Online journal (www.statoechiese.it)
Online from january 2007
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La igualdad religiosa y la mujer en las iglesias cristianas: su incorporación jurídica a las órdenes sagradas

ABSTRACT: This article is focused on the review of religious equality and the role of women in some Christian churches since the 70´s. The author examines the incorporation of women into the Holy Orders, priesthood and episcopate, and the challenges and crisis faced by those churches, mostly the Episcopalian, the Anglican and the Lutheran. In some cases such incorporation of women into priesthood and episcopate has provoked conflicts and even schisms in the most conservative communities, like in some branches of the Anglican Church. This article also explores the official position of the Catholic Church authorities, mainly Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and their documents issued on this matter. At the same time it analyzes the Canon Law legislation restricting to baptized males alone the valid sacred ordination, and its consequences. Specifically the canonical crime of attempted ordination of a woman to Holy Orders, which was introduced by the General Decree promulgated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 19 December 2007. Pope Benedict XVI decided to include this canonical offense, among the delicta graviora reserved to the competence of the Congregation. Finally the author suggests feasible perspectives and possibilities during the present Papacy of Francis regarding to the access of women to the permanent diaconate.

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