WOMEN AND THE VATICAN
It's official: despite the Vatican's objections, four pro-choice
Catholic groups will be allowed to participate in the Fourth World
Conference on Women, to be held by the U.N. in Beijing in September.
The groups are the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, and Uruguay chapters of
Catholics for a Free Choice. The announcement was made late on Monday,
March 20, by a U.N. panel.
Monsignor Frank Dewane, representing the Vatican, had objected to the
inclusion of the groups on the basis that they used the word "Catholic"
their title, but were not, in the Vatican's opinion, really Catholic. In
official statement on Tuesday, March 21, the Vatican mission to the U.N.
said that it "cannot approve the accreditation of a group which claims
the title Catholic yet fails to recognize and uphold the dignity and
value of every human being. . . . The Holy See and the Catholic
hierarchy alone determine what organizations use the title Catholic.'"
Speaking of true Catholicism and women, on March 19, the pope went out
of his way in a speech to emphasize that greater value must be placed
on women's roles -- in the home. His comments were made after a mass
in southern Italy.
Source: Reuters, 3/20/95; AP, 3/31/95, Reuters, 3/19/95