At the end of 2014 we were still waiting for any concrete improvement in the position of Roman Catholic women. Roman Catholic policies on Poverty and contraception keep many women trapped at home strugling to look after more Children than they can easily manage.

Women cardinals have been ruled out leaving us less optimistic over women getting any major leadership opportunities. Francis said, "Women in the Church must be valued not ‘clericalised’. Whoever thinks of women as cardinals suffers a bit from clericalism." [1] That's completely untrue, those who would like to see women cardinals want more equality between the sexes they may or may not also want clericalism. It looks like women should value their subordinate role while only men are in dominant clerical positions. Is it also clericalism to prevent non-ordained people becoming cardinals?

Or is the act of clericalism assuming that top Vatican posts must be held by cardinals, or at least by priests and bishops? Is it clericalism to only allow cardinals a vote in choosing the pope? Is Francis only furthering the notion of clericalism by even naming cardinals in the first place?[2]

Unless Francis works to reduce the influence of clerics drastically in the Roman Catholic Church it will look like stuff about suffering from clericalism is really just an excuse to keep male clerics dominant. The signs aren't very good.

If you believe that advocating for a woman cardinal smacks of "clericalism," then what does an all-powerful, all-male college of cardinals smack of? If you are against clericalism, then dismantle it. If you are not, then end the church's indefensible gender apartheid and open the doors of sacramental and executive power to women.[3]

Francis cracked down on the LCWR who represent over 80% of Nuns in the USA. The LCWR are more liberal than the Vatican about issues like, Abortion, Birth control, homosexuality, women's ordination, so what should we expect? Well under Benedict XVI male supervisors were appointed but the women would not let the men pressure them to change their position. [4] Pope Francis has also turned against the Liberal women and some Americans Feminists are turning against Pope Francis. [5]

Women's choice

Francis is Pro-life and believes women should be forced to carry babies they don't want. Since Francis opposes Contraception many Roman Catholic women risk finding themselves pregnant when they don't want this. [6] Francis has toned down opposition to contraception but there still is a problem. Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both are Pro-choice and have problems with the new pope over his pro-life position.

When asked last year what he [Pope Francis] felt about a woman who is considering abortion because of poverty or rape he replied, “Who can remain unmoved before such a painful situation?” It was a gentle sounding platitude that may have signaled that his church will not be placing as much emphasis on the issue as prior popes, but it did not reverse the harsh reality of doctrine and policy -- Catholics should feel sympathy and concern for women who wish to end their pregnancy, but they should do so by kindly helping the female reproductive vessel come to terms with that she must under no circumstances fail to experience the entire pregnancy, preferably in the context of strict laws that force her to give birth. (...) Is he fine about how the expanding Catholic run medical facilities in the US are increasingly denying adult women access to birth control? [7]



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