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posted: 4/28/2013 4:00 AM

Limits to what the pope can change

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Limits to what the pope can change

I read with sadness the letter in the April 23 edition of the Herald about our new pope. I agree with Judith's description of Pope Francis as a humble man and a good priest and I share the world's enthusiasm.

However, the comments about change to the role of women in the church show the common misunderstanding about what any Pope can actually change. Pope Francis is not like the head of the Democratic Party who can change the platform of the party. He is not a politician. He is the successor of St. Peter, and he is charged with leading the Catholic Church based on the teachings of Jesus. And as to the role of women -- the Catholic Church is the only faith institution whose most important individual after Jesus is a woman -- Mary the mother of Jesus. And her power and activity throughout the world continues today.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is a leadership group of women religious that is part of the church. The church stands for the sanctity of life and the holy covenant of marriage. But the conference is speaking against these positions.

If a corporation had a division that was speaking out against its mission -- the people would be somehow stopped from speaking out, even to losing their jobs. It would be the same for teachers speaking out against their principal/school board. What makes the discussions of the church with the conference different? The entire church must do what is right based on the teachings of Jesus.

And to be part of this church -- the largest faith community and charitable organization in the world -- the conference must be in communion with it, and all that it stands for. And I hope they come to that communion.

Trish Lenahan

Glen Ellyn

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