Kerala, April 08, 2013: With Pope Francis stressing on the importance of women in the Church, he clergy in Kerala does not see any radical change in the sacramental roles in the near future.
“Though the new Pope is quite daring in his approach and has urged believers not to fear change, not many expect him to take such a bold step soon. This message does not mean that the church is going to have women priests and bishops,” said Fr. Paul Thelakat, spokesperson of the Syro-Malabar Church.
He feels there would not be any drastic change soon in church affairs.
Though the Church in the state considers it as a significant change from what his predecessor Benedict XVI stood for, no claim is made on the possibility of women assuming a greater role as heads of parishes or dioceses.
The conventional theory floated by the Catholic Church on why woman cannot be priests is that, Jesus Christ had only women as his apostles.
Though Anglican and Protestant churches have long ago accepted women into sacramental positions, a change in policy is not seen likely in the coming years for the Catholic Church.
“There would be stiff opposition from the traditionalists within the Church. They are not at all pleased by the Pope’s unprecedented move of washing and kissing the feet of two girls during the Holy Week ceremonies,” the priest said.
Fr George Madathiparambil, former vicar general of the Canada diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church, also feels that, unlike what the liberalists call for, the pope’s message would not bring in a revolutionary change to the church.
“There might be an increased presence of women in church’s administrative sections, like in the US, where many churches have women in charge of liturgical coordination, choirs and service activities. Other than that, there might not be any change to the Church’s old norms,” he said.
- times of india