Vatican official laments system of ‘dominance, submission’ for women religious

By Elise Ann Allen, 8 August 2020
A group of religious women during Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.



Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, the Vatican’s point man on consecrated life, has criticised what he said is a state of “dominance” that men often hold over women in the Catholic Church, and stressed the need for a deeper renewal of religious life across the board.

“In many cases, the relationship between consecrated men and women represents a sick system of relations of submission and dominance that takes away the sense of freedom and joy, a misunderstood obedience,” said Braz de Aviz in a recent interview.

Braz de Aviz is the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Speaking to SomosCONFER, the official publication of the Conference of Spanish Religious, an umbrella organisation for religious congregations in Spain, Braz de Aviz noted that in some communities authorities are “too centralised,” preferring relationships with legal or tax entities and who are “little capable of a patient and loving attitude of dialogue and trust.”

In light of this, Braz de Aviz said the change of age, which Pope Francis often refers to as an “age of change,” has led to “a new sensitivity to return to following Christ, to a sincere fraternal life in community, to the reform of systems, to the overcoming of abuses of authority and to transparency in the possession, use and administration of goods.”

In his interview, Braz de Aviz said that in the context of the modern world, “the practice of many behaviours must change” in order to establish a “dynamic” time of formation for those who commit to consecrated life.

To continue reading this article, click here.

With thanks to Crux and Elise Ann Allen, where this article originally appeared.


Read Daily
* indicates required