The Mary of the muffled mouth is back.

The women behind the ‘Maria 2.0’ movement, the German push for gender equality in the Church, have announced a second week of protests across the country after the great success of their Church strike last May.

Driving the news

2-8 October are the days and month the women have chosen for their new wave of anti-sexism protests, as German Catholic news agency KNA reports.

Not only because October is traditionally a month devoted in the Church to the Virgin Mary.

The German Catholic women have also timed their new rallies to coinicide with the Pan-Amazon Synod, which gets underway in Rome on October 6.

Like the Synod, the new wave of demonstrations will highlight the urgent need for reform in the Church.

Among other things, the ‘Maria 2.0’ Catholics are pushing for women’s access to all ranks of the ordained ministry.

That’s something that will also be on the table at the Synod in the Vatican.

Go deeper

Last May, the ‘Maria 2.0’ protesters called on Catholic women not to enter churches for any reason, whether to attend Church services, to take the Eucharist or to carry out any volunteer work, such as cleaning.

That was to protest not only the overriding male chauvinism in Catholicism, but also to draw attention to the foot-dragging of the German bishops on the clergy sex abuse scandal.

It was a call that more than 1,000 Catholic groups responded to, according to organisers.

What’s next

This October, however, the actions will be slightly different.

More than boycotts, the focus will be on talks, prayer vigils and other events that Catholic women organise for themselves, under the slogan: ‘Let’s light the Maria 2.0 fire!”

“It’s high time for urgent reform in the Church”, organisers said in their invitation.

But like last May, conveners are again expecting hundreds of Catholic groups from all over Germany to take part in the protest actions.

For the record

Apart from the new ‘Maria 2.0’ week, another demonstration for gender equality soon to be held in the German Church is a human chain around the Cologne Cathedral scheduled for September 22, with the rallying cry: “Stand up, don’t stay silent!”

There will also be an anti-sexism protest on the sidelines of the autumn assembly of the German bishops, on September 23 in Fulda.

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