A group of women collected 140 endorsements regarding the demand for equality in the Church and handed them to Fr K. T. Emmanuel at the Holy Name Cathedral in Pune on women's day, Indian Express reported.
The initiative took by the Dr Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, member of the Indian Women Theological Forum.
According to media reports, the statement said, "However, within the Church, not much has changed. The concerns and frustrations of women within the Church remain the same. We have leadership training for women but there are no spaces for women to exercise this leadership. Doors have been opened for women to contribute their services in pastoral work, as community leaders, as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, cantors, ushers, and leaders in outreach activities in the parish, yet their ministries are not valued as much as, or given as much recognition as the ministry of ordained deacons, from which women, including women religious, are banned. That woman persists in their ministries and continues to fill the pews despite this very visible discrimination, is a sign both of their love for the Church, and the internalisation of their second class status in the Church."
The statement also highlighted the issue of clergy sexual abuse and the way it is handled by Church authorities which is a matter of concern. Experience has shown that women victims are often not believed and their clerical abusers use the power of the Church to protect themselves. They continue in their ministry while survivors are ostracised, vilified, and left to languish from the wounds of the abuse and injustice in the Church, the memorandum added.