The E-Newsletter of

Vol. 3, No. 3, March 2007
Luis T. Gutierrez, Editor

Newsletter Home Page


Violence is the main obstacle to human development. There is an intrinsic link between violence and religion, patriarchal gender violence being the most pervasive expression of religious violence. Mitigating violence therefore requires overcoming the patriarchal mindset, especially in religious institutions. The mission of this independent newsletter is to provide a digest on current research and emerging issues related to human solidarity, ecological sustainability, and religious non-violence. The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals are used as a point of reference.

Theme of this Issue:
Revisiting the U.N. MDGs, with focus on MGD3:
Promotion of Gender Equality


The focus of this issue is MGD3: PROMOTION OF GENDER EQUALITY. Gender inequality is both cause and effect of extreme poverty, lack of education, and unprotected sex. In other words, there is a positive (i.e., reinforcing) feedback loop linking gender inequality with extreme poverty, lack of education, and unprotected sex. Given the commonality of geographic distribution, there must be cultural-religious values that make this feedback loop very strong. These cultural-religious values may differ in other respects but share a common, highly phallocentric mindset.

Is there a way to break this vicious cycle? There is an increasing consensus that, at this point in human history, the next required breakthrough is to dismantle the phallocentric mentality and strive for gender balance in all human communities and institutions, both secular and religious. It is disgraceful that such mentality keeps inhibiting the gifts and talents of 50 percent of humanity, and this includes the spiritual dimension of human affairs.

In consonance with the gender equality focus of this issue, the "website of the month" is WOMEN WATCH. This website is an initiative of the U.N. Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE). It is a one stop depository of information and data on gender equality and empowerment of women. This issue also includes an overview of the GEO Year Book 2007, and a list of new online resources (reports and websites). A progress report is also included about our knowledge organization and access directory.

The issue of religious violence is emerging as a crucial one for the future of humanity. The series of reflections on religious violence within the Roman Catholic church now includes a chronology of events that starts with the Second Vatican Council (early 1060s) and extends to the psychologically and theologically abusive termination of the process pursuant to the ordination of women during the 1990s. But the Roman church has no monopoly of religious violence disguised as fidelity to sacred traditions. All religious institutions must be willing to re-examine old practices that are no longer for the glory of God and the good of humanity.

Editor's Note: The invited article this month is Sacrifice, Law and the Catholic Faith: is secularity really the enemy?, by James Alison.


1. Recent News and Events
2. Millennium Development Goals
3. Analysis of Gender Equality
4. GEO Year Book