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International Women’s Day
8 March @ 12:00 am – 11:59 pm AEDT
Pope Francis is making small but significant steps towards greater inclusion of women in decision making and leadership roles in the Church. He has amended Canon Law so that women may be officially recognized as exercising the ministries of Lector and Acolyte. And he has appointed a woman as Under-Secretary to the Synod of Bishops – with the right to vote. This is a good day to pay attention to women’s contributions in our local Church too. Here is a list women theologians in Australia and New Zealand 160+ Australian and New Zealander Women in Theology You Should Know About
In 2020 we marked the twentieth anniversary of the Australian Bishops’ response to research on the participation of women in the Catholic Church in Australia. The research results were published as Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus (Harper Collins, 1999) and the Bishops’ Social Justice Sunday Statement for 2000 was titled Woman and Man: the Bishops Respond. In 2019 the Office for Social Justice published a collection of essays marking these anniversaries. Titled Still Listening to the Spirit: Woman and Man Twenty Years Later, the book was a collaboration with the Office for the Participation of Women.
In their foreword to the collection, Archbishop Christopher Prowse and Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen acknowledge:
… twenty years down the track, women are still listening to the Spirit and seeking to engage the whole Church in a conversation about a more fulsome development of the participation of women in the Church, for the sake of us all, and for the sake of the Reign of God.
There is unfinished business from the action commitments made by the bishops in 2000. There is also an opportunity to contribute to the communal discernment process of the Plenary Council 2020. This collection of essays enrages creatively with both of these elements of the present moment.Archbishop Christopher Prowse and Bishop Vincent Long, Foreword, Still Listening to the Spirit