A map to measure the place of women in Catholic parishes

Two Catholic associations advocating a greater presence of women in the Church have launched a cartography intended to "identify the practices of inclusion" within the various parishes of France, on the occasion of the international day of women's rights Tuesday.

The Committee of the Skirt and All Apostles! announced in a statement put online this “collaborative map” in order to “perceive the evolutions of the Church on this sensitive subject” which is “the place of women” and if possible “mark a stage in a collective awareness”.

For each church, it is thus asked to fill in several questions, such as for example “Do women regularly distribute communion? "Are girls regularly serving at the altar?" » or even « Among the lay people of the pastoral council (…) are there at least 40% women? ". Depending on the answers, the parish is tagged with the color "green", "orange" or "red".

“This map is a way of getting to the bottom of parish practices,” Anne Soupa, president of the Skirt Committee, told AFP, adding by way of example that “some parishes are very focused on the question of the access of young girls (as altar boys, editor's note) to the altar”.

"It is a response to the non-response of the bishops" questioned last year on this subject, she added.

The two associations associate with this card “ ten concrete proposals » so that "women are better recognized in the liturgy, the proclamation of the faith and the governance of parishes". Among them, asking “that women be able to give homilies”, underlines Anne Soupa.

Other proposals: that “feminine spiritual figures be highlighted, alongside 'Mary', or even “stop calling the priest 'father'”.

In October, the Sauvé report, which revealed the scale of the phenomenon of pedocrime in the Church of France since the 1950s, had advocated, in one of its 40 recommendations, a greater place for the laity, and in particular women, in the church governance.

In November, the bishops gathered in Lourdes had announced their intention to set up nine “working groups” responsible for reflecting on the “governance” of the Church, under the responsibility of lay people.

In 2020, Anne Soupa, theologian, had applied to the Archdiocese of Lyon to succeed Bishop Philippe Barbarin, in order to raise the question of the place of women in the governance of the Church.

All Apostles was formed in the summer of the same year, demanding that Catholic women be able to accede to positions reserved, in the Roman Catholic tradition, for male clergy.

The editorial staff (with AFP)

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