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Breaking down gender mindsets

BANGALORE (CNS): The Indian Christian Women’s Movement was launched on January 11, the final day of a four-day conference titled, Paradigm Shift in Vatican II and Its Impact on Women, held in Bangalore, India.

The conference was initiated and jointly organised by Streevani (Voice of Women) and Montfort Social Institute along with three other organisations, including the Office for Women of Indian Bishops’ Conference. 

A statement from the 120 conference participants says, “We were challenged to change our patriarchal mindset, to develop a feminist way of thinking, to create gender sensitivity, promote the use of inclusive language, break boundaries and move into a new way of being and doing.” 

The statement says that the new forum is intended to be a “voice for Christian women, the poor and the marginalised at the national level.” 

It says, “In a highly divided and unjust world, where the prophetic role of the Church is almost lost, religious women/men are challenged to live their consecrated life fully dedicated to God and to God’s people ... to help them overcome exploitation and oppression.” 

Although several documents issued during and after Vatican II speak about the equality of women and men, the conference statement points out that “a lot remains to be done to make the shift from subordination to partnership in Church and society.” 

 

In his opening address to the conference, Archbishop Bernard Moras, from Bangalore, referred to Pope Francis’ remarks that a Church without women “is a lifeless body.”......

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