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VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) - A feminist celebration is leaving Vatican City, after a high-ranking cardinal blocked its dissident speakers.
Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell serves in the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. When feminists tried to plan the fourth annual Voices of Faith (VOF) conference at the Vatican, it submitted its list of speakers to the Dublin-born cardinal — and he returned the list excluding several leftist dissidents from the approved speakers' list.
As a result, the organizers of VOF had to move the event outside the Vatican, to the Jesuit Curia in Rome.
Former president of Ireland Mary McAleese is one of the speakers Cdl. Farrell denied approval. She rejects Church teachings on same-sex acts and spurns the all-male priesthood established by Christ. Another controversial dissident is Ssenfuka Joanita Warry, a lesbian activist who promotes so-called gay rights in Uganda and calls herself Catholic.
The VOF is an annual women's event that started in 2014. It happens every March in feminist solidarity with International Women's Day on March 8.
Dissident feminist blog CatholicWomenSpeak.com actively supports the VOF conference.
The VOF founder Chantal Götz told the Catholic News Agency, "The Jesuits, in true form, have welcomed us and our speakers."
She also spoke with The Irish Times, saying, "Cardinal Farrell sent back to me the list of names who[m] he gave permission [for]. Mary McAleese and two others were not on it."
Götz added, "Unfortunately, unsuccessful efforts were made to have the cardinal change his mind."
Cardinal Farrell, a native Dubliner who lived for some years in the United States, has a reputation for being a "social justice" prelate who likes the company of dissidents; so his move against VOF is surprising to some.
McAleese claims she wrote a letter to Pope Francis asking him to overturn Cdl. Farrell's decision and is awaiting a response.
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