The Malta Independent 24 June 2018, Sunday

Catholic women challenge pope for greater voice

Associated Press Thursday, 8 March 2018, 16:04 Last update: about 5 months ago

Catholic women are challenging Pope Francis to give women a greater voice in Catholic Church decision-making, warning that 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 Thursday at an International Women's Day conference that was moved off Vatican territory this year because a cardinal declined to sponsor it due to McAleese's participation.

In her speech, delivered at the Rome headquarters of Francis' Jesuit order, 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."

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