Tuesday, August 10, 2010

VOTF Announces New Women in the Church Fund

As an interesting postscript to what I just posted about women in the church, which notes one story after another of unjust firing of women by Catholic institutions and pastoral officials in recent years:

Voice of the Faithful is announcing today that Lynette Petruska, a St. Louis attorney who is a former nun, has given VOTF $75,000 to set up the Emily and Rosemary Fund for Women in the Church.  The fund's purpose is "to support women who lose employment in the Roman Catholic Church as the result of injustice or discrimination, and to help women who are working to bring about justice and equality in the Church."

Petruska notes that she herself experienced injustice and discrimination after she opposed sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she was the school's first female chaplain.

The future of the Catholic church lies with people like Lynette Petruska, and with women who refuse to accept the second-class citizenship and scolds' bits handed out by the hierarchy.  The future of the church lies in circumventing a hierarchy so mired in clericalism that it can no longer function as a meaningful icon of the good shepherd in the church at present.