Pope Francis said on Tuesday the Catholic Church had to acknowledge a history of male domination and sexual abuse of women and children and repair its reputation among young people or risk becoming “a museum”.
However, in a major document in which he mentioned an array of scandals and again admitted significant failings by clergy, he also said the Church “could not agree with everything some feminist groups propose,” a clear reference to the Church’s ban on a female priesthood, Reuters mentions.
Francis made his comment in a 50-page “Apostolic Exhortation” about a month-long meeting of bishops in October on the role of young people in the 1.3 billion-member Church.
“A living Church can look back on history and acknowledge a fair share of male authoritarianism, domination, various forms of enslavement, abuse and sexist violence,” the pontiff said.
“With this outlook, she can support the call to respect women’s rights, and offer convinced support for greater reciprocity between males and females, while not agreeing with everything some feminist groups propose,” he said.