A day after the Vatican issued a new document revising the types of crimes one can commit against the Catholic Church—crimes against morality, the sacraments, and faith—the Church is once again on the defensive. As Philip Pullella reports for Reuters, the decision to include both pedophilia and the ordination of women as threats to the Church in the same document has sparked a furious debate over whether Vatican leadership has equated the two:

“The Vatican’s decision to list women’s ordination in the same category as pedophiles and rapists is appalling [. . . ]” Erin Saiz Hanna, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference said. She called the decision “mediaeval at best”.

But Monsignor Charles Scicluna, an official in the Vatican’s doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women’s ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under canon (Church) law.

The PR fumble is just the most recent in a line of missteps by the Church in recent years, the most infamous of which have pertained to clergy sex-abuse scandals.  But such communications mistakes seem par for the course; as Jon O’Brien, from Catholics for Choice, said:

“If there is an opportunity for authorities in the Vatican to shoot themselves in the foot, they do so in both feet.”

Read the full article here.