We at Catholic Women Speak fully support this statement by the Catholic Women’s Council with regard to the CDF and Maria.2.0. During the last year, women from around the world have been gathering online for liturgies, prayers and theological discussions, sharing our visions, struggles and commitments with regard to what it means to have faith in a world and a Church in crisis, in the context of our many different social, cultural, economic and linguistic contexts. We share a sense of hope and resistance, knowing that we are not willing to go back to being treated as second-class Catholics in an institutional church mired in scandal and dominated by clericalism and abusive power relationships. We are working together to affirm the dignity and equality of all girls and women, bringing to Pope Francis’s vision for the post-Covid Church a determination to ensure that women are acknowledged and embraced as full and equal partners in that prayerful and active pursuit of justice through global transformation.

We are standing together to defend the right and indeed responsibility of women to call bishops to account and to challenge situations where a lack of transparency and accountability allows abuse to flourish.

Here is the statement issued by the Catholic Women’s Council:

According to a report in the German daily newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” of 3.2.2021, the Catholic reform initiative Maria 2.0, founding member of the Catholic Women’s Council, is under observation by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The reason for this is unclear, but it was presumably a denunciation by somebody.

The Catholic women’s initiative, Maria 2.0, has been fighting for months for a complete clarification of the abuse and its cover-up in the Archdiocese of Cologne. With numerous actions, these women stand up for those affected by these acts. They demand that those who covered up the acts of sexualised violence accept moral responsibility.  In a letter to Pope Francis, they appealed for an apostolic visitation so that the Vatican could get a picture of the situation: “We expect a new beginning in our diocese that lives from the spirit of the Gospel and are ready to contribute to its success to the best of our ability. In order for such a new beginning to succeed, we ask you to commission a visitation of the Holy See, so that you can get an idea of the situation and we can look for new ways together.”

That Maria 2.0 should now become the target of an investigation is incomprehensible. The Catholic Women’s Council (CWC) stands in solidarity with the women of Maria 2.0. It is our common struggle to stand up for a Church that takes the Gospel and its message of justice seriously. We are a network of committed Catholic women who stand up all over the world for the equal dignity of all and the rights that flow from it.