Mary McAleese, former president of the Irish Republic, lambasted the Catholic Church for being an ‘empire of misogyny’ which preaches ‘theology as codology’.
In particular she criticised the way few women were in leadership roles in the Church.
She seems to overlook the fact that the Catholic Church herself is female, a mother and a teacher, mater et magistra, both of which are deeply feminine roles.
Throughout history and to this day, there have been towering female role models who have wrought huge changes and reform in the church, from our own St Bridget to St Teresa of Avila, St Therese of Lisieux, Edith Stein (One of the Patron Saints of Europe), Mother Theresa of Calcutta and many, many others.
The Catholic Church, with its global mission to empower ordinary people to recognise themselves as God’s children and as such to become aware of their innate dignity, has done more for women (and men) than any other organisation in the world.
Mrs McAleese, who rose to be a head of state herself, ought to admit that the holding of high office is not the chief or only way of measuring human dignity.
Dr Owen Gallagher, Glenavy, Co Antrim