The Editor: In the Nov. 16 PM, Marie-Louise Ternier-Gommers gives a thoughtful perspective on the question of the ordination of women. She notes that in ecumenical dialogue Rome has acknowledged “Christ’s saving action” in other ecclesial communities, including those, such as my own Anglican tradition, which have women clergy.
However, Ms. Ternier-Gommers makes a blanket assertion that Pope Francis has “reiterated the Roman Catholic ban on the ordination of women.” In fact, Pope Francis, like his predecessors Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, has ruled out ordination of women to the priesthood. Like them, he has left open the question of female ordination to the diaconate.
This position is consistent with that of the Orthodox and Oriental churches, some of which have women deacons. Pope Francis has appointed a commission to study the issue, among whose members is Phyllis Zagano, an authority on the history and theology of female deacons. Until the commission reports, and the pope comes to a decision, it is premature to refer to a “ban on the ordination of women” in the Catholic Church.
Some Roman Catholic women who feel a call to the priesthood, like Ms. Ternier-Gommers, have decided to seek ordination in the Anglican communion and we trust that they will find a welcoming spiritual home to nourish their vocation. Let us hope that one day other women may fulfil their call to ministry in the Roman Catholic diaconate. — Canon Michael Jackson, Regina
The Editor: I am involved with our parish committee in the sponsorship of a refugee family. I was very grateful for the informative article in the Oct. 26 PM by Deborah Gyapong on the reason for the delay in the arrival of privately sponsored refugees.
Another teacher and I are teaching English via Skype to two refugee families detained in Turkey. We feel we know the families and recognize their eagerness to come to Canada and ours to welcome them, so it is, indeed, frustrating to have no date for their arrival. The article gave some reasons for the delay.
Another timely and forceful article was Joe Gunn's article regarding KAIROS. When I heard earlier of this decision, I was totally incredulous. In years past the CCCB was widely recognized for its public stand for justice and its collaboration with other groups working for the same objective.
It is not surprising that if you work with a variety of organizations there will be differences of belief. The negative witness given by its withdrawal from KAIROS, whose history and purpose the article makes clear, has done greater harm than any association with churches of different theologies or practice could do.
Many thanks to Joe Gunn for his longtime dedication and leadership for justice as an essential aspect of Christian faith. — Sister Sheila Moss, SSA, Victoria