Simply Divine

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“Witches!” I stood in a darkened Orthodox church almost 20 years ago while a small Cretan woman proclaimed this to a young priest in heavy, black Orthodox garb. The intense matriarch yelled in a shrill voice. The young man had no other choice than to force our all-woman tour group from the church. At first, […]

U.N. Takes Vatican to Task for Priest Abuse and More

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Last month, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child held a hearing for Vatican leaders to address child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and the church hierarchy’s role in protecting perpetrators. Today, it issued a report urging the Vatican to take measures to prevent such things from happening in the future. The committee […]

Pope Condemns Income Gap, Ignores Gender Inequality

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Not long after the white puffs of smoke blew through St. Peter’s Square in March to announce his election as head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis set many a progressive heart aflutter, especially with regard to his oft-stated concern for the poor of the world. The recent release of Evangelii Gaudium, the pope’s […]

Misogyny at the Wailing Wall

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Every month for the past 24 years, a group of Jewish women of many denominations meet at the Western Wall, a holy site in Jerusalem, to pray and worship together. They have been met with violent opposition, including tear-gassing, thrown chairs and brutal police arrests. These brave women call themselves The Women of the Wall, […]

Does God Have a Gender?

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With all the headlines about new abortion laws in various states and Supreme Court’s deliberations on same-sex marriage, there’s no escaping the politics of sex and sexuality these days—or the role of religion in shaping the culture’s conversation about such subjects. While we aren’t likely to come to consensus on these issues anytime soon, we […]

She Can Play Football–But What Happens Next?

Eleven-year-old Caroline Pla has been playing football since she was in kindergarten. But two games into her second season with the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), the young athlete was banned from her team because she was a girl playing a full-contact sport. With support from her team, though, Pla and her family started an online […]

Know Your New Pope: A Feminist Guide

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We know he’s the first pope from Latin America, the first Jesuit pope and the first pope (probably) with only one lung. But where does newly elected Pope Francis stand on the issues feminists care about? The Catholic Church is not just a religious entity but also a political one, and often uses its social and […]

When Catholic Universities Were in Favor of Birth Control

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If you weren’t eagerly checking the bishops’ blog for their feelings on your health insurance, you may not have known that January 27 through- February 2 was Catholic Schools Week! I generally don’t participate in the bishops’ weeks (or fortnights), but I think this is an ideal moment to highlight the proud history of advocacy […]

Women Who Want to Wear Pants to Church Outrage Mormon Traditionalists

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When a group of Mormon women began promoting “Wear Pants to Church Day” this month as a way to encourage a stronger voice for women in church affairs, they received an abundance of attention, ranging from encouraging support to bitter outrage. Apparently, some people were so threatened by the idea of women wearing pants to […]

Yom Kippur: Feminism Meets Tradition

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Tonight at Kol Nidre, which marks the start of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, my husband and I will fight over prayer books, as we do at the start of every service during the Jewish High Holy Days. We own two copies of Gates of Repentance, first published by the Central Conference of […]