Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Greater Role for Women

I grew up in a matriarchal household. My mother and my aunt (my aunt lived upstairs from us growing up) were strong, Italian matriarchs. I can be outspoken and part of that is because I grew up in Brooklyn (native New Yorkers are not afraid to speak their mind, usually) and also because of the influence of these strong women in my life. 
I'm not afraid to say what's on my mind, even at meetings and sometimes I'm too honest and outspoken (upon reflection). But in any event, I was encouraged to read on the internet last week, an article that was mentioned by a number of Catholic bloggers and it also appeared at the Catholic News Service site--
It was about an article that appeared on the front page of the Vatican newspaper-L'Osservatore Romano. It was written by Italian journalist and professor, Lucetta Scaraffia, who writes frequently for the newspaper. She basically wrote that there is a need in the Church for a greater presence of women in decision-making roles (she wasn't talking about women in the priesthood). She was writing about administrative and consulting positions. She feels that women have been left out (for the most part) of positions of responsibility which has hurt the Church as their gifts and talents have not been fully utilized. I totally agree and I believe that the Church would not be going through this difficult time (at least not to this horrific degree) if women (religious and lay) would have been consulted over the years. Women are intuitive, compassionate,  accustomed to multi-tasking and they can usually size up a situation quickly. Common sense is also needed at every level along with collaboration between men and women. You can have the best of intentions, great programs and initiatives but you also need common sense and a real understanding of where people are in their lives.
When women and men work together to get things done, to plan initiatives and programs, to assess and manage situations, that kind of collaboration can bring about a lot of positivity and growth anywhere it happens and most especially in the Church.
There are lessons to be learned from all the negative press of late about the Church, the shattered lives, which is the most tragic of all, the mistakes and regrets, the embarrassment of the faithful over all this and the loss of faith of so many. 
I pray that lessons are learned, changes are made, healing takes place, and some good comes from this painful, hurtful, negative time in our Church.