Former Irish president urges Catholic Church to embrace equality
Mary McAleese, speaking at a Jesuit centre in Rome, said the church needed a cure for ‘the toxic virus of misogyny’.
Catholic women have urged Pope Francis to give women a greater voice in Catholic Church decision-making, warning they are leaving the church in droves because its all-male leadership refuses to change their entrenched second-class status.
Former Irish president Mary McAleese, an outspoken advocate for women’s ordination and gay rights, was the keynote speaker at an International Women’s Day conference that was moved off Vatican territory this year because a cardinal declined to sponsor it due to Ms McAleese’s participation.
“We are not the strawberries on the cake, we are the leaven in the bread. And without the leaven the bread will not rise” Mary McAleese former president of Ireland speaks about women in the church pic.twitter.com/C64g1CPIYV— Voices of Faith (@vofwomen) March 7, 2018
In her speech, delivered at the Rome headquarters of Francis’ Jesuit order, Ms McAleese said: “The Catholic Church has long since been a primary global carrier of the toxic virus of misogyny.
“Its leadership has never sought a cure for that virus though the cure is freely available.
“Its name is equality.”