Women in seminaries debate prompts questions
The presence of women in seminaries and seminary formation is vital for future priests and prevention of sexual abuse, but the Church must go beyond that and act now, a top New Zealand Catholic theologian said.
Earlier, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, was interviewed by Vatican News about the role of women in priestly formation programmes.
“We must radically change” how priests interact with women, the cardinal was quoted by Vatican News as saying, adding that “during formation it is important that there is contact, discussion, exchanges” with women.
The Vatican News also report Cardinal Ouellet as saying that having women on seminary formation teams “would help a candidate interact with women in a natural way, including in facing the challenge represented by the presence of women, attraction to a woman.”
Dr Figueroa said New Zealand is doing “pretty well” in terms of having women in priestly formation, as against its counterparts around the world.