There are debates and conflicts within the Christian community that only male priests are accepted to be ordained. But a survey's results showed that most of the members of the religion agree that women should also be appointed priests.
However, the Catholic and Orthodox Christian traditions do not allow women to become priests. According to Kenyon, this is because the priest is expected to represent the likeness of Jesus, who is a male figure. Therefore, women are considered unsuitable to represent the male figure of Christ.
The church leader reinforces this view and believes that diversity in roles is not a problem as long as it is not an arbitrary imposition. Instead, it expresses what is specific to being male and female. He seems to view women more in the image of the Virgin Mary, who is not a direct representation of God like Jesus but an important figure in the Christian tradition.
About the International Survey of Catholic Woman
According to The University of Newcastle in Australia, the International Survey of Catholic Women (ISCW) collected responses from 17,200 women across 104 countries in 2022 in response to the call for submissions to the Synod of Bishops. Available in eight languages, the report outlines the key findings and recommendations of the survey, which includes calls for women to be allowed to preach during Mass and be ordained as deacons and priests, and for changes to Catholic theology, doctrine, and liturgical practices to include women, LGBTIQ+ Catholics, and divorced and remarried Catholics.
The survey captured the diversity and shared concerns of thousands of Catholic women worldwide, reflecting their experiences and cultural contexts.
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Survey Reveals the Support of the Christian Community in Women as Church Leaders
The survey reveals that 79% of those participants believe women should be included in every level of church leadership. According to The Tablet, the survey also revealed that 85% agreed clericalism was harming the Church, 80% agreed Church leaders were not doing enough to address the perpetration and cover-up of sexual abuse, and 84% believed reform was needed. Participants in the survey were recruited from dioceses, parishes, and women's networks and organizations globally.
According to the report, respondents were concerned about the prevalence of sexual, spiritual, physical, and emotional abuse in church contexts. Abuse of power was identified as a central factor in historical and current sexual and gender-based harm. The lack of accountability and transparency in church leadership and governance, particularly in handling sexual abuse allegations, was also highlighted as a barrier to participation in church life.
According to Church Times, the survey found that eight out of ten respondents believe that the church leaders are not doing enough to address the sexual abuse of women, children, and other vulnerable people. Meanwhile, an audit by Vatican News revealed that during Pope Francis's ten-year tenure, there has been a four percent increase in the number of women working in the Vatican, bringing the total to 23.4 percent.
However, only five percent of leadership positions are held by women. However, reforms last year made it possible for lay people, including women, to be appointed as prefects of dicasteries in the Vatican.
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