Catholic women want role in decision making in Church

February 15th, 2008 - 3:28 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Demanding that they be given an active role in the Church’s decision-making process, Catholic women in India have sought participation in its administration, executive posts and even in pastor duties. For the first time in its history, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) in its general body meeting being held in Jamshedpur is discussing ways of empowering women in church and society.

About 140 bishops and 78 delegates have gathered in Jamshedpur for the weeklong meeting of the apex decision-making body of Indian Catholics.

The 50 odd women delegates, including nuns from different congregations and laity, pointed out that there were 94,000 religious women involved in the health, educational and community development projects of the Church.

Their male colleagues also suggested that the Church strengthen the CBCI’s women’s commission so that the voices of women are heard.

“There should be a gender policy for the Church in India on a priority basis to ensure gender considerations be integrated into all aspects of planning, policy making, legislation, structures, formation and the socio-pastoral activities of the Church,” Dilit Castleton, one of the participants, said.

A survey, conducted by the CBCI commission for women ahead of the meeting, revealed that a majority in the community did not believe that the Church treated women at par with men. The majority also felt that the church could contribute more towards women’s empowerment.

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