The exhibition will be on display at the Rocca Ariostesca in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana from July 30th to August 8th 2021.
In the summer of 2002, seven catholic women (from Austria, Germany and United States) were illicitly ordained priests, on a ship cruising the Danube River. Shortly thereafter, three women were ordained bishops in great secrecy, so that they could carry on female ordinations without interference by the Vatican. Since then, several similar ceremonies have been held by RCWP, a group of suffragettes performing religious disobedience in favor of women’s ordination. Today, the movement counts more than 215 ordained women priests and 10 bishops worldwide.
The Vatican considers female ordination a serious crime, anyone who participates automatically excommunicates themselves. For this crime, employees of the Catholic Church lose their jobs, pensions, support. The severity of the sin of the attempted women’s ordination is at the same level of a crime such the sexual abuse of minors by priests. Despite this, most of them do not want to leave the Church, but transforming it, through a model that is very frightening to the Vatican: feminist spirituality is rooted in equality and inclusivity, inherently nonhierarchical, and honors collaboration and compassion over power. Women Priests did not shape a new cult, but organically gathered people from the grassroots, the people who no longer feel welcomed by the Official Church. Most of them are mature women, many are former nuns, missionaries and theologians. They work in social justice, in ecological movements, in non-profit organizations.
This is a critical moment in history for Roman Catholicism. The Church increasingly feels like an obsolete model, far removed from the spiritual needs and realities of today. The fate of the Church seems to hinge between: the current establishment disappearing into a cult of a few conservatives, or a deep renewal in its administrative and religious shape. At the center of these debates and these possibilities, is the battle for a renewed priesthood that would include women as well.
GARFAGNANA FOTOGRAFIA is a national photography festival, held in the middle of summer in the center of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. It represents a quality cultural proposal aimed at the citizens of Garfagnana and the tourists who frequent it. Through exhibitions, meetings with authors, award ceremonies, portfolio readings, workshops, book presentations, we offer the positive aspects that Author Photography still knows and wants to express.