News Detail
Jesuit Superior General Says Women's Full Inclusion in the Church "Has Not Yet Arrived"

March 10, 2017 —  Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, joined women and men from around the globe for Voices of Faith, an annual event held in Vatican City to mark International Women’s Day on March 8. He told those gathered that “if we are honest, we acknowledge that the fullness of women's participation in the church has not yet arrived.”

Fr. Sosa gave the opening address at the conference, which celebrated and encouraged the need for women's voices to be heard in the church and in the world. Organized by Voices of Faith, Jesuit Refugee Service and the Fidel Gotz Foundation, the event’s theme was “Stirring the waters: Making the impossible possible.”

Although Pope Francis has voiced his support for broader participation of women's voices in the decisions of the Catholic Church, Fr. Sosa said, “that inclusion, which would bring the gifts of resilience and collaboration even more deeply into the church, remains stymied on many fronts.”

 

“No one is more resilient that women building and supporting the church in the poorest parts of our world,” he said.

Fr. Sosa said the participation of women is also necessary in positions of leadership, especially in areas of conflict such as the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Colombia. While it is hard to imagine peace, “can we have the audacity to dream that women and men working together will bring peace to these countries?” he asked.

He praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling her “the most courageous and visionary leader in Europe during this time of phenomenal forced migration.”

Fr. Sosa also cited the example of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, for bringing peace and reconciliation “to her war-torn country in a way that most men thought would be impossible.”

He concluded by quoting St. Francis of Assisi: “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Fr. Sosa said it was in that spirit that they gathered “to listen to Voices of Faith, to hear stories of resilience, collaboration and inclusion. We have more than started. We will not stop.”

The event featured several guest speakers, including Dr. Mireille Twayigira, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, and two sisters who are refugees from Homs, Syria, and work with Jesuit Refugee Service helping others forced to flee violence in their homeland.

Among the presenters at a panel discussion was Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization that sponsored the "Nuns on the Bus" tour in the United States.

Sister Campbell explained it was “essential for women to work for peace” and social justice, particularly for the poor and the marginalized, and she praised Pope Francis' efforts to bring their plight to the forefront of Catholic social teaching.


Sister Simone Campbell (right) speaks during the Voices of Faith gathering. (CNS photo/Massimiliano Migliorato, Catholic Press Photo)

“­­We rejoice in Laudato Si' that (says) care for the earth and care for the poor come from the same reality of exploitation of both and that until we learn to end the exploitation, we will not care for those at the margins, we will not care for our earth. And that is what moves me in such a deep way,” she said.

To read the full text of Fr. Sosa’s address, click here.

[Sources: Jesuit Curia, CNSNational Catholic Reporter]





Recent News

September 20, 2017 — Fr. Van Dyke has been named the next president of Georgetown Prep, effective July 1, 2018.

September 16, 2017 — Fr. Martin is a meaningful voice in our Church both in the United States and throughout the world.

September 15, 2017 — Sept. 17 is the feast day of Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), a Jesuit who was one of the most important cardinals of the Catholic Reformation.

September 12, 2017 — Regan is a former provincial assistant and executive director of advancement for the New England Province Jesuits.

September 8, 2017 — Tomorrow marks the feast day of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary known as the patron saint of slaves.

September 7, 2017 — Pope Francis appointed Fr. Corcoran to the office of apostolic administrator in Kyrgyzstan.

September 5, 2017 — Jesuit Father Timothy Kesicki's letter to Dreamers after the rescission of DACA.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 8/21/17

America 8/7/17

America 7/24/17



Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth
The Jesuit Center in Wernersville, Penn., is a place of natural beauty, welcoming quiet and spiritual sustenance for those who seek peace within.