Church reform group We are Church Ireland (WACI) has decried the exclusion of a woman speaker from the International Eucharistic Congress' programme on Communion in Marriage and Family on Tuesday June 12 at the RDS.
In a letter to the Secretary General of IEC2012, the lay group has expressed its, “shock,” that no married woman is scheduled as an arena speaker on the topic of marriage and the family.
The group describes it as, “unacceptable,” that the only arena speakers listed are a celibate archbishop and the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
The latter wealthy, all male group, refuses membership to women.
WACI has requested that Fr Kevin Doran immediately change the line up to include a married woman.
Spokesman for the group, Brendan Butler told ciNews this is essential in view of Supreme Knight Dr Carl Anderson’s role in the funding of the Vatican’s investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents 90 per cent of women religious in the US.
It was Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who is the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, who petitioned the CDF to launch the investigation into the LCWR, which represents 57,000 women religious in the US.
Anderson is a member or consultor of several Vatican offices, and one of the five-man board of directors for the Vatican Bank.
The call by WACI follows a statement issued this week by the International Movement of We Are Church (IMWAC) that claims the US nuns have been unjustly treated by the CDF.
IMWAC, which has groups in 23 countries around the world, describes the, “attempted silencing,” of the LCWR by the Vatican as yet another attempt to enforce creeping infallibility and absolutism by Rome.
The group has urged its members, “to do all in their power to resist this clampdown on our sisters in America,” by what they term as, “a Vatican elite.”
Meanwhile, WACI is demanding answers from the new papal nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, over his role in 2009 as the CDF representative along with Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo in phase one of the Vatican’s investigation into the LCWR.
Archbishop Brown met LCWR representatives with Bishop Blair as part of the, “doctrinal assessment,” which examined the LCWR’s “mentoring leadership manual, ” the conference sponsors training sessions for new leaders, along with information about Network and the Resource Centre for Religious Institutes.
WACI spokesman Brendan Butler told ciNews that they see the appointment of Archbishop Brown as indicative of his role in Ireland in, “overseeing a clampdown on what is seen in Vatican circles as ‘dissent’.”
Meanwhile, Fr Kevin Doran, IEC2012 Secretary General, has responded to WACI’s criticism by saying they are working on the matter and currently awaiting confirmation of acceptance from a prospective speaker.