The founder and editorial board of the Vatican’s women’s magazine quit, claiming Vatican officials tried to discredit them after they denounced sexual abuse of nuns.
Lucetta Scaraffia, founder of “Women Church World,” and the magazine’s all-female editorial board said they felt cooperation with Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano was no longer possible, alleging that the Vatican tried to wrest leadership of the magazine from Scaraffia and put it “under the direct control of men.” Scaraffia and the editorial board announced their resignations in an open letter to Pope Francis and an editorial scheduled to be published April 1. (RELATED: Worldwide Catholic Nuns Denounce Church’s ‘Culture Of Silence,’ Urge Abused Sisters To Report To Police)
— L’Osservatore Romano (@oss_romano) March 26, 2019
“We are throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization,” Scaraffia wrote, according to The Associated Press.
“We believe there are no longer the conditions to continue our collaboration with L’Osservatore Romano,” she added.
Scaraffia claimed that Andrea Monda, editor of L’Osservatore Romano, planned to take over as editor of the women’s magazine until the editorial board threatened resignation and the Catholic outlets responsible for distributing “Women Church World” in Spain, France, and Latin America threatened to stop distribution if Scaraffia did not remain editor.
“After the attempts to put us under control, came the indirect attempts to delegitimize us,” Scaraffia told AP.
Scaraffia alleged that Monda then hired women for L’Osservatore Romano “with an editorial line opposed to ours” in order to “obscure our words, delegitimizing us as a part of the Holy See’s communications.”
The alleged campaign to discredit “Women Church World” came in response to Scaraffia’s February denouncement of clerical sexual abuse of nuns, according to Scaraffia. The article, in tandem with Francis’ public acknowledgement of the abuse of nuns, created an uproar within the church.
Monda denied trying to wrest control of the magazine, saying that he respected the autonomy of the magazine.
“Seeking to avoid interference with the monthly insert, I asked for a truly free confrontation in the daily paper, not built on the mechanism of one against the other or of closed groups,” Monda said. “And I did so as a sign of openness and of the ‘paressia’ (freedom to speak truth) requested by Pope Francis.”
Monda acknowledged Scaraffia’s “free and autonomous” resignation and declared that the magazine would continue “without clericalism of any sort.”
“Now it seems that a vital initiative has been reduced to silence and that there’s a return to the antiquated and arid custom of choosing women considered trustworthy from on-high, under the direct control of men,” Scaraffia wrote.
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