keeping abortion illegal has led thousands of women to death. Our lives have been misused politically as a bargaining chip for the purpose of ensuring electoral victory. The Church must struggle against this type of situation. This is the fight for life that the Church must embrace.
Yes, we want a new Church, one that abandons the ambition for power and wealth and becomes bold in its commitment towards its internal renewal and towards social justice and peace. May the blessing given by the people to you, Pope Francis in Saint Peter´s Square on the day of your election as the spiritual leader of the Church, accompany you, illuminate you and strengthen you in your mission.
Catholic Women for the Right to Decide- BrazilCadastrado em: 18/7/2013