There Won’t Be Change without Women

As Executive Director of Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir–Colombia, I appreciate the issues raised in “Popey Changey?” (Vol. XXXV, No. 4). The article provides clear evidence that this pope, like others before him, will maintain an inviolable line with respect to women—especially in matters of sexual morality.

Pope Francis has used his charisma and huge media presence in a judicious effort to show a more accessible, more human church, capable of recognizing its mistakes and committed to the causes most important to the faithful. But he has also shown Catholic women that, although we make up the majority of believers, change will not happen with us, nor for us.

For this reason, every day we ask ourselves—and we will continue to raise questions for transformative action in the institutional church—is change possible in the Catholic church, without taking into account the life and dignity of women who make up part of it? Why doesn’t the Catholic hierarchy respect women’s right to decide, especially with regard to their sexuality and reproduction? What fear underlies the bishops’ attempts to dominate, by any means necessary, women’s consciences and our decisions?

I believe that the questions and analysis raised in this article must be very present and visible in our reflections as Catholics—as organizations and, of course, as women of faith. Change will be weak and incomplete if women do not take part in it.

Director, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir
Bogotá, Colombia

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