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"What were they thinking at the Vatican?"

4. feb. 2015

NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press skriver 31. jan. bl.a.:

A new Vatican outreach initiative to listen to women hit a sour note before it even got off the ground: The sexy blonde on its Internet promo video came under such ridicule that it was quickly taken down.

But the program is going ahead, and an inaugural meeting this week will study women's issues in ways that are utterly new for the Holy See.

No, there is no talk of ordaining women priests.

But the working paper for the Pontifical Council of Culture's plenary assembly on "Women's Cultures: Equality and Difference" speaks about opening the church's doors to women so they can offer their skills "in full collaboration and integration" with men.

It denounces plastic surgery as a form of "aggression" against the female body "like a burqa made of flesh." And it acknowledges that the church has for centuries offered women "ideological and ancestral left-overs."

This is dangerous territory for the all-male Catholic Church hierarchy, as even Pope Francis has faced criticism for being a bit tone deaf as far as women are concerned.

The pontiff, a master of communication, has sincerely praised the "feminine genius." But he has also elicited cringes, such as when he recently welcomed female members of the church's most prestigious theological commission as "strawberries on the cake." And when asked if a woman might someday head a Vatican office, he joked that "pastors often wind up under the authority of their housekeeper!"

Few people doubt the seriousness of Francis' pledge to appoint women to key Vatican decision-making jobs once his bureaucratic reform is complete. Nor do they question his sincerity when he says: "Women can ask questions that we men just don't get."

But, as Vatican commentator David Gibson recently pointed out, Francis can also sound an awful lot like the 78-year-old Argentine churchman that he is - "using analogies that sound alternately condescending and impolitic, even if well-intentioned."

The Vatican has made progress in recent years, appointing laywomen to some Vatican offices and giving women's issues as a whole more ink with the monthly women's insert of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

Hele artiklen er <her>

Call for viewpoints of women's priorities for Vatican Assembly

The Guardian skriver 2. feb. bl.a.:

Vatican pulls promo video for women’s conference after ridicule

Video featuring Italian actor Nancy Brilli, who has defended the choice of women to undergo cosmetic surgery, came under fire in North America

"The video features actor Nancy Brilli asking women to contribute clips of their lives for broadcast at a meeting of Ravasi’s Pontifical Council for Culture this week.

At a news conference on Monday, Brilli defended the video and also the choice of women to undergo cosmetic surgery."

Link til artiklen <her>

The Pontifical Council for Culture's English-language video in advance of its 2015 "Women's Cultures: Equality and Difference" meeting.