Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499
CHIMHANDA, Francesca. Women and the Roman Catholic Church with special focus on Zimbabwe. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.1. ISSN 2412-4265.
The Synod of Bishops (Rome 1994) acknowledged that women in Africa are the backbone of church and society; and yet, in a patriarchal church and society, women are marginalised in both subtle and overt ways. The article interrogates engagement since the African Bishops Synods (Rome 1994 and 2009) with inclusion of women in all sectors of church life and, in particular, the unity and disparity between deliberations and implementation concerning the Roman Catholic Church in Zimbabwe. Pertinent issues include common claims that women are equal to and yet different to men, that women and men play complementary roles, about harnessing the feminine genius, about the exclusion of women from ordained ministry and the accompanying impasses, about a patriarchal church and Shona culture's impact on women, and about empowerment of women to become proactive agents of their own "her-story". The agenda is to passionately appropriate the creation and baptismal dignity of women and men in the imago Dei/Christi and also the baptismal vocation of sharing in the mission of Christ ad gentes.