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Women facing the Church’s crisis

· ​The editorial ·

“If one member suffers all suffer together”, Pope Francis wrote, quotingPaul in his Letter to the People of God. We have interpreted this as a request addressed to women to make their voices and their reflections heard in order to take on, together with men and with the clergy, the profound crisis which the Church is living through so that they may feel at last an active and proactive part of the People of God.

Graphic elaboration of a famous photograph by Aleksander Rodchenko

Thus in this issue we have wished to give a voice to critical reflections from the female point of view, through both women and men involved in ecclesial life. The problems faced are common ones today: silence on the part of women too in the face of situations of abuse and violence, in the name of an unjustifiable clericalism (Margron), criticism of a Catholic feminism which thinks it can obtain an active and recognized female participation in the life of the Church thanks to a recognition from on high, as a result of a cooptation which still reveals dependence on clerical power, and hence difficulties in assuming a direct responsibility (Scaraffia). To this is added a strong criticism of the inveterate habit of the clergy of not seeking female speakers, and of thinking that women have nothing interesting to say (Malone).

Then comes an examination of the important subjects to be resolved: on the one hand ecclesiastical celibacy, accused of having become merely a hypocritical condition of power, to which it is necessary to restore spiritual value (Vesco); on the other hand the intellectual effort necessary if we are to rethink a Church with two voices, a male and a female voice together, with the same right to think and speak (Pelletier).

This is aseries of texts rich in thought and proposals, on which we would like to begin further critical reflections so that this may be only a first step towards a renewal of ecclesial life, to which women may at last make a serious contribution. (lucetta scaraffia)

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Aug. 26, 2019

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