Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eighty-Year Old Irish Grandmother Organizes Boycott of Sunday Mass: "Women Are Tired of Being Treated as Second-Class Citizens"

This story (and here) tickles me and gives me hope: an 80-year old woman in the village of Clonakilty, Ireland, is organizing a boycott of Sunday Mass on 26 September.  Jennifer Sleeman says she wants “the faithful women of Ireland” to “let the Vatican and the Irish church know that women are tired of being treated as second-class citizens.”

I think this boycott might really take off after Pope Benedict has just made another bafflingly insensitive move in the Vatican's response to the abuse crisis: he has refused to accept the resignations of two Irish bishops who had resigned in the wake of the Murphy report, when their complicity in covering up cases of clerical sexual abuse of minors became known.  There is now--understandably so--a huge uproar in Ireland at the papal move,which seems to slap in the face those leaders of Irish Catholicism who wanted to handle the abuse crisis with transparency and accountability.

When the Vatican is losing courageous, feisty 80-year old women in villages of strongly Catholic nations, it's in serious trouble, indeed.

Thanks to Jim McCrea for bringing the story about Ms. Sleeman and her boycott to my attention.  Bishop Accountability has also linked to this article today.

The graphic for this posting shows St. Bridget of Ireland in her role as an abbess.  Legend relates that when elderly Bishop Mel consecrated her as abbess, he inadvertently read the rite to consecrate a bishop.  She and her successors as abbesses at her monastery in Kildare enjoyed the authority of bishops up to the Synod of Kells in 1152.