Why this story matters:
The former President of Ireland has re-ignited the debate about the role of women in the Catholic Church, saying the church will not survive in its current form.
“We’re now at a moment when the most educated generation in the history of Ireland is demanding that that’s the church they want" McAleese said. "And if it’s not the church that is available, well, they’ll walk away.”
Ms McAleese had been blocked, along with two other women, from speaking at the Why Women Matter conference which was due to be held in the Vatican on International Women's Day. Nevertheless, her speech to the Voices of Faith conference at another venue in Rome has brought international attention and made headlines all over the world. The call for equality for women in the Catholic Church can no longer be ignored.
Details from the story:
- Former Irish president Mary McAleese said the Catholic Church “has long since been a primary global carrier of the virus of misogyny ... It has never sought a cure, though a cure is freely available. Its name is equality."
- The "Why Women Matter" conference to mark International Women’s Day was scheduled to take place at the Vatican, as it has over the past four years.
- The conference was moved to a space near St. Peter’s Square when Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, refused to allow Ms McAleese as a panellist.
- The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmaid Martin, has said that the main reason for negative attitudes to the church in Ireland relates to its restrictions on women.