VATICAN CITY— Two women seeking ordination of women priests, one a former nun from Belgium and the other a Florida nurse, interrupted a Vatican news conference Saturday at which a top cardinal warned against attempts to introduce democracy into the Roman Catholic Church.

“The Second Vatican Council decreed that any discrimination based on race, social class or sex has to be uprooted as contrary to the will of God,” said MarieTerese Sonmoy halfway through the hour long session attended by about 500 journalists.

Babi Burke, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., told the churchmen that “the yoke of the church on the woman has to be lifted.”

Cardinal Joseph Malula from Zaire and two bishops from Colombia and India cannot change “the historical reality of what God did.”

The two women spoke after being recognized by Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro, who later said he thought the women were reporters.

The two week extraordinary synod, which opened last Sunday, was convened by Pope John Paul If to assess the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) which fashioned far-reaching reforms in Catholic liturgy, ecumenism, seminary education, religious life and church government.

The bishops, fielding a variety of questions, also rejected liberation theology, which sometimes uses Marxist analysis to support social and political activism in Third World countries.

“We can never use hate as a system for change. If I see church with a machine gun, then I can’t see the crucified Christ in that Church,” said Bishop Hoyos Dario Castrillon of Columbia, secretary general of the Latin American bishops conference.

Malula, cardinal of Kzshasa and a co-president of the synod, also warned against attempt to introduce democracy as we know it and experience in civil society.”

“It is important to remember that the church is a mystery of communion,” he added, “You shouldn’t introduce democracy as we know it and experience in civil society.”

The prelate made the comment in response to a question why the synod has appointed, rather than elected, representatives who will draw up a final message of the bishop’s assembly.

“Our bishops, our Holy Father whom we love, couldn’t he give us the word . . . we are all waiting for?” asked Ms, Sonmoy, who heads the Action and Research Institute for Women in Religion in Brussels, Both the former nun and the nurse were not seeking ordination for themselves, but for women in general.

Another activist, Sylvia ChavezGarcia from San Antonio, Texas, told The Associated Press that the women are demanding not only the ordination of women but also should the elimination of “all sexist language” from the church. She said women also should be allowed to take part in decision-making groups such as a synod. No woman has ever been invited to a synod as a voting member.

Ms. Sonmoy, in her late 50’s quit her order after nearly 30 years after John Paul introduced “harsh” disciplinary measures into the life of nuns including “an order that the nuns should wear habits all the time,” said Ms. ChavezGarcia, a psychotherapist.

Responding on behalf of the bishops, Archbishop Henry Sebastian D’Souza of India, secretary-general of the Asian and Pacific bishops conference, said the refusal to ordain women is “not a matter of discrimination.”

Article extracted from this publication >>  December 6, 1985