He spent 17 years as a priest in exile.

— His final act: a scorching ‘farewell letter’ to the Catholic Church

Tim Stier poses in his condo at Rossmoor in Walnut Creek , Calif. on Saturday, July 9, 2022. Stier was defrocked in March by the diocese for reasons such as protesting the diocese’ cover-ups of sexual abuse, their treatment of women and LGBTQ practitioners.

By Rachel Swan

He spent 17 years as a priest in exile, railing against what he said were the misdeeds and cover-ups of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, until the Vatican finally cut him loose in March.

Months later, Tim Stier delivered his final salvo: a scorching “farewell letter” that condemned several bishops, criticized the Catholic clergy for retrograde attitudes toward gender equity and LGBTQ civil rights, and cited specific allegations of sexual abuse that Stier says the church ignored or tried to conceal.

His missive became a new flare-up for an institution grappling with public controversies over abortion and civil rights, and with the fallout from a painful history of abuse that has jolted parishes throughout the country.

“Dear No-Longer-Fellow Priests,” it began, “this will likely be my farewell letter to most of you, which may be glad tidings to those of you who did not enjoy hearing from me.”

In recent interviews with The Chronicle, Stier reflected on the blistering critique he wrote and distributed widely, an apogee to nearly two decades of protest, penned four months after his defrocking on March 19.

The ousted priest counts himself among a small community of early whistleblowers who have tried to persuade Catholic clergy to atone for past wrongs and to pull the church into modern times.

“If you speak out on these issues, you’re going to be crushed,” Stier said.

A spokesperson for the Oakland diocese did not respond to specific allegations in Stier’s letter, but sent a statement to The Chronicle about his ouster.

“We wish Mr. Stier all the best in this new chapter in his life,” the statement read. “The process by which the pope removes a man from the clerical state, which you reference as the ‘defrocking process,’ is extensive and thorough. Therefore, it can take considerable time.

“You’ll need to ask Mr. Stier why he made the decision to abandon his priestly vows and ministry many years ago.”

Pelosi vs. Cordileone

Tension between church leaders who wish to preserve rigid doctrine and parishioners who want a more open dialogue has been playing out in the largely liberal Bay Area. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who previously served as bishop in Oakland, recently denied communion to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, saying she must renounce her support of abortion rights.

Pelosi later received communion during a trip to the Vatican last month.

By standing up against the system, Stier speaks for a majority of Catholics who support LGBTQ rights and the ordination of women and denounce sexual abuse, said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, an organization that advocates for equal treatment of all of the faithful in the Catholic church.

Most of the nation’s 433 active and retired bishops follow the official teaching that gay and lesbian relationships are “objectively disordered,” and some have passed policies against the use of pronouns that don’t reflect the gender a person was assigned at birth, Duddy-Burke said.

She views Stier as a symbol at a moment of upheaval in the Catholic church — an outlier among diocesan priests, many of whom behave as “company men,” intent on ascending the hierarchy. Yet the positions Stier represents are “very valid and well within the Catholic mainstream,” Duddy-Burke said, even if the average parishioner or clergymember does not feel empowered to express them.

Over the years, Stier said, “I would get cards and letters from priests supporting what I was doing. I invited them to come (demonstrate) on Sunday mornings, but none of them were willing to risk that.”

He said a system committed to top-down authority, mandatory celibacy and the subordination of women’s voices may have to collapse before it can evolve. The church’s resistance to change may be its undoing, he said, “either through bankruptcies” from lawsuits “or disgrace.”

Stier has cast himself as an agitator from within, sustaining his Catholic faith even as he published op-ed pieces about the alleged hypocrisy of the church, or picketed outside Oakland’s cathedral on Sundays, with signs that demanded inclusion and structural reform.

“He’s been very consistent from the beginning about what his views were,” Stier’s friend, Margery Leonard, said.

Leonard, a retired teacher, met Stier when he served as pastor of Corpus Christi, her parish in Fremont, during the 1990s. Even then, he was outspoken, she said, delivering homilies that applied scripture to contemporary issues, such as homelessness or racial diversity, and trying to engage clergy in discussions about over-eating and alcoholism among priests.

