Chris and I have arrived in Rome! We're so excited for this pilgrimage and anxiously awaiting our fellow pilgrims who will be arriving over the next few days. We officially get started on Thursday, March 28th. Meanwhile, we have some important business to attend to.
Having travelled overnight, both Chris and I woke up to news of the resignation of Lucetta Scaraffia and the editorial team at the monthly magazine "Women Church World," which is published by L’Osservatore Romano. The resignations were first covered by the Associated Press: "Scaraffia told the AP that the decision to leave was taken after L’Osservatore’s new editor, Andrea Monda, earlier this year planned to take over as the magazine’s editor." The same AP article quotes an open letter to Pope Francis that reads, in part, "Now it seems that a vital initiative has been reduced to silence and that there’s a return to the antiquated and arid custom of choosing women considered trustworthy from on-high, under the direct control of men." Based on early reporting, it seems patriarchy strikes again, but this group of women is refusing to take it. Monda, for his part, has denied the accussations.
Regardless of the 'why,' the resignations are surely disheartening to those who have come to see the monthly magazine as an important way of lifting up the voice of women in the Church. And they come at a time when the Church so desperately needs all the voices of clarity, integrity, and honesty that it can get. Scarraffia, who has become one of the most prominent female voices at the Vatican, was instrumental in getting Pope Francis to publicly acknowledge that the abuse of religious sisters by priests and bishops was a problem after she wrote an article on the topc for "Women Church World," which garnered global interest and discussion.
This story is continuing to develop and Chris and I will talk to our friends and sources here in Rome to see what additional information and insight we can share with you in the coming days. So, stay tuned.