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Navigating Structural Change in the Irish Church: Reading the Signposts in Laudato Si’

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Most readers of this journal will be aware that the regular calls for reform of various aspects of the Church as an institution took centre stage recently in a most public way. Demand for structural
change in the Church is unrelenting as lay people engage more with theology and pastoral ministry. As a result, they inevitably question why their learning and experience does not warrant some input in the decision-making processes of the institution which they too serve. Most recently attention shifted to strong, assertive criticisms of the institutional Church and its tardiness in addressing the place and role of women within its structures. Although the former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, might have been portrayed as the sole voice, she was in the vanguard of a very comprehensive body of female theologians who had convened a conference on the role of women in the Church.