Aims and Objectives
The Catherine of Siena
Institute promotes the rightful position of women in Society and Church.
We do this by
- spreading correct information
- unmasking rationalisations and
religious legitimations that justify prejudice
- sympathetic communication with people
within the thought patterns they understand
- supporting individuals and groups who
wrestle with the effects of discrimination
- promoting academic research regarding
women and church
Dismantling the cycle of
For more than 1500 years,
Church leaders legitimised slavery as an institution actually willed by God. As
late as in 1866 the Holy Office, precursor of the present Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, stated in a decree signed by Pope Pius IX that
slaves can be sold, bought, exchanged or given by divine
law. Reasons were given from scripture, tradition and the
magisterium! Bishops, theologians and Catholic abolitionists who protested were
branded as dissenters and even heretics. Now the Church admits, in the words of
the Second Vatican Council, that every form of slavery is contrary to
The exclusion of women
from the ordained ministries is a similar age-old prejudice, legitimised by
Church authority and rationalised in medieval theology. We have to break the
vicious cycle by exposing the roots of the prejudice and the mistaken judgments
of Church leaders.
The St. Catherine of Siena
Network focuses especially on promoting the rightful position for women within
the context of religion, religious institutions and Churches.
1. We aim to implement the vision of the Second
Vatican Council (1963-1965), which set out a new path for the Roman Catholic
Church. The Council recognised that the women of our time demand full equality
in law and in fact, and it approved of this demand. (Gaudium et
Spes § 9 & 26).
2. Prejudice and discrimination against women has
also left its scars on other Christian Churches. We aim at supporting all
efforts to eradicate such discrimination and to ensure that women can take
their rightful place in all responsibilities, offices and ministries according
to the full extent of their Christian dignity and calling.
3. We aim to achieve our objectives by an efficient
use of the modern means of communication, by writing, publishing, producing and
preparing, or supervising the writing, publication, production or preparation
of literary works, audio visuals and media presentations that will promote the
recognition of womens rights.
In particular, we will support
projects that reach out to a wide spectrum of people by means of the Internet.
4. Through the information we provide we hope to
exert a positive influence on all decision makers in the Christian Churches,
and specifically in the Roman Catholic Church, such as: bishops, priests,
members of religious orders and institutes, lay leaders in parishes and
5. The information provided by us in favour of
womens rights will be targeted in a special way at all individuals and
institutions that play a key role in the formation of public opinion:
journalists, editors, radio and TV presenters, research personal in production
companies, writers and producers.
6. We will aim at making important texts available,
at no cost to them, to both staff and students of the major educational
institutions. These will include colleges, high schools, adult formation
institutes, seminaries, novitiates and on-line universities.
believe in God who
does not exact cruel sacrifices from us, but heroic deeds of love as Jesus
showed us, deeds of generosity, a God who wants us to respect and love
ourselves while giving and sharing of our best for the sake of
We are convinced that God revealed Good News, a breathtaking
inspiration that gives meaning to our lives, an ideal against which we measure
ourselves and our community of faith, a source of hope that makes us happy and
proud to be followers of Christ.