Lisa Kötter spoke at the beginning of the prayer:
Dear Sisters and Brothers, dear Marys,
it is a serious thing that we are standing out here today. Because we are serious about our church of which each and every one of us is a part. Serious about Jesus of Nazareth. Because he said: “Renew your mind.” He said “Love one another.”He has assured us of God’s unconditional love! He made it visible, but he also gave us the task to make it visible in this world, in this time: Bless, is what we are supposed to do, not condemn.
It is a serious thing, Love. Without it we are hollow and silent. All faith, all wisdom, all community, all longing loses its power. Everything good about the Good News of Jesus freezes without love.
We are serious about the vocation of all who are baptised. And about equal rights for women, who are loved and blessed as God’s children with equal dignity and equal vocations as any man, as any human. Women are not better humans. But only together, at eye level is it that we can strengthen each other, see what we are doing, check each other – only together can our effect on the world be an invigorating one. Whoever does not respect women without condition holds half of the beloved children of God in contempt.
About two weeks ago we received a young woman’s letter, Antonia, who had written to her bishop, asking for advice. She wants to be a priest. She feels called and perplexed at the same time. She obviously knows that the Roman Catholic church does not ordain women (yet). The answer was a polite letter that the bishop didn’t have time to answer himself, that he recommended taking a christian gap year and that he wishes all the best for her future.
We all know, or might imagine what would have happened if Antonia had been called Anton. There would not only have been an in-depth answer from the bishop but also an invitation for a talk. This valuable vocation would have received every support, every effort coming to meet it, strengthen it, help it.
The amount of vocations, of wisdom, passion and spirituality our church passes on, what she misses out on by this outmoded and unjust treatment of half of its members – we want to finally give it to her. May she, and thus we all, go on in powerful „menschenfreundlichkeit“ (human-friendliness). May the good news open our church to the perpetual change, which is a mystery of our faith.
That is why we are here today. Not to add our self-righteousness to the well known horrors that happen in our church, but to listen to the good news, which our world so sorely needs. And which we want to proclaim today, even in front of our church. We want to be a blessing to each other.
Let us begin: we are standing here with our longing, our faith and our searching: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Lisa Kötter, Münster. Translation: Ruth Fehlker, Coesfeld)
(image credit https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_2.0)