December 26, 2011

Re: "Women shackled by poverty, low wages" (WCR, Dec. 12).

Thank you for publishing this article as it shines a light on the hardships that women face just because they are women.

As Joe Gunn rightly pointed out, "Our economic, societal and immigration systems were never constructed with women's needs and aspirations in mind."

If we turn up the wattage on this light we soon see that the systems in our society which were built broken (as far as women are concerned) all model themselves after the religious system from which they sprang.

Speaking as a Roman Catholic woman, I know firsthand how closed this Church is to women's needs, aspirations, experiences, talents, sensitivities, almost everything and anything that is feminine.

By excluding women from the priesthood, from any decision - making positions, from having any authority, and refusing to use inclusive language when referring to the divine, all speak to an attitude around women that is harmful and pervasive.

What happens to a woman's spirit when she is led to believe that she is below, that she is only an after-thought that God once had?

I wonder if the leaders of this Church have even the slightest idea of the spiritual damage that they are doing to women? By closing the door to women they close their minds to the great potential for good that women bring to the Church and to the world and that is indeed a shame.

Lori Dexter