#MeToo took off as a global witness to the sexual harassment and violence experienced by the people around us, from every walk of life. Strength in numbers brought powerful testimonies, rattling social media into a cultural reckoning moment: it’s time to talk about sexual violence.
Reporting on the hierarchy of Hollywood revealed a calculated and intentional system of protection for those who abuse. Built to silence victims and normalize harassment, the institutionalization of sexism and violence created a safe haven for abusers.
For Catholics this is a too familiar story: a powerful hierarchy that upholds a culture that normalizes gender inequality, and too often protects abusive men while discrediting and silencing victims.
Just as we know many victims walk away from their dreams because of painful encounters with mentors and colleagues, so too are women leaving the Church.
Structural gender inequality creates conditions for abuse, rejection and silencing. A culture of subordination is codified and upheld by manipulations of scripture, theories of complementarity, and exclusion from decision-making and leadership roles. The extremes of this inequality attempt to justify violence and sexual exploitation. When men decide the rights and roles of women, they deny a woman’s agency as moral and spiritual equals, made in God’s image.
#CatholicToo is a platform for women’s voices and stories of abuse in the Church to be heard and amplified. Join the movement to confront and discredit sacralized sexism. Here we as a Church community can bear witness to victims and survivors, eradiate shame, and celebrate courage and resilience. Let’s be a Church of healing, of truth-telling and of justice.