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Church criticised for not empowering women with equal rights

Monday, March 16, 2009, 12:52 (IST)
The head of a Mangalore based Christian NGO, criticised the church for not empowering women with equal rights.

Lamenting that women in India continue to face disparity, Samanvaya director Pius Pinto, said European nations have progressed while church in India is yet to give women equal status.

He exhorted women to rise above this discrimination and bring change into the society, citing instances of women's empowerment by churches in the West.

A church located near Heathrow International Airport in UK is solely managed by a nun. Besides, the Protestant and Anglican churches ordain a deacon along with spouses to jointly commit themselves to the service of God, he said.

Last month, provoking a major controversy, top leaders of the Council of Christian Churches of India (CCCI) opposed the ordination of women bishops, asserting that episcopacy was not the job of the fair sex.

"It is not a question of faith but tradition. Christianity extends all considerations to women. Women are not inferior as they are equal before God," Council of Christian Churches of India (CCCI) President Arch Bishop Stephen Vattappara told PTI.

However, he added, "Equality does not mean that mother becomes a father as both have distinct features and functions and should be maintained as such."

The council exemplified that Jesus Christ did not appoint any disciple or Apostle from fair sex though women were allowed to join other ministries of the church.