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« A woman bishop, why not? » Anne Soupa

This seems to be an out-of-date instruction! Yet one institution uses it every day. It is the Catholic Church where, in 2020, no woman is the head of a diocese, no woman is a priest, no woman is a deacon, and above all, no woman votes on the major decisions of her Church. Also, after long years of formation and « field » in this Church which is my home, I decided, knowing that no one would come looking for me, to « candidate », contrary to the custom of being « called ».

Some will say that this gesture, which has very little chance of succeeding, is a crazy gesture; but what is crazy is that it seems crazy whereas it is not. When will we be able to say that the central question is that of skills, especially spiritual skills, and not that of sex? Would there be only one model of bishop in the Catholic Church, that of a single, elderly man dressed in black? Many Catholics aspire to a Church close to them, animated by people who live like them. A Church where differences are a richness. These differences break the bond between priests, which has helped to conceal the abuses of all kinds that have tripped up the clergy and caused serious damage to children. If there had been more women leaders in the Church, there would have been less abuse.

Why, if I want to go down that road, would I not have wanted to be a priest? Two popes in recent years have declared the question of women’s access to the priesthood closed. Of which they have taken note, even if, personally, I think the arguments against it are weak. But when Pope Francis arrived in 2013, he asked theologians to better distinguish between priesthood and governance in order to make a place for women. For the past seven years, nothing has been done in this regard.

It is important that the Church in France, which has about 50,000,000 Catholics (le chiffre est pas rationnel du tout ou ils comptent les morts???), build its governance on a broader basis than the 5,000 French priests. Laic people, men and women.

I hope that my candidacy will move our psyches as women but also as laic men – who do not allow themselves to say: « A woman bishop, and why not? »

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