Sister Elizabeth Johnson, as she accepted the the top award of the Leadership Conference of Religious Women last week:
The submerged female half of the church, indeed of the human race, is rising, and the faith we pass on to the next generations will be poorer if women’s insights are ignored.In taking this path, I and today’s cohort of women theologians are charting a new path.
For centuries the study of theology was reserved for ordained priests as part of the hierarchy’s office to teach. One cannot overestimate the impact of Vatican II which opened the doors of theological study to lay persons. While excellent theology continues to be done by ordained priests, all kinds of new questions, methods, and understandings are now blossoming, fed by the experience of the laity, women and men alike.
As she also told her sisters gathered at the conference, the ongoing persecution of LCWR by the Vatican in a world of such pressing and real need is an "unconscionable" waste of time and energy.
The photograph of Elizabeth Johnson is by Dan Stockman at National Catholic Reporter.