Not only did the ruckus to disinvite Cherie Blair from a conference “Women and Human Rights,” at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome come to nought, but a faculty member tendered an apology for the fuss:
After Blair’s talk, Dominican Father Bruce Williams, a professor of moral theology at the Angelicum, publicly offered an apology to Blair and said that after hearing her speech it was “crystal clear” the accusations against her were “rash and outright calumnious.”
This is good to see: resistance to the Culture of Complaint at the higher levels of the Church.
Mrs Blair also had some sensible things to say about Rome:
Having more women in higher levels of the church would likewise result in “different priorities gaining the platform and that would be better for everyone,” she said.
Also, Blair said, no one should underestimate the value of role models and high-profile public figures in inspiring and instilling confidence in young girls and women.
“With a little bit of imagination,” the Vatican could try to fill half its curial posts with women and make “a huge change in the public face of the church,” she said.
Blair’s call was echoed by another conference speaker, Norwegian professor Janne Haaland Matlary, who is a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family and who has served on several Vatican delegations at international conferences.
“The enormous female talent of the church,” she said, should be used much more. Many key positions within the Vatican do not require priestly ordination and could be filled by qualified women, she said.