Sex-abuse and other scandals that trouble the Catholic Church could have been avoided if women had been in positions of power, according to the woman who edits a new supplement in the Vatican newspaper.
Journalist-historian Lucetta Scaraffia is campaigning for women’s rights in the male-dominated Vatican and pushing for women to teach in seminaries to give future priests the social and cultural skills to help them handle celibacy.
In an interview with AFP, Scaraffia said the new women’s supplement she edits in the 150-year-old Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has ruffled feathers, despite having the support of Pope Benedict XVI.
“There are those who say ‘I have not read it’,” said the 64-year-old journalist. “They don’t want to say it’s not good. They prefer to say ‘it doesn’t interest me’. The indifference is terrible.”
But, she added: “It was the Pope who decided to have women work at L’Osservatore Romano.”
Scaraffia, who lost her faith in the 1960s and became an ardent feminist, returned to the Church 20 years ago.
“There is misogyny in the Church,” she said. “It’s a closed world, caught up with issues of power. Many in the clergy are afraid that if women come onto the scene there will be less room for them.”
Scaraffia also believes the Pope Benedict is changing attitudes to Church scandals by tackling the Holy See’s long-standing policy of secrecy.
The Pope “is very alone and has a very difficult papacy because all the problems which were hidden have now come to light…problems which took root in the Church 30 or 50 years ago,” she said.
“He has the courage to see things as they are,” she said.
“We have always covered scandals up, he lets them come to light. Many people believe it is better to hide things. He says the Church is not protected by silence,” she added.
“He thinks that, for purification, there needs to be shame.”
News category: World.