Margaret Farley - Other Activities

Other Activities

In 1984 she was one of 97 theologians and religious persons who signed A Catholic Statement on Pluralism and Abortion, calling for pluralism and discussion within the Catholic Church regarding the Church's position on abortion.

Early in her career, she called the ordination of women a "moral imperative."

In 1987, discussing a Vatican document on procreation, Farley criticized its authors for not consulting women and especially "parents who are struggling with these issues". She said its exclusion of all means but sexual intercourse between husband and wife "were not justified in terms of the complexity of the questions involved" and predicted that "People making decisions will not take it seriously. It doesn't offer them the answers they need. The church, by acting in an authoritarian way loses the kind of moral power regarding these issues."

Asked to comment on the decline of female enrollment in U.S. divinity schools following their increased presence in the 1970s, she said on 1997 that "It's hard for them to have all that education and to know they can't be ordained. It challenges their faith and commitment. The possibility of ordination is looking dimmer, but I'm still optimistic that someday it may be possible or even needed. Catholicism is the only denomination with a shortage of clergy."

In 2001, when theologian Rev. Avery Dulles was named a cardinal and explained that the theologian's role was "to show why the church is teaching what she is", Farley contributed to a discussion of the changing role of the academic theologian. She said the theologian could play "an exploratory role" and added: "If you're going to ask questions, you may come up with some wrong answers, but you may come up with new insights. The best kind of theologian is one who is anchored in the tradition" but understands that it needs to address future generations.

She participated in the Sisters of Mercy study on tubal ligation.

Farley and Sister Eileen P. Hogan founded the All-Africa Conference, a project intended to bring together African women religious to develop strategies for responding to the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Farley is currently professor emerita at Yale.

Read more about this topic:  Margaret Farley

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