Modernist pastoral expert: Pope is correcting his predecessor

Director of the Austrian Pastoral Institute: Francis sees “no dogmatic definition” in John Paul II’s rejection of women’s priesthood

She was always told by theological experts "that only a pope can overcome another pope": according to the director of the Austrian Pastoral Institute (ÖPI), Gabriele Eder-Cakl, this is what Pope Francis has now done with his answer to the request of conservative cardinals ("Dubia") by correcting the magisterial position of his predecessor John Paul II with regard to the women's question. Francis said about the apostolic exhortation "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis", with which the Wojtyla Pope wanted to end the ongoing discussion about the ordination of women to the priesthood, that the "teaching of John Paul II is not a dogmatic definition" and "could very well be the subject of research".

According to Eder-Cakl's assessment to Kathpress on Tuesday, this will also be the case in the two world synods in 2023 and 2024 as well as in the entire synodal process, "because it is a sign of the times." It is not for nothing that the working document for the continental synods held in the spring states: "It is clear that the church must find a way... to enable women to participate more fully at all levels of church life." This includes the question of admission to sacramental office, the ÖPI director noted.

Gabriele Eder-Cakl and two pastoral assistants from Austria are currently in Rome. They are taking part in a conference until October 5th that will bring together lay pastors from all over the world shortly before the start of the World Synod of Bishops. The “Professional Association of Pastoral Officers in Germany” invited people to the first world meeting of this kind with the aim of strengthening full-time pastors who are not ordained but have theological training.

Eder-Cakl found the fact that Pope Francis gave the answer to the five “Dubia cardinals” shortly before the world synod “very good and courageous”. Because the topics addressed therein are also topics of the world synod. The common mission of everyone and the walking together of everyone - the pastoral expert drew a parallel to the disciples' exit to Emmaus with Jesus - includes the topic of the participation of women at all levels of the church and also the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people.

She very much welcomes the fact that these topics will be discussed at the round tables in Rome from Wednesday. "Because gender equality is not about privileges or special status, it is about eliminating inequality in terms of legal status and dignity."

“New phenomenon” in the Church of Africa

Eder-Cakl is also pleased that “Pope Francis is keeping the topic of blessing same-sex couples open and passing it on to the deliberations of the World Synod.” Experiences and different approaches to the topic would be introduced there. In spiritual conversation, “possible viable paths could be shown,” said the expert optimistically.

Eder-Cakl also pointed to the ability of the African Church to learn, which is repeatedly said to have great reservations about the topic of homosexuality. In the Lesotho country report on the synodal process there is talk of a "new phenomenon" in the church, "which is an absolute novelty in Lesotho: same-sex relationships. (...) This novelty has an impact on Catholics and for those who see it as See sin, disturbing. Surprisingly, there are Catholics in Lesotho who have started living such behavior and expect the Church to accept them and their behavior. (...) This is a problematic challenge for the Church because this People feel excluded."


Cathcon: The Catholic Church is being tranformed into a transformer toy of modernists which allows any individual member to make it into their own image.