Print Version    Email to Friend
Women’s conference moves after cardinal bars speaker

Hong Kong (SE): An International Women’s Day conference, scheduled to be held on March 8 has been shifted to the headquarters of the Society of Jesus after former Irish president, Mary McAleese, was barred from attending the event which was to be held at the Vatican, La Croix reported on February 2.
The talk, Why Women Matter, is being organised by the Voices of Faith group which is seeking to show the Vatican that women “have the expertise and skills to play a full leadership role in the Church.”
The Irish Times reported Chantal Goetz, managing director of Voices of Faith, as saying that the list of speakers required approval from Kevin Cardinal Farell, the prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
“Cardinal Farrell sent back to me the list of names who he gave permission [for]. Mary McAleese and two others were not on it,” she told the Irish Times. “Unfortunately, unsuccessful efforts were made to have the cardinal change his mind.”
It was not clear why the cardinal barred her from attending the conference.
Not wanting to exclude the three women, the organisers transferred the event to a location outside the Vatican and invited McAleese to be the keynote speaker.
“We decided ourselves to move the conference to a venue outside the Vatican,” Goetz said.
Goetz said it was the first time she had encountered any problems since Voices of Faith began organising similar conferences in 2014.
La Croix reported that McAleese, said she was waiting for a reply from Pope Francis to a letter she sent him on the matter. 

More from this section