By ALEJANDRA PAULINO, age 11

Pink Smoke set off by the Women's Ordination Conference hovers outside the vatican in protest of the Catholic Church's ban on women priests. PHOTO: Unknown
Pink Smoke set off by the Women’s Ordination Conference hovers outside the Vatican in protest of the Catholic Church’s ban on women priests. PHOTO: Unknown

On March 13, 2013 in Rome, Italy, as the new pope was chosen, a group of women shot off pink smoke to protest the fact that only men can officially become priests and the Pope. They did this to contrast the white smoke that the Vatican releases when a new pope is chosen.

The protesters were from the Women’s Ordination Conference, a group that fights for women’s rights within the Catholic church. “The huge decision as to who will lead the world’s Catholics is being made among men alone,” said Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a member of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, to Global Post. “Not hearing the opinions of half of the world is like a slap in the face.”

Some Catholics think women should not be priests or the Pope because, they claim, the Bible shows that Jesus chose only men as his apostles. Instead, women can be nuns or perform other helping roles in the church. “Women do not need to be ordained priests in order to claim equality or to be of value and service to the Church,” says Catholic writer Maria Rivera on Catholics United for the Faith.

But women from the Women’s Ordination Conference and other advocacy groups disagree, saying that since they believe Jesus loves men and women equally, women should have equal opportunities for Church leadership.

Maybe official pink smoke will come out of the Vatican someday.