Swiss bishop allows lay initiative for women’s ordination

Provocative ruling

The Bishop of Basel has permitted the Basel Catholic Church Corporations  to formulate an initiative appealing for equality between men and women in relation to the priesthood, reports The Tablet.

The Basel Landeskirchen, which are officially only responsible for Church finances, first submitted their equality initiative in 2012, aiming to oblige the Church authorities to 'work towards' women’s ordination.

But as Bishop Felix Gmür explained at the time, the faithful could ask their bishop to pass on proposals and wishes but they could not oblige him to change canon law that, in this case decreed, that only men could be ordained.

Gmür and the Landeskirchen have since reached a comprise in the wording of the initiative which the bishop sanctioned on May 8.

Instead of obliging the Church authorities to 'work towards' equality, that is, that women could be ordained like men, the initiative now says the Church authorities 'submit the proposal' for equality.

'I personally can imagine a woman at the altar but it would be difficult to put into practice,' Bishop Gmür recently told the Swiss daily Aargauerzeitung.

FULL STORY Swiss bishop allows lay appeal for women’s ordination and 'can imagine a woman at the altar' (The Tablet)