Eleven women working for a supplement published monthly by the daily L’Osservatore Romano newspaper have walked out, saying they had been the victim of a campaign to discredit them and put them ‘under the direct control of men.
Founder of Women Church World, Lucetta Scaraffia, above, said pressure on the all-female editorial team had intensified after it had published reports about sexual abuse of nuns by other members of the clergy.
Last month, the Pope publicly acknowledged that nuns had been abused by the clergy and said the Church was still attempting to address the “scandal”. He was speaking days after Women Church World highlighted a culture of abuse of women.
Scaraffia said in a letter to the Pope:
We are throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive delegitimisation.
She said later that there were 11 women on the magazine and they had all quit.
Launched in 2012, the supplement is the only Vatican publication exclusively run by women. It is published in Spanish, French and online in English.
Although Women Church World had not been first to reveal exploitation and sexual abuse that nuns had suffered, they had reported it after the facts had emerged, and had received letters from ordained women who had told of their experiences,Scaraffia said:
We could no longer stay silent.
But she said the Vatican newspaper’s new editor, Andrea Monda, above, had tried to control the magazine’s editorial line and bring in external collaborators. The freedom of speech – parrhesia – that Pope Francis had so often touted was being abandoned.
They are returning to the practice of selecting women who ensure obedience.
Monda reacted on Tuesday with a promise to continue publishing Women Church World and he denied that anyone had been selected on the basis of obedience.
He insisted he had guaranteed the magazine’s board complete autonomy and had not undermined them.
In no way have I chosen anyone, man or woman, with the criterion of obedience.
I can offer my assurances that the future of L’Osservatore Romano’s monthly supplement has never been under discussion; and therefore, that its history will continue uninterrupted. Without clericalism of any kind.