A Vatican magazine has praised the “spiritual resistance and moral strength” of modern female “martyrs”.
– Modern female martyrs “break the stereotype of the weak woman subject to dominant models”
Donne Chiesa Mondo (“Women Church World”), the ‘women’s supplement’ to official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, is dedicating its April issue to the brave women around the world who suffer threats, torture and death for their faith and for their social commitments.
The modern female martyrs “break the stereotype of the weak woman subject to dominant models” in society, reads an editorial for the latest number of the magazine.
For that reason, these strong women “represent a female model, especially in modernity. Above all in modernity”, the publication affirms.
– “Christian and Yezidi women in Syria and Iraq, Pakistanis, Nigerians, Sudanese, Congolese, Somalis and Eritreans…”
Despite the abundance of women who died for their faith in early and medieval Church history, Donne Chiesa Mondo makes clear that female martyrs “don’t belong to the past”.
“Female martyrdom is a widespread, tragic and objective reality of the modern world”, the ‘women’s magazine’ decries.
“Christian and Yezidi women in Syria and Iraq, Pakistanis, Nigerians, Sudanese, Congolese, Somalis and Eritreans.
“Sisters who have sided with the little ones in the most remote corners of the earth: peasant women, mothers, students. They are the new martyrs”.
– “They deserve recognition and admiration”
The Donne Chiesa Mondo text continues by describing the martyred women’s commitment to death not “as a sign of weakness, but of strength, of great feminine strength”.
“As in the past”, women martyrs are today humiliated, raped, tortured and murdered, the supplement deplores.
It adds that the female martyrs’ “testimony – whatever religion they belong to – shows greatness in affirming their faith, a capacity for going beyond the everyday, a spiritual resistance, a moral strength, a coherence and a fidelity to the mission entrusted to them which deserve recognition and admiration”.
These women give “an extreme testimony of faith”, the text goes on.
“They tell us about a way of being women in the Church and in the faith, far from the commitment to and disobedience of the rules established by the powerful of the moment, directly facing up to a greater ideal to the point of giving their lives”.
– A strong feminine voice in the Vatican
Whatever the reader may think about martyrdom being a “model” for women today – and this journalist, certainly, has issues with the idea – the April Donne Chiesa Mondo denunciation of the persecution of women around the world represents another expression of a strong, feminine voice in the Vatican.
In its March issue, Donne Chiesa Mondo proclaimed: “Let it be clear” in the Church “women demand power, authority and authority like men; it’s a question of justice”.
In February, the magazine denounced lifted the lid on the burnout, stress, exploitation and even prostitution that women religious too often fall prey to.
Those two editions in the second and third months of this year were preceded by another strong number in January, in which the publication implored Pope Francis “to break the wall of inequality between women and men in the Church”.