Women and the Church: Opening new pathways within the Church for a greater reciprocity between woman and men

Women and the Church: Opening new pathways within the Church for a greater reciprocity between woman and men



Comparisons and ideas to respond to global needs.

The Institute for Higher Studies for Women (ISSD) of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum studies the contribution of women in the life and mission of the Church, through this international webinar,  the ISSD seeks to deepen this contribution and identify which processes to activate to promote it and make it equally possible.

This reflection is  connected to that one on the lay faithful, started by the Second Vatican Council and not yet fully matured. Along with so many examples of fruitful collaboration between men and women in the life and mission of the Church, there are also cultural and other kind of barriers which make it difficult for women to be fully integrated into the life of society and the Church itself. Furthermore, even if the importance of women cannot be reduced to making decisions, the Church is as well  convinced of the need to count on her contribution in this field. The pathways must begin with a renewed comprehension of the dignity of the priesthood of the baptized, avoiding the clericalization of the laity in general and women in particular.

On the other hand, the Church needs to discover her feminine and maternal face, in order to fully live her vocation. The horizon in which this reflection is placed is that of an “outgoing” Church, called to a missionary conversion of structures. What is the role of women in this context?

The international webinar, organized by the Institute for Higher Studies on Women of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, which will take place on 28 November from 3pm to 6pm (CET) – 9am to 12pm (EST), will be structured in two round tables: the first, moderated by Lorella Congiunti, professor  of the Pontifical Urbanian University, who will try to allow herself to be challenged by today’s reality, with its lights and shadows. In this table will intervene Maria Lia Zervino, Servidora, President of the WUCWO; S. Jolanda Kafka, Claretian missionary and President of the UISG; Rita Pinci, journalist, coordinator of Donna Chiesa e Mondo and Fr. Gerard Whelan, SJ professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University. In the second round table will be offered some traces to open up perspectives and different approaches. The inspiring idea of ​​this table are the words of Pope Francis when he states that the question of women requires “actively processes”, and therefore the speakers will try to give some hints on the references and foundations of these processes. At this  table will be Laura Paladino, professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University; Sandra Mazzolini, Dean of the Faculty of Missiology at the Urbanian University; S. Mary Melone (SFA), professor at the Pontifical Antonianum University. Each session will provide a space for questions and debate with the public through the digital platform. The afternoon debate will begin with His Excellency Monsignor Gianrico Ruzza, Bishop of Civitavecchia, Fr. Mauro Mantovani, President of CRUIPRO, and Anita Cadavid, Director of the Institute for Higher Studies on Women. The conclusions will be drawn by Marta Rodriguez, coordinator of the academic and research area of the ISSD.

The main concepts discussed during this webinar are part of the diploma in “Women and the Church”, which, in 2021, will be proposed for the second edition as a joint diploma together with the Pontifical Urban University , the Salesian Pontifical University, the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium and the Claretianum Institute of Theology.

The Course aims to promote the contribution of women and effective cooperation between men and women in the Church and between different vocations and charisms, considering the theological, anthropological, historical, canonical and pastoral principles and, moreover,  taking into consideration the diversity of cultures according to geographical areas.

We thank The William J. and Susan J. Hayes Fund, whose generosity has made this international webinar possible.

Article in Spanish.

Article in Italian.

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