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Catholic Women Speak,

Bringing our gifts to the Table

Book-launch London 20 January 2016

I almost have to pinch myself to believe that this book-launch is real. To be part of the network that has actually brought to the ecclesial table the book Catholic Women Speak, Bringing our Gifts to the Table is a real life-giving experience, there is no other way to describe it. This would not have materialized without the enthusiastic, encouraging and efficient leadership of Professor Tina Beattie to whom we are all very grateful. And the women contributors are speaking with parrhesia¸ one of Pope Francis favorite concepts, yes, they are speaking with openness and courage, with frankness and creativity, with authority and power.  In this book, women have spoken with authority and power out of their Christian faith, their life-experiences and deep reflection and research. It has been a sheer joy to come to know all these women, at least by their written contributions, and some also by sight. And it is a great pity that we don’t hear these women from the pulpit during mass!

In the Gospels Jesus is said to speak and act with authority and power. In Greek the two words are exousia and dunamis. To speak with authority and power is extremely important today, whether we look to politicians, economists, media, priests, theologians or if we look at ourselves as practicing Christians. Do people find us trustworthy? Are we credible in what we claim? Do we live out our baptism, being baptized to Christ as priests, prophets and kings? And do we do this with authority and power?

Reading the different chapters, all the writers show real power in the Greek sense, dunamis, dynamism and creativity. Out of various life-experiences, we are conveying a transformative hope in preaching the Good News to our fellow believers. It may be that our faith is the size of a mustard seed … but then nothing is impossible, nothing is adunateesei, it doesn’t lack the sufficient strength to bring about change. 

And I claim that we are talking with authority, with exousia. Authority is a beautiful word, meaning “to make something or someone grow” from the latin word augere. They have real power who make all of us grow as human beings, grow in our humanity. Our voices have already been listened to, by our words we have brought creative gifts to the table where we meet in fellowship and communion. It is my conviction that our words will make us grow, and hopefully they can be seeds of dynamism for the whole Church. If the gifts, our life-experiences, interpretations and preaching of the Good News will be received and transform our body, the living body of Christ, is also a question of time. There may be those who think that we are a small group of radical feminists to whom they do not need to pay attention. Perhaps they should ponder the words of Gamaliel in the Acts of the Apostles: “If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord, but if it does in fact come from God you will be unable to destroy them. Take care not to find yourselves fighting against God” (Acts 5:38b – 39).

If we ourselves have real faith in our experiences and our preaching, this can be the mustard seed to bring about real change, to push the Church to become an
ecclesia semper reformanda, a Church in continuous reform, so often emphasized by Pope Francis. One way of doing this is to let qualified lay people, women and men, give the Sunday homilies from the pulpit.

Sr Madeleine Fredell OP

Äktenskap där religioner möts










I sin egenskap av  direktor för ekumenisk teologi på Sveriges Kristna Råd är syster Katrin Åmell OP en av redaktörerna  för boken Äktenskap där religioner möts (SKR:s skriftserie nr 16, 2011). Titeln anger att makarna hör till olika religioner. Sådana äktenskap blir allt vanligare bland annat på grund av globalisering och ökad rörlighet i samhället. Frågorna kring interreligiösa äktenskap har inte tidigare behandlats av kyrkorna i Sverige men däremot i en del andra länder.


Tonvikten i boken ligger på de pastorala frågorna. I några avsnitt behandlas synen på äktenskap i kristendom, judendom och islam. Juridiska aspekter samt förhållandet mellan religion och kultur berörs också. Ett kapitel ägnas åt konkreta exempel på hur par som tillhör olika religioner lever i Sverige och hur de funnit lösningar på olika utmaningar.


Avsikten med boken är varken att uppmuntra till eller avråda från interreligiösa äktenskap. Syftet är att ge en första introduktion till stöd för präster och pastorer i Sveriges Kristna Råds

medlemskyrkor, när par med olika religionstillhörighet vänder sig till dem för samtal.

Redaktörer för boken är Cajsa Sandgren och Katrin Åmell OP


Boken kan beställas via Sveriges Kristna Råds hemsida:

Pris 75 ;- + porto