Papal Nuncio leaves out female coordinator in reply to letter about gender equality

The Papal Nuncio to Ireland replied to a letter about equality in the church by only addressing the male coordinator.

Papal Nuncio leaves out female coordinator in reply to letter about gender equality

The Papal Nuncio to Ireland replied to a letter about equality in the church by only addressing the male coordinator.

We are Church Ireland, a Catholic activist group who work to improve women’s rights within the Church, wrote to the pope's diplomatic representative in Ireland informing him they would be holding a "peaceful and prayerful gathering" outside his residence for International Women's Day on Sunday.

The meeting is one of 20 being held globally outside Cathedrals or other Catholic institutions calling for women's "full recognition of women's equality and dignity within the church".

The group are calling for a full overhaul of the church institutions to tackle the patriarchal system which does not allow for women's full involvement within the organisation.

The two joint coordinators of the group Ursula Halligan and Colm Holmes, clearly signed the letter which was sent in late February.

The group say they were shocked the receive a reply just days later from Archbishop Jude Thaddeus, in which he only addressed the letter "Dear Mr Holmes", with no mention of Ms Halligan whatsoever.

He went on to say he would not be able to meet them because of mass in the city, but they could leave their correspondence and wished them well.

The group say the letter is a stark example of how ingrained sexism is in the church, and goes as far as to prove the point the group were trying to make.

“Nothing could better demonstrate the ingrained habit of ignoring women in the all male, hierarchical Catholic Church, than this reply from the Papal Nuncio," Ursula Halligan said.

"The irony is, we were alerting him to International Women's Day, and were trying to point out women's invisibility in the church and he blanks me.

"It’s all the more shocking, given that the letter I co-signed, was informing the Papal Nuncio about an event to promote the full recognition of women’s equality and dignity in the church.”

The Papal Nuncio to Ireland's office has been contacted for comment.

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