Catholic Herald Reporter
THE Hierarchy of England and Wales have been asked to request the Vatican Council to invite competent women to attend meetings of the Council as "auditors".
The request is made this week in a special resolution passed at the annual meeting of St. Joan's Alliance, a social and political association of Catholic women.
Members also ask the support of the Hierarchy for resolutions concerning the fuller participation of women in the service of the Church and which were passed by St. Joan's International Council meeting in Freiburg.
The Alliance affirms its belief that the dedicated work done by so many women for the Church could be more firmly based if they had some outward sign of the official support and blessing of the Church. ' As a cencrete suggestion the International Alliance suggests that if diaconal duties are to be entrusted to lay men as an independent ministry. this ministry should he open to hoth men and women. Concerning Pope John's commission for the revision of Canon Law, the Alliance expresses the hope that special consideration will be given to those Canons which refer to women.
WILLING RESPONSE The Alliance also "expresses its conviction that should the Church in her wisdom and in her good time decide to extend to women the dignity of priesthood, women would be willing and eager to respond". The Resolution concerning women auditors at the Council comes six months after Cardinal Suenen's proposal that they be admitted to the Council as Observers. and a comment by Archbishop Stourm of Sens saying that such a proposal had in fact been submitted to the Commission an the Lay Apostolate.
At least 10 lay men have so far been admitted to the Council as Observers.
Miss Maria BeMosel°, PresidentGeneral of the 26-million member World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations, said in Rome last November that "Women auditors outside of Council Sessions could present and explain the studied views of Catholic women on the burning issues of the day, and then could transmit to Catholic women the Council's solutions to these problems".