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The sense of smell

· ​The editorial ·

John William Waterhouse “The Soul of the Rose” (detail, 1908)

With this issue after seven years the publication of women church world is coming to a halt. We have indeed realized that the conditions for continuing our collaboration with L’Osservatore Romano no longer exist. Our monthly magazine was born from an autonomous women’s initiative, realized by a group of women who had got together over the years, and was approved and supported by two popes, Benedict xvi and Francis. This was a new experience for the Vatican because of the magazine’s autonomy, rewarded by the attention and interest which women church world – published in Spanish by Vida Nueva, in French by La Vie and appearing online in English – enjoys in the media across the world.

However, this approach did not meet with the support of the new direction of L’Osservatore Romano, which has aimed rather to undermine women church world by initiating collaborations and projects which seem competitive and have the effect of setting women against each other instead of soliciting open confrontations, thus showing that the members of the magazine’s editorial staff are not deemed sufficiently “trustworthy”.

In this way there is a return to selecting women from above, to choosing women collaborators who are guaranteed to be obedient, so that every possibility of starting a true, free and courageous dialogue between women who love the Church in freedom and men who are part of her has been abandoned. There is a return to clerical self-reference and the outspokenness so often called for by Pope Francis, with whose words and whose magisterium we so closely identify, has been rejected.

As a result we cannot but declare that our work has come to end, abruptly interrupted in spite of the fact that unfinished projects still exist – for example, the examination of the five senses – as well as articles commissioned and even already written. We nevertheless find this decision necessary in order to safeguard our dignity and thereby prevent the process of nerve-racking strain which is unfortunately already occurring. (lucetta scaraffia)




St. Peter’s Square

Oct. 22, 2019