This article is a modified version of an open letter written in German and addressed to Pope Francis. It was published in a collective e-book entitled Wir teilen diesen Traum. Theologinnen und Theologen aus aller Welt argumentieren Pro Pope Francis, edited by Paul M. Zulehner/Tomas Halik, Patmos Verlag, 2019. The e-book encompasses 150 contributions of which 78 were written by female and male theologians worldwide. The editor Paul Zulehner notes in his introduction to this monumental collective work: “The women question is the only theme where Pope Francis meets clear, but constructive critique.” Karin Heller’s contribution brings to the table a strong critical voice softened down by the primacy of an interdisciplinary theology of mercy which also extends to a pope’s pontificate. This modified article argues that Pope Francis’ good will "to do something for women” is genuine. But without exploring anew in depth today's so called unanimous and immutable hierarchical and sacramental Church model, no substantial reform in favor of women can occur in the Catholic Church.
"Women And The Catholic Church: Turning Point in Pope Francis’ Pontificate?" Whitworth University (2019). Theology Faculty Scholarship.