CATHOLIC WOMEN WRITE AN OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION – 22 MAY 2018
Sign the letter via the Catholic Women Speak website.
Catholic Women Speak and Voices of Faith are networks that campaign for greater participation and representation of women in the Catholic Church. They have also focused to get authentic voices of young Catholic women heard ahead of the Synod on Youth including two offical representatives at the pre-synod meeting in March. They have jointly written an open letter to Pope Francis calling for more open dialogue between women and the Catholic hierarchy. As of Friday, 18th May the letter has been signed by close to 500 women around the world.
The letter cites the recently published Statute of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. While expressing appreciation for the pastoral tone of the Statute, particularly with regard to some of the issues most associated with women such as procreation, pregnancy and abortion, the letter expresses concern about the use of the term feminine “genius”, which many women find problematic. It also suggests that qualities such as “specificity, reciprocity, complementarity and equal dignity” referred to in the Statute have not yet been developed and interpreted in a way that accommodates women’s lived realities.
Catholic Women Speak is a global network of Catholic women and publishes collections of writings by women on themes relating to Synods of Bishops. It published the award-winning book Catholic Women Speak: Bringing Our Gifts to the Table (Paulist Press, 2015) to coincide with the Synod of Bishops on the Family. This year, it is publishing Catholic Women Speak: Visions and Vocations (Paulist Press, 2018), in advance of the Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment. This book will be launched on 1st October at the Pontifical University Antonianum.
Voices of Faith works for a prophetic Catholic Church where women's voices count, participate and lead on equal footing with men. The initiative campaigns extensively to promote women’s leadership in the Church. Voices of Faith organise the only International Women's Day events ever held inside The Vatican. Ahead of the Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment, Voices of Faith promotes the leadership of young women, including impactful participation of its representatives at the pre-synod meeting of youth in March 2018. Watch the promotional video here.
The letter is open for signature by Catholic women on the Catholic Women Speak website.
For enquiries or further information please contact:
Tina Beattie, facilitator of Catholic Women Speak, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chantal Götz, Managing Director of Voices of Faith, at email@example.com