Pink Smoke Protest” to Push for Women PriestsWhite smoke emitted from the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday signaled the selection of a new pope. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, is the first South American and Jesuit member to lead the church. Taking the name Francis, the 266th pope is the first non-European pontiff in more than 1,200 years.

While the world’s Catholics rejoiced in the news from the rain-soaked Vatican, a group of Catholic women were shooting pink flares into the Roman sky to protest the exclusion of women from the priesthood. Women Can Be Priests, an intercontinental activist group, had little impact on the joy radiating from the Sistine Chapel. But members hope their demonstration at Rome’s Piazza Garibaldi and in five locations in the United States will promote a theological shift in the treatment of women.

“The pink smoke is a sign of the voices we’re mourning who are excluded from the current conclave,” Therese Koturbash, the international ambassador for Women Priests, told CBC News.

The international protest is the latest in a line of peaceful demonstrations to push back against the Vatican’s doctrine.

The Catholic Church only ordains men as priests in order to promote its belief in the sanctity of Christ’s return. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the 12 [apostles] an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. …   For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.”

Koturbash sees three historical reasons why women are not allowed to be priests: “We were considered unclean during menstruation, inferior to men intellectually and physically and the origination of all sin.”

The Women’s Ordination Conference has petitioned the Catholic Church for more than 30 years to ordain female priests. The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) has ordained more than 100 female priests and 10 bishops, but their mission has never been a priority for any Pope, including Pope Francis. The Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet said the issue of women in the church is important, but not vital. “Obviously these questions are, have their importance, but it is secondary, you know, and it has been always secondary,” he told CBC News.

The Vatican excommunicates all women priests and declared the ordination of female priests a “grave sin” similar to pedophilia in 2010.

Still, Koturbash remains hopeful. “Already there have been so many changes that have happened in the church, that it wouldn’t be a big step to start including women,” she told CBC News. She also thinks women priests will be ordained in her lifetime.

Should women be ordained in the Catholic Church?

  • Sasha

    One of the things I love about being Catholic is the traditions of the Church that have been carried throughout it’s existence. While peope continue to change and it’s been proven that women aren’t unclean during menstruation and aren’t intellectually inferior, I don’t believe in the secularization of the Church and would hope for this to stay the same. I would also hope that non-Catholics inform themselves before they leave stupid, ignorant/ uninformed opinions on this matter.

  • Keshia

    I attended catholic school for 12 years, their religion is extremely close minded. I seriously doubt their will be a female priest…I mean seriously doubt.

  • Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    Godwilling, there will never be “female priests.” There is no such thing, never has been, and none of the Orthodox Churches has “female priests” which means it never existed. There’s no reason to believe that within the cultural, historic context of early Christianity anyone would have accepted “female priests.”

    The Catholic Church is not just another Protestant denomination. It has its own charism and ethos, as well as history and culture. I don’t understand why these discussions are framed in Protestant terms and ideals; I have no idea why anyone outside of the Church would feel they have a right to comment, particularly as it is NOT a democracy. It has always been an openly hierarchical tradition, grounded in (European) culture.

    I don’t have the right to tell Jews or Muslims what should change about their practices. Protestants really need to mind their own business.

    Nota Bene: this women who are advocating for “women priests” are not Catholic by the fact that they believe a heresy they are excommunicated (ipso facto).

  • Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    Agreed. I have no idea why Protestants feel they even have a right to comment.

  • Sasha

    Right?! The Protestants and Catholics split a loooooooonnngggg time ago so I really don’t feel like they have any room to speak. I find myself really annoyed when non-Catholics speak about the Catholic Church. It’s so popular nowadays to kick around Catholics in the media now that they can’t openly attack the Jewish faith anymore, without consequences anyways. When ignorant and stupid people (they’re not the same thing, I just don’t know which bothers me more) make blanket comments about the Church like “all priests are xyz” or “Catholicism is so xyz” (see stupid comment/ opinion below), it really grinds my gears. It’s like you know nothing about my Church, my faith, my tradition except what you see in the media or heard from soandso so either shut the hell up or take the time to educate yourself.

  • http://clutchmagazine blcknnblvuu

    White peoplee seem to be relieved that the new pope is not much for togetherness.racism and sexism


    Let’s focus our attentions on Priests and Nuns to STOP raping Children.

  • Sasha

    That is not a good comparison but I’m not going to play your game. Have a good night.

  • justanotheropinion

    I’m a Recovering Catholic…if any of you women think for a minute that things will change, you shouldn’t hold your breath. The Catholic Church will change their views on women, birth control, abortion, molestation by priests etc as soon as the Mormon Church changes it’s views on Blacks.

  • Mademoiselle

    It scares me as a Catholic woman to know that there are other Catholic women so willing to accept institutionalized sexism in the name of God, and base arguments on the same sexist history that has scapegoated and cast judgment on women as evidence or excuse for continuing in the wrong direction. Worse yet is that you try to impose your narrow value of women and their contribution to the Church on all other Catholic women as if you’re the authority on Catholic women’s worth. To lay down and volunteer for discrimination is weak and pitiful. I support the nuns who want a change and these women who want change. Protestants may not have any say in what goes on in the Catholic Church, but Catholic cowards like you are dangerous — no less dangerous than any other religious coward who tries to hide the ailments and flaws of their religion instead of addressing them seriously.

  • Fantastico

    People are funny when it comes to religion.

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