CNWE Celebrates Premiere of ‘Radical Grace’ at Hot Docs in Toronto!

CNWE members from Toronto, Peterborough and Sudbury came out last night for the world premiere of ‘Radical Grace’, a fantastic documentary about Simone Campbell, Christine Schenk and Jean Hughes, three women religious who tell their stories of working for justice, health care and women’s full participation in the church while under the shadow of the Vatican’s investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) for among other spurious claims, their ‘radical feminism’. The Vatican has just recently announced the end of their oversight of LCWR – two years early. Read more about the film here and plan to attend one of the screenings on Thursday April 30 at 4:30 and Friday May 1 at 3:30 at TIFF. Tickets at www.hotdocs.ca

Voices of Faith Panel Discussion

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2015, the Vatican hosted a panel discussion. The panel was moderated by Deborah Rose-Milavec, the executive director of Future Church and included theologians Dr. Astrid Lobo Gajiwala of India and Dr. Tina Beattie of the UK, former diplomat Ulla Gudmonsson of Sweden and journalist Gudrun Sailer.

For a full transcript of the discussion click here.

Film “Radical Grace” to Premiere at Toronto ‘Hot Docs’ Festival

If you live in, or are visiting the GTA at the end of April, this opportunity to see a terrific film is too good to miss!

The film documents the work of Sister Simone Campbell (Nuns on the Bus campaign for health care and member of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)), Sister Christine Schenk (Former Executive Director of Future Church and now columnist at National Catholic Reporter) and the late Sister Jean Hughes, a community worker counseling the formerly incarcerated on the West Side of Chicago.

There are 3 show times and they will all be at the TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre. The film is 80 minutes long with a Q and A after the movie.
Tuesday April 28 at 9:15 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre 1
Thursday April 30 at 4:30 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre 2
Friday May 1 at 3:30 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre 1

Get your tickets before they are all gone! You can order easily online by clicking here .

Many of us have followed the issue of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the United States and the way they have been subjected to investigation and critique by the Vatican and ongoing patriarchal ‘supervision’.
Now is a time to show our solidarity for these courageous women!!

Let family and friends who live in the GTA know about this exciting world premiere! Here is all the info you need to get really excited!!

Website: www.radicalgracefilm.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/radicalgracefilm
Youtube: https://youtu.be/3FcOpGmbDc0

Image of Bound, Headless Woman is Removed from Vatican Website

The following letter was sent by CNWE NWG on March 10 to the Pontifical Council for Culture:

Dear Cardinal Ravasi and members of the Pontifical Council for Culture,

We wish to acknowledge the removal of ‘Venus Restored’ by Man Ray from the website version of the Outline Document for the “Women’s Cultures” plenary session. We are hopeful that this action is in response to the numerous women and men around the world who found the image inappropriate and offensive.

We remain ever hopeful that the conversations generated by the Plenary Session and especially by the ‘Voices of Faith’ gathering at the Vatican this past weekend will be catalysts for change in our Church. We share ‘Voices of Faith’ participant Dr. Astrid Gajiwala’s dream for our Church: “I dream of a church where men and women would participate equally in all decision-making so that they both would contribute to the policies, the structures, the teaching, and the practice of the church. And both would engage in ministry.”

Sincerely,

Cathy Holtmann, Mary Ellen Chown, Shirley Kindred, Denise Wiggins, Maire Goss and Anna Rowley
National Work Group
Catholic Network for Women’s Equality (CNWE), Canada
www.cnwe.org

CNWE Responds to e-mail Letter from Cardinal Ravasi

February 11, 2015

Dear Cardinal Ravasi,

Thank you for your email reply dated February 5, 2015 regarding our request to remove the Man Ray image of a bound, headless, limbless woman from the outline document for the “Women’s Cultures” plenary session. In your reply you claim that the image speaks “clearly for one of the central points of our document: many women, alas, are still struggling for freedom (bound with rope), their voices and intellect often unheard (headless), their actions unappreciated (limbless).” At first glance, this could be a powerful image to portray these realities, but our further research suggests otherwise.
The problem is that this understanding of the image is quite the opposite of what the original artist intended and we feel that to ignore the context of the artwork is both irresponsible and offensive to women. The intent of the artist was to depict sadomasochism. Man Ray’s own diaries, among other disturbing entries, describe him “brutally” sexually assaulting his former wife and on another occasion he states: “I pulled out my belt and began lashing her. She fell on her face moaning; I continued striking her back a number of times, then stopped and told her to explain the marks to Luis [her lover].” http://historyofbdsm.com/2014/03/man-ray-lee-miller-and-william-seabrook-bondage/ .
We have to ask once again, does the Pontifical Council for Culture really want to dignify the work of a clearly very violent and misogynist man on a document discussing “Women’s Cultures”? There are many other artworks by women that allow women to speak for themselves that could be used instead.
The bitter irony of using this image has also not been lost on many of us. By excluding women from equal participation in ordained ministry and governance in the Catholic Church, it is the Vatican itself that continues to ‘bind’ women, to ‘silence’ us and to circumscribe what our actions in the world should be (as evidenced also in aspects of the outline document itself). It is time for an all-male Church leadership to take responsibility for its part in oppressing women over centuries in our Church and take concrete steps to recognize women not merely as ‘observers’ or ‘consultors’ but rather as equal disciples of Christ at all levels of participation in our Church.
To date, over 600 women and men around the world find the Man Ray image offensive and they are making ‘their voices and intellect heard’ on the issue. We invite you to read some of their comments on the petition: https://www.change.org/p/cardinal-ravasi-and-council-members-remove-the-disturbing-image-of-a-headless-bound-woman-on-the-outline-document-for-the-pontifical-council-for-culture-s-plenary-assembly-on-women-s-cultures-february-4-7-2015-and-advocate-for-wo

We earnestly invite you to hear the ‘people of God’ and once again we ask you to remove this offensive image from the document.

Sincerely,

C. Holtmann, M. Chown, S. Kindred, D. Wiggins, M. Goss and A. Rowley
National Work Group
Catholic Network for Women’s Equality (CNWE), Canada
www.cnwe.org