“The clergy are very efficient at giving directions, but it’s just not a democratic group,” Leonard said.

Bishop Michael Barber

She became an ally of Stier during his two decades on the margins, after he became disillusioned with the church and refused a parish assignment from Bishop Allen Vigneron in 2005.

At the time, Stier said, he insisted that Vigneron publicly confront “three issues roiling the Church”: the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and bishops’ efforts to hide it; the refusal to ordain women and treat them equitably; and the cruel treatment of LGBTQ parishioners “based on an outdated theory of human sexuality.”

The diocese “didn’t know what to do with me,” Stier said. “They were hoping I’d come back. I was a well-respected, competent pastor.”

Bishop John Cummins
What began as a standoff became a protracted stalemate. From 2010 to 2021, Stier stood on the sidewalk during each Sunday mass, holding his signs and hoping that Bishop Michael Barber would emerge from the cathedral to speak with him. And during all that time, the bishop never did, he said.

He surmised that Barber was embarrassed by the public crusade, and by Stier’s demand for Barber to “hold accountable” retired Bishop John Cummins, who had ordained Stier in 1979, but who Stier later accused of abetting sexual abuse of minors by moving predatory priests from one parish to another.

Representatives of the Archdiocese of Detroit, where Vigneron now serves as archbishop, declined to comment, deferring to their counterparts in Oakland. Attorneys for Cummins did not return phone calls, and a spokesperson for the Oakland diocese declined to comment on the retired bishop’s behalf.

Stier cited several examples in his letter of priests who served during Cummins’ tenure and who the Oakland Diocese subsequently deemed “credibly accused of sexual abuse by a minor.” One of them, Stephen Kiesle, pleaded no contest to charges of lewd conduct in 1978, for allegedly tying up and molesting two boys at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Union City, where he was a priest and teacher.

Two years ago, one of Kiesle’s alleged victims sued him, the diocese and Cummins, claiming the retired bishop knew Kiesle was a danger to children but allowed him to work with them anyway. The suit is part of a coordinated action involving more than a hundred plaintiffs against various dioceses and other church entities, with the first case set to go to trial next year, said Kiesle’s lawyer, Mark Mittelman.

Stephen Kiesle
Attorneys for Cummins and Kiesle have denied all of the allegations, according to court filings.

Separately, Kiesle was arrested this year on charges of killing a pedestrian while allegedly driving drunk in a Walnut Creek retirement community. He was freed on $250,000 bail in April and the case is pending.

Stier succeeded Kiesle at Our Lady of the Rosary in 1979, the year he was ordained. At the time, parishioners informed him of Kiesle’s misconduct, he said, but he heard nothing from the pastor or the diocese.

“It was so secretive in those days,” he told The Chronicle, noting that, before 1979, he had no inkling that priests had used their position to victimize others.

In interviews, Stier pointed to two factors that motivated him to write the letter. The first, he said, was a desire for closure. Second, he wanted to leave a record “of what I learned during my 17 years of voluntary exile from active priesthood,” working with abuse survivors and other people he views as marginalized by the archdiocese.

Once he’d finished and signed the missive, he printed out copies and mailed them to 60 priests. Fifty-nine didn’t respond; one sent a short, polite acknowledgment.

This month the letter appeared on BishopAccountability.org, a website and database that tracks alleged abuse by clergy.

The nonprofit Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, defended and praised Stier in a statement.

“It is ironic that a priest who showed integrity has been defrocked for taking a stand for what he believes is just,” the statement read, “while priests who molested children were hidden, paid and never forced to leave the church.”

Complete Article HERE!

LGBTQ-inclusive church in Cuba welcomes all in a country that once sent gay people to labor camps

1 of 8 | Rev. Elaine Saralegui, wearing a rainbow-colored clergy stole and her clerical collar, leads a service at the Metropolitan Community Church, an LGBTQ+ inclusive house of worship, in Matanzas, Cuba, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. In recent years, the communist-run island barred anti-gay discrimination, and a 2022 government-backed “family law” — approved by popular vote — allowed same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt.

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Proudly wearing a rainbow-colored clergy stole and a rainbow flag in her clerical collar, the Rev. Elaine Saralegui welcomed all to her LGBTQ+ inclusive church in the Cuban port city of Matanzas.

