Catholic women urge pope to tear down Church’s ‘walls of misogyny’

This handout photo taken on March 2, 2018 and released by the Vatican press office, the Osservatore Romano, shows Pope Francis (L) sits during his visit to the Casa di Leda (Leda's House), the first home in Italy for women inmates and their children. (AFP / OSSERVATORE ROMANO)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Catholic women urge pope to tear down Church’s ‘walls of misogyny’

ROME: Roman Catholic women led by former Irish president Mary McAleese demanded a greater decision-making role for women in the Church on Thursday, urging Pope Francis to tear down its “walls of misogyny.”
McAleese was the key speaker at a symposium of Catholic women called “Why Women Matter,” attended by hundreds of people and followed by many others around the world via web-streaming.
The Women’s Day event was held at the headquarters of the Jesuit religious order after the Vatican withdrew permission for it to be held inside its walls when organizers added controversial speakers without its permission.
McAleese, who supports gay marriage and the ordination of women as priests, joked about the change of venue to a location just a block away from the Vatican walls, saying: “I hope all their hearing aids are turned on today.”
She said the Church’s ban on a female priesthood had “locked women out of any significant role in the Church’s leadership, doctrinal development and authority structure.”
The Church teaches that women cannot be ordained priests because Jesus chose only men as his apostles. Those calling for women priests say he was only following the norms of his time.
“We are here to shout, to bring down our Church’s walls of misogyny,” she said, adding that the Church’s position on keeping women in a subordinate role to men had “kept Christ out and bigotry in.”
“How long can the hierarchy sustain the credibility of a God who wants things this way, who wants a Church where women are invisible and voiceless in Church leadership?” she said in her address. McAleese was Irish president between 1997 and 2011.
Many women, she said, “experience the Church as a male bastion of patronizing platitudes, to which Pope Francis has added his quota.”
The pope has promised to put more women in senior positions in the Vatican but critics say he is moving too slowly.
Other women speakers included Zuzanna Radzik, a Catholic theologian from Poland, who described the struggle to make priests and bishops in her homeland take her seriously as an intellectual on a par with men.
Many in the audience were nuns, who cheered on the speakers who demanded more rights for women in the Church.
Last week, a Vatican magazine denounced widespread exploitation of nuns for cheap or free labor in the Roman Catholic Church, saying the male hierarchy should stop treating them like lowly servants.
The article in the monthly “Women, Church, World,” remarkable for an official Vatican publication, described the drudgery of nuns who cook, clean and wait on tables for cardinals, bishops and priests.


Passengers hurt after flight loses cabin pressure

Oxygen masks were deployed after a loss of cabin pressure. (Reuters)
Updated 17 min 40 sec ago
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Passengers hurt after flight loses cabin pressure

  • The Jet Airways flight to Jaipur had to turn back due to loss in cabin pressure, the airline said, with travelers describing “panic” on board.

NEW DELHI: More than two dozen passengers on a flight operated by India’s biggest full-service carrier, Jet Airways, were treated for minor injuries on Thursday after their plane lost cabin pressure and was forced to turn back, aviation authorities said.
Shortly after takeoff from the financial capital of Mumbai, the flight crew forgot to select a switch to maintain cabin pressure and oxygen masks were deployed, India’s civil aviation regulator said.
The plane returned to Mumbai, where 30 of its 166 passengers were treated for minor injuries, including headaches and bleeding from the nose or ears, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.
Jet Airways said the flight’s cockpit crew had been taken off scheduled duties until an investigation into the incident was completed. The airline will also cooperate with the DGCA on the investigation, Jet said in a statement on Twitter.
Videos of the incident taken by passengers quickly went viral on social media, focusing public attention on the airline at a time when it is struggling to cut costs and embroiled in a pay dispute with pilots.
The airline, partly owned by Etihad Airways, posted a loss of about $189 million for the April-June quarter and said last month that it would inject funds and cut costs to try to stem losses.
India’s civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered the DGCA to conduct a safety audit of all airlines, airports, flying training schools and maintenance facilities in the country and submit a report within 30 days.