The Independent Newsweekly
Issue Date: July 4, 2003
Collaboration with women on the table for future document
U.S. bishops will develop documents on topics ranging from collaboration between women and priests, agriculture, the theology of mission, to the formation of ecclesial lay ministers. The bishops agreed to consider the issues at their semi-annual meeting June 19-21.
The proposed collaboration document follows a 2001 national consultation with women in diocesan leadership positions, said Bishop Edward Cullen, chairman of the bishops Committee on Women in Society and the Church. Asked if the committee was courting confusion by dealing with a topic that could lead to questioning of the infallible doctrine of the male-only priesthood, Cullen said the document would not be construed in any fashion as reopening that discussion.
Among those speaking in favor of a document that addresses collaboration between the laity and clergy was Cardinal Bernard Law, no longer the archbishop of Boston, but still a member of the bishops conference.
Votes on a proposed National Directory for Catechesis and a National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons were inconclusive because the balloting took place Saturday morning, the last day of the conference, by which time the requisite quorum of bishops was no longer present. The catechesis directory is designed to guide religious education instructors, while the deacon directory will help standardize deacon formation across diocesan lines.
Final votes on the two directories will be conducted by mail.
-- Joe Feuerherd
National Catholic Reporter, July 4, 2003
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