Last week I sighted the CACW pamphlet under the heading "Commission for Australian Catholic Women" and titled The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference - Decisions and Proposals of the Social Justice Statement 2000.
I am disappointed to see limited Church resources diverted to this publication which could be fairly described as a manifesto of undisguised radical feminism (as opposed to a truly Catholic feminism as found, for example, in the teaching of Pope John Paul II and in the writings of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).
I find myself wondering whether the Catholic Church in Australia really needs another layer of bureaucracy (Commission for Australian Catholic Women) which appears to be driven by the quest for power and elitism.
The irony is that the ordinary Catholics funding this folly would, for the most part, have a vision of the Catholic Church much closer to that described in Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church than that promoted by CACW.
The real Catholic women I am privileged to know are women seeking transformation in Christ through
* the truth revealed in the Word of God, as transmitted by the magisterium of the Catholic Church;
* their striving to live with integrity gospel values;
* their wholehearted participation in the Church's sacramental life,
* their living a life of prayer.
Some are women who, by living faithfully and sincerely the consecrated life of religious sisters, are a beautiful witness and response to the love of Christ. Others are lay Catholic women, married or unmarried, but all with a strong Catholic vocation.
It is a matter of public record that the surveys on which Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus was based demonstrated, no doubt to the chagrin of its promoters, that their evident discontent with the Catholic Church in Australia is not shared by the great majority of Catholic women.
One must hope and pray that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will be resolute in resisting the strident voice of disaffected radical feminism and that we may move towards more emphasis on "Christ Jesus" and less on a truncated vision of "Woman and Man".