Not long ago, the Cincinnati archdiocese banned Sr. Louise Akers from teaching because she supports the ordination of women.
That was bad enough. Then, Dr. Carol Egner, a laywoman and a gynecologist who was incensed by this injustice, wrote a letter supporting Akers to the Cincinnati Inquirer. Her pastor read the letter, and had the gall to demand that she write another letter retracting her position. When she rightly refused, he banished her from her volunteer teaching position with a 6th grade religion class at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
What is it that these men fear? Exposing children to the gospel ideal of gender equality? Open discussion of an issue of great importance in our church? The thought of actually sharing ministry equally with women?
The issue of women’s ordination seems to have produced a new level of clerical emotion in the last year. Perhaps -- because of the clergy shortage, the theological indefensibility of this discriminatory position, and the widespread acceptance of women in other denominations -- this is the issue on which they feel most vulnerable.