About 100 Catholic women religious in India have called for a place at the table in church leadership and asked that canon law be amended to make it more relevant and inclusive.
They stressed these and other points at a “Women in the Church” consultation held on October-4-6 at Ishvani Kendra Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra.
The participants said in the statement that the consultation helped them embark on “a journey to challenge ourselves to bring about transformation in ourselves and in the church in keeping with the vision of Christ.”
They have resolved to restore equality in the church and create a consciousness to negotiate partnership in the church.
The meeting also stressed developing “feminist consciousness” to read the signs of the time, critically evaluate current structures, values and practices and build solidarity across gender, class, caste and other divides to help transform lives.
The women religious noted that caste and class along with “toxic masculinity and femininity affect the church consciously and unconsciously.”
Patriarchy, the basic organizing principle of society, thrives by dividing men and women, giving power and status to the males and leaving caring and nurturing to females, the statement notes.