Critics Furious Over Vatican's Slight to Women It equates female priests with pedophilia By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jul 16, 2010 6:38 AM CDT 23 comments Comments Pope Benedict XVI greets faithful during the Angelus prayer at Castel Gandolfo, on the outskirts of Rome, Sunday, July 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito) (Newser) – It's not clear why the Vatican decided to classify female priests on a par with pedophiles in their decree on moral and canonical offenses yesterday, but the New York Times speculates it was to shut down those who pitch women in the priesthood as part of the solution to the church's sex-abuse problem. Whatever the motive, the decree has generated a predictable wave of outrage, the Guardian reports: It's "one of the most insulting and misogynistic pronouncements that the Vatican has made for a very long time. Why any self-respecting woman would want to remain part of an organization that regards their full and equal participation as a 'grave sin' is a mystery to me," says the president of the National Secular Society. "Appalling," says the director of the Women's Resource Center. "This declaration is doubly disempowering for women as it also closes the door on dialogue around women's access to power and decision-making, when they are still under-represented in all areas of political, religious and civic life."