“We’re all invited. And no one can exclude us,” Saralegui told same-sex couples who held hands sitting on wooden pews in the Metropolitan Community Church where she had recently married her wife.

These words and this kind of gathering would have been unimaginable before in the largest country in the conservative and mostly Christian Caribbean, where anti-gay hostility is still widespread.

Cuba repressed gay people after its 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro and sent many to labor camps. But in recent years, the communist-run island barred anti-gay discrimination, and a 2022 government-backed “family law” — approved by popular vote — allowed same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt.

Members of Cuba’s LGBTQ+ community say it marked a milestone that has allowed them to embrace their gender identity and worship more freely in a country that for decades after the revolution was officially atheist. Over the past quarter century, it has gradually become more tolerant of religions.

“It’s huge. There aren’t enough words to say what an opportunity it is to achieve the dream of so many,” said Maikol Añorga. He was with his husband, Vladimir Marin, near the altar, where at a Friday service they joined other congregants taking turns to lay offerings of white and pink wildflowers to thank God.

“It’s the opportunity for all people to be present here,” he said, “to gather and participate without regards to their gender, race or religion.”

The Catholic Church, in its doctrine, still rejects same-sex marriage and condemns any sexual relations between gay or lesbian partners as “intrinsically disordered.” Yet Pope Francis has done far more than any previous pope to make the church a more welcoming place for LGBTQ+ people.

In December, the pope formally approved letting Catholic priests bless same-sex couples, a policy shift that aimed at making the church more inclusive while maintaining its strict ban on gay marriage.

The family law in Cuba faced opposition from the country’s Catholic church as well as the growing number of evangelical churches that have mushroomed across the island.

Anti-LGBTQ+ rights demonstrations have faded since 2022. But back then, evangelical pastors spoke out from the pulpit, and handed out Bibles and pamphlets in the streets invoking God’s “original plan” for unions between men and women and calling gay relationships a sin.

Still, the measure was overwhelmingly approved by nearly 67% of voters. It came after a huge government campaign of nationwide informative meetings and extensive state media coverage amid food shortages and blackouts that have prompted thousands to immigrate to the United States during one of one of the worst economic crises to hit Cuba in decades.

At the time, President Miguel Díaz-Canel told Cubans in a video message that he was pleased about the wide support that the measure received despite tough economic challenges. He celebrated, tweeting: “Love is now the law.”

For years, the movement for LGBTQ+ rights has been proudly led by Cuba’s best-known advocate for gay rights: Mariela Castro, daughter of former President Raul Castro and niece of his brother Fidel.

“This just brings happiness. This just makes people feel truly worthy, respected, loved, considered – a true citizen with their rights and duties,” Castro told The Associated Press.

“I think we’ve taken a very valuable step forward.”

Long before same-sex couples were granted the right to marry, Castro was advocating for it, while training police on relations with the LGBTQ+ community and sponsoring symbolical ceremonies where Protestant clergy from the U.S. and Canada blessed unions as part of the annual Pride parade.

“It was a beautiful spiritual experience for me, and I believe for those people as well,” said Castro, who heads Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education and is a member of the National Assembly. “First, our campaign was: ‘Let love be the law.’ Now, love is the law, and we’re going to keep celebrating it.”

In 2010, her uncle, then- retired leader Fidel Castro admitted that he was wrong to discriminate against gay people. Asked about this, she said it helped mark a turning point in public attitude.

“I think he was honest. It was good and healthy for him to say this because it helped the rest who were still clinging to prejudices to understand that this kind of thought can change,” she said.

“Even in a revolutionary leader like him, there were prejudices that evolved, and he was able to understand it and help clear the way for change.”

In the early years after the 1959 revolution, homophobia in Cuba, she said, was no different than in the rest of the world. In the United States, homosexuality was deemed a mental disorder by psychiatric authorities, and gay sex was a crime in most states. Currently, Russia — a major supporter of Fidel Castro when it was the core of the communist Soviet Union — is bucking the worldwide trend of greater LGBTQ+ acceptance with a multi-pronged crackdown on LGBTQ+ activism.

The previous Cuban Family Code, dating back to 1975, stipulated that marriage was between a man and a woman – not between two people – which excluded lifelong partners from inheritance rights.

