Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The new pope will be ... a man!

A few years ago I attended an award ceremony at work. My team was nominated for redefining the way Pepsi did business in Mexico. The event was held at a fancy location and a famous comedian hosted the evening. When the time came to hand out the last award, the company's six vice presidents - all men - joined the CEO on stage. The comedian could not resist the chance to crack a joke, saying it was good to see gender equality alive and well at Pepsico. Ouch!

I could practically feel the CEO cringing. Those of us who worked there knew he championed diversity and went out of his way to push for a work-life balance  that would make it easier for women to juggle family and careers (especially in my native Mexico, where gender roles are still very traditional). When I joined the company in 2005, the male-female ratio was roughly 50/50

This was true for most of the levels in the organization. Even our marketing directors were split between both genders, we had one man and two women at the helm. The global chairman is also a woman; the brilliant Indra Nooyi. PepsiCo is by no means a male dominated company, but as luck would have it, both of the company's female VP's had left a few months earlier. Still, the comment stung. 

This memory resurfaced today as I watched a stream of cardinals enter the conclave at the Vatican. Whatever happens, this new pope will not be a woman. It's not because the women dropped out of the race, making a perfectly valid decision to have children instead of pursuing a career (ahem, vocation) in the Church. This is an organization that makes a conscious decision to fail the diversity test.  If they were so inclined, I am sure the Church could find female candidates in their ranks. For example, my elementary school was run by a Catholic nun who would have jumped at the chance to become a priest-ess. Instead, Sister Kathleen ruled our school with an iron fist. 

For various reasons, the Church finds itself in a situation where it needs to adapt or watch its numbers dwindle. Though some may argue that Church policy is not a democracy, its members do have the option of finding a different spiritual path. As a lapsed Catholic, I sincerely hope the man elected will have what it takes to get with the times.

On a positive note, the Church hasn't fallen too far behind in the overall scheme of things. Women have only been able to vote in America for the past 100 years. We have only been considered equals in the work force for a few decades. The Church has been around for 2K years and is typically slow to adjust, especially to new cultural trends. I think it is now safe to say that gender equality is not a fad. 

Personally, if this is too much of a stretch for the Catholic Church, I would at least advocate for priests who are able to marry and have children. They would be more in touch with the pressures of family life and better able to give practical advice. A few years ago I met a priest who only became a priest after his wife passed away, and he had three grown kids and plenty of grandchildren. It was a lot easier for him to relate to his parishioners for the same reason, he'd been there. Also, the Church would be less likely to cover up child abuse if its officials were actually parents. 


Regina Chouza is an Energy Healer, Angel Medium and author of A Personal Guide to Self-Healing, Cancer & Love and Chakra Healing & Magick. She studied angels, tarot and astrology at The College of Psychic Studies in London, and qualified as an Energy Healer at the School of Intuition & Healing UK. Blogging since 2010, Regina's passion is bringing the qualities of love, joy and empowerment to healing pursuits. 



  1. HI Regina, what a great post! You're (beautifully) articulating an issue that, more and more, is becoming openly important for many of us. And that's what it's gonna take - more open support for issues that run counter to what's currently taking place.

    I love what you're saying, and for the time being, I'd be thrilled to see marriage and children open up for priests. I can imagine this being something that could only enrich their understanding of the people they are serving/helping.

    Thanks Regina!


    1. Hi Robin! Thank you so much for the feedback. Sometimes I wonder if I should voice my personal opinions as that can be polarising, or just talk about angels, guides and healing. So it was really encouraging =)

    2. Gena - do it. The world needs your opinion, authentically real and totally you! (of course, that is MY opinion, woman!)

  2. ps ... "Voice my opinions on this blog" of course ... but if I don't do it here then what's the point lol =)