By Matters India Reporter
New Deli, September 22, 2019: Sister Shalini Mulackal, a leading theologian from India, will be among the speakers at a women’s international meet in Rome.
The October 3 event entitled ‘Voices of Faith’ will bring together a group of remarkable women, nuns, bishops and others from across the world, to share their personal stories and exchange ideas from a woman’s perspective in an effort to build a better future in society or Church, the organizers claim.
The initiative spearheaded by Chantal Gӧtz of the Fidel Gӧtz Foundation which is advocating broadening the space within the church for a more incisive feminine presence.
Sister Mulackal, a member of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Union of Sisters) congregation, was the first woman president of the Indian Theological Association.
She will speak on “Breaking out – how the Church legitimizes a culture of obedience and submissiveness.”
She teaches at Vidyajyoti College of Theology (literally, ‘Light of Knowledge’), Delhi, an institute and faculty of theology managed by the Jesuits.
She is also a visiting professor to a number of other major seminaries and theological institutes in India.
Sister Mulackal is a member of the Indian Women Theologians Forum (IWTF), Ecclesia of Women of Asia (EWA) and served as coordinator of both. She is the chairperson of Centre for Dalit Studies (CDS), Delhi.
She has published a number of articles with special emphasis on women empowerment in Church and Society. Her publication includes a contribution to the Dalit Bible commentary series where she has written the commentary for the books of Ruth, Esther and Judith from a Dalit perspective which has been published by CDS as Volume 6 and another commentary on Minor Prophets as Volume 20 of the same series.
She has also edited three books of the ITA. Besides, she regularly presents papers at national and international seminars mostly from a feminist perspective. She takes keen interest in many social issues affecting the poor in general and women in particular.
Voices of Faith aims to bring together leaders in Rome with the global Catholic community, so they can recognize that women have the expertise, skills and gifts to play a full leadership role in the Church.
Other speakers are from Sweden, Spain, Australia, Germany, USA, Switzerland, Senegal and the Philippines.
“Why does the Church continue to deny women that right based purely on gender?” asked Zuzanna Flisowska, general manager of Voices of Faith.
“We amplify the capability of women in education and programs of social transformation, especially in areas of marginalization and extreme poverty. Above all we showcase the enormous and under-utilized potential of women to exercise leadership at all levels of the Catholic Church,” she added.
Many a time in the history of Christianity, religious sisters stood at the frontiers of change. As prophets and pioneers, attuned to the movements of the Holy Spirit, they have discovered new horizons of Christian faith in changing times.
“In October 2019 another Bishops’ Synod [on the Pan-Amazon] will gather in Rome to discern the future of the Catholic Church in Amazonia. Yet women religious who outnumber brothers almost 10 to 1 globally and whose female superiors have the same canonical status as brother superiors, do not have the right to vote at these Synods. This must change if we want to see equality in the leadership of our Church,” reads a statement in www.voicesoffaith.org.