The new law goes further than marriage equality – which activists tried to include in the Constitution in 2019 without success – or the ability for gay couples to adopt or use surrogates. It also expanded rights for children, the elderly and women.

The first members of Saralegui’s congregation began gathering on a house terrace in Matanzas over a decade ago to sing and pray.

“The sky was our ceiling and when it rained, we’d all pack into a small room,” Saralegui said. In 2015, with support from the U.S.-based LGBTQ+ affirming Metropolitan Community Churches, they converted a house into their church, decked with wooden pews and a stained-glass cross that hangs above the altar. Underneath, a local Tibetan Buddhist group that meets here during the week stores its musical instruments in an example of interfaith partnership.

“This church is a family,” said Saralegui, who has a tattoo of the Jesus fish on one of her forearms and wears a Buddhist bracelet. “It’s a sacred space, not just because there’s a cross or an altar, but because it’s the most sacred space for these people to come to — it’s where they come to have a safe space.”

After receiving Communion, congregant Nico Salazar, 18, said he was glad to have found that safe space here after members of an evangelical church where he grew up attending asked him not to return when he embraced his gender identity.

“It’s the essence of the Bible: God is love, and other churches should emphasize that instead of repressing and harming others with a supposed sin,” said Salazar, who was born a woman and this year started hormone treatment.

“Sin and love are not the same,” said Salazar, who wore an earring in the shape of a cross.

“And to love,” he added, “is not a sin.”

Banned priest Tony Flannery to break silence on fate of the Catholic Church

Fr Tony Flattery has been unable to celebrate mass publicly since his faculties were revoked in a Vatican crackdown on liberal views.

By Lorna Siggins

Banned Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery plans to question the survival of the Roman Catholic church at a public talk in Galway shortly before Easter Sunday.

Fr Flannery (77), who was suspended from public ministry by the Vatican in 2012, intends to give his views on whether “religious belief as we have known it can survive in modern Ireland”.

He also intends to pay tribute to Pope Francis for “freeing up discussion, areas of study and the search for the truth”.

The Redemptorist priest had been disciplined in 2012 for publicly expressing support for women’s ordination and same-sex marriage, and for expressing more liberal views on homosexuality.

Although he has been outspoken since his suspension and was profiled in a recent TG4 documentary, he has not given a public talk with a question and answer session in six years.

He says the talk he intends to give in the Clayton Hotel, Galway on March 27 was scheduled to be given in church property several months ago.

However, when the organisers learned that the ban imposed on him applied not only to speaking in churches but to speaking in “all church-owned property”, a new venue had to be found.

Fr Flannery says that in spite of his suspension, he has “studied and read” and has been contemplating “how best to address the falling attendances at Mass” and “the falling away in general from the Catholic faith”.

“If we take the traditional indications of the health of the faith as measured by the Catholic Church… then all the signs are that it is in serious trouble, and that the faith is in the terminal stage of ill health,” he says.

“Churches are emptying or are being frequented only by the older generation,” he says, noting that “seminaries are closing down, and priest numbers are declining rapidly”.

“There appear to be few, if any signs of new growth – but that is by no means the full story.

“We are living in a really interesting time in the [Catholic] church since the arrival of the papacy of Francis. Even in the 11 years since his appointment he has brought about a great deal of change,”he says.

“I have no doubt that the biggest legacy Pope Francis will leave from his time in charge is that he has freed up discussion, areas of study and the search for truth in the church – all of which had been seriously restricted for many centuries by rigid imposition of official teachings.

“The “pre-Francis” church had adopted the position that it had the full truth, and that it had nothing to learn from the world.

“Francis, on the other hand, realised that in order for the church to be relevant, it must engage with modern life, and be part of the debate about the future of the world and of people.”

He cites as examples of that attitude change “the extent to which Francis has engaged in the debate about the destruction of the environment and the necessity of facing up to climate change”.

Fr Flannery says all are welcome to his talk in Galway’s Clayton Hotel, Briarhill, on March 27, and will allow for a question and answer session.

Last year, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) and Lay Catholic Group (LCG) called for him to be restored to the ministry and said he had experienced a “grave injustice”.

