Catholics Speak Out

Gender Equality and Faith

If an institution such as the Catholic Church were to say that women are fully equal, fully capable of empowerment, think what kind of message that would send to patriarchal societies all over the world.
Jamie Manson

On Thursday 14 May 2015 Catholics Speak Out sponsored an event in Canberra around the theme Gender, Gospel and Global Justice. Here is the report from of the event from the Canberra-based weekly Social Capital (14 May 2015).

In budget week where one side of town was taking themselves very seriously telling us to ‘have a go’ and the other was indulging in the fun and frivolity of a four day fashion fest, a serious and unresolved aspect of the world’s biggest business and arguably the wealthiest institution, the Roman Catholic Church, and its failure on women’s ordination and equality was being discussed. It was a fundraiser to send two women from developing countries to the Philadelphia Gender, Gospel and Global Justice conference and the venue for the event was the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Barton. The organisers welcomed all; that is non-religious, lapsed and practicing.

The panel was of three articulate and intelligent women, Kristina Keneally, Hilary Charlesworth and Marilyn Hatton with Paul Collins as the moderator and the free flowing sharing of ideas, frustrations and failures in so many areas of gender equality, human rights and what to do. Well it would seem Pope Francis could with the stroke of a pen – or a quill perhaps – change the status quo and breathe life into the misogynist, sexist and patriarchal church, bringing the church kicking and screaming into this century. Will it happen? Unlikely, but good people will continue to work for change, despite the machinations to undermine efforts behind the veneer of a breath of fresh air inside the Vatican. Now that’s really having a go.


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