The female question

06 November 2021

Released a year apart, two books that talk about the relationship between women and the Church almost seem to chase after each other.

The first is Quello che le donne non dicono alla Chiesa [What Women Don't Say to the Church], written by Ilaria Beretta, a young journalist and founder of the blog buonenotizie.co and published by Ancora Editions.

The second, published by Effatà Editrice, is Non tacciano le donne in assemblea [Let the Women not Keep Silent in the Assembly], written by Paola Lazzarini, sociologist, former nun, president of the association Donne per la Chiesa, mother: it was the birth of her daughter that prompted her to an in-depth analysis of the “female question” in the Church, as she states in the preface. 

The two volumes are the synthesis of an effort that both authors make. This being  to understand the role of women within the institution of the Church and to discuss the reasons why, despite the fact that women are generally excluded from an apostolate, which is almost entirely masculine, they do not distance themselves from it. And they remain linked to the teachings of Jesus that the Catholic Church is called to spread.

From parishes to curias, the role of women is not only in the minority in terms of the quality of the tasks entrusted to them, but is also generally little considered in the conception of new paths of evangelization. The collection of stories and reflections that the authors describe to represent the gender issue within the Catholic Church, aims to imagine and propose a new role for women. To give them back their word. Perhaps even to “take it back” and contribute with equal dignity to the construction of that new Italian Catholic Church committed to the synodal path. Because the objective is to “not keep silent in the assembly” where “women do not say”.

by Elena Di Dio