Complete Article HERE!

‘In the name of the Mother, Daughter and Holy Spirit’

— Catholic women advocate change

Participants at the conference titled “Women Leaders: Towards a Brighter Future,” to mark International Women’s Day 2024, listen to a speech by Cristiane Murray, deputy director, Holy See press office, at the Vatican, March 6, 2024.

Women meeting in Rome this week to promote female leadership in the Catholic Church are challenging the hierarchy’s resistance to change and its theological emphasis on ‘natural’ gender divisions.

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In the week leading up to International Women’s Day, Catholic women gathered near the Vatican and online to promote female leadership in the Catholic Church, demanding equality and visibility while urging the institution to set its fears about change aside.

“It’s so important that the Catholic Church be engaged in this issue, not just internally, but also externally given the contribution they make in the education sphere and the health care sphere,” Chiara Porro, Australia’s ambassador to the Holy See, told Religion News Service on Wednesday (March 6).

Acknowledging that in her four years in Rome the Vatican has taken significant steps forward, with high-ranking Vatican positions being filled by women, Porro represents a country that “has a very strong agenda in empowering women and women in leadership,” she said, “including in our own foreign service, which like the Catholic Church has been very male dominated for a very long time.”

She said her female colleagues — the number of women ambassadors to the Vatican has risen to 40 — talk about the issue of women’s influence often. “It’s an incredible group, an informal group, and we come from many different areas of the world. We support each other, we share ideas, we network,” she said.

Pope Francis has supported the trend, she said, meeting with the female ambassadors last year on International Women’s Day.

Chiara Porro. (Photo by Penny Bradfield AUSPIC/DPS)
Chiara Porro.

Porro works closely with the International Union of Superiors General, the leaders of the world’s religious orders, to put a spotlight on the work nuns do, especially in the poorest places in the world. But their focus goes beyond Catholicism. This week, the embassies of Australia, France and the Netherlands, all woman-led, sponsored “Women Sowing Seeds of Peace and Cultivating Encounter,” a conference of Christian,  Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu female faith leaders.

“When we talk about interfaith dialogue, when we talk about religious leaders coming together, we find that a lot of the religions around the world are led by men, so it’s really important to bring female faith leaders together,” Porro said.

On Thursday, women theologians, experts and leaders met for a one-day discussion on female leadership, asking the tough questions facing the Catholic Church on the issue. In her presentation, ordained missionary and theologian Maeve Louise Heaney questioned Catholic theology that attempts to “essentialize” women. “They speak of complementarity and name the contribution of women as essentially different to that of men,” she explained, “pitching love, spirituality and nurturing against authority, leadership and intellect.”

Heaney challenged Catholics to reconsider their idea of God and the Holy Spirit as neither male nor female, quoting her “yoga-loving” niece who prays to “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And the Mother, the Daughter and the Holy Spirit.”

A 2022 survey of 17,200 women in 104 countries by the international forum Catholic Women Speak found that two-thirds of women in the church support “radical reform,” with 29% saying they will consider leaving the church if women aren’t given more prominence.

In her interview with RNS, Heaney recognized that the church, “like any big ship, moves slowly,” adding, “We don’t have a time frame.” She took encouragement, she said, from Francis’ Synod on Synodality, born from a massive consultation of Catholics on hot-button issues including female empowerment and LGBTQ inclusion, which will hold its second session at the Vatican in October.

Pope Francis poses for a picture with participants of the Synod of Bishops’ 16th General Assembly in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Oct. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis poses for a picture with participants of the Synod of Bishops’ 16th General Assembly in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Oct. 23, 2023.

She also supports the discussions underway at the Vatican about allowing women to be ordained as deacons, who can preach at Mass but cannot perform some other priestly functions, such as consecrate Communion or hear confessions.

“I think the people have a right to hear women preaching,” Heaney said. “There are spaces in which the best person to speak on a theme would be a woman. And I think a theological, doctrinal and canon law structure could open spaces for that to happen.”

According to Heaney, there are no theological barriers to ordaining women as deacons, nor would women deacons present any difficulty in terms of the church’s organization. What stands in the way, she said, is the fear that allowing women deacons would bring women closer to the altar, the priests’ dominion.

“Fear is a bad adviser,” she said. “What if we gave the church that? What if we allowed spaces for women to preach? Under the authority of the bishop, in collaboration with the parish priest, with the proper formation like all the rest of the ministry. You might find that the issue of priesthood changes in color if we have different kinds of leadership.”

While theologians push the envelope on female leadership, women who have climbed up the Vatican administration have learned to have patience about penetrating the male-dominated bureaucracy.

“It’s a long process that has to be continued,” said Sister Nathalie Becquart, the first female secretary of the Vatican’s Synod office and a leading figure in the pope’s synodal process. “They will need more time,” Becquart said, while teasing that the Vatican might soon announce a new development on this front.

On Thursday, the Catholic charity network Caritas published “Equality, Encounter, Renewal,” a pamphlet urging its 162 affiliated Catholic charities to create spaces for dialogue about women’s leadership. In an introduction, Sister Alessandra Smerilli, the secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, laments that the “systematic social and cultural exclusion of women can also be seen when looking at the face of leadership in the world today.”

Francis, meanwhile, continues to use language that reinforces the role of women as mothers and caregivers. Speaking to organizers of the conference “Women in the Church: Builders of humanity,” taking place in Rome this week to recognize the contributions of 10 female saints, the pope said “the church is female” and women have a “unique capacity for compassion” that allows them “to bring love where love is lacking, and humanity where human beings are searching to find their true identity.”

But some women in Rome this week said that Catholic theology can often emphasize too much women’s natural inclinations, which it sees as reflecting the relationship that Christ has with his church. The women asked how this view affects the roles men and women occupy in the church.

Heaney said: “It is not easy to broaden our understanding of the One who brought us to life, as no one image will work. But we owe it to the future generations.”

Complete Article HERE!

Pope Francis Backs Female Diaconate and Expands Rights for All Baptized Individuals

— Pope Francis advocates for a female diaconate and extended rights for all baptized individuals, triggering theological discussions on celibacy and women’s roles within the Catholic Church. This shift may redefine the Church’s future.

By Quadri Adejumo

In a groundbreaking revelation, an Italian theologian discloses Pope Francis’s support for a female diaconate and his intent to extend specific rights to all baptized individuals, previously exclusive to bishops, priests, and religious figures. This significant development was deliberated in a gathering of the Council of Cardinals, or ‘C9,’ which counsels Pope Francis on Church governance and reform.

A Plea for Change: Women’s Voices Echo in the Vatican

Simultaneously, a collective of 26 Italian women penned a heartfelt letter to Pope Francis, professing their love for priests and advocating for the abolition of the Catholic Church’s celibacy requirement. Their emotional appeal emphasizes the “soul-destroying” nature of their suffering and stresses the potential benefits for the entire Church if the celibacy rule were to be relaxed.

Tradition vs. Progression: A Delicate Balance

Notably, Pope Francis has previously articulated his inclination towards preserving celibacy, citing tradition and the positive experiences of the past. However, suggestions have emerged, proposing the replacement of the celibacy law with an alternative discipline. Yet, the Church maintains a lengthy history of skepticism towards amending its rules concerning women.

Uncharted Territory: Expanding Roles and Rights

The current discourse surrounding the expansion of rights to all baptized individuals, irrespective of their religious roles, signifies a monumental shift in the Church’s perspective. If realized, this transformation could potentially reshape the landscape of the Catholic Church. Consequently, theological discussions and debates are intensifying, as the potential implications of these changes continue to unfold.

As the conversation surrounding celibacy and the role of women in the Catholic Church forges ahead, the world watches with bated breath. The decisions made today could redefine the Church’s future, signifying a critical juncture in its storied history.

Pope Francis, in his pursuit of a more inclusive and progressive Church, faces the challenge of balancing tradition with innovation. The potential implementation of a female diaconate and the extension of rights to all baptized individuals are testaments to the Church’s evolving stance.

In this intricate tapestry of motives, histories, and potential futures, the voices of the 26 Italian women serve as a poignant reminder of the human element at the heart of these debates. As the Church navigates uncharted waters, the stories of struggle, ambition, and sheer human will continue to shape its transformative journey.

Complete Article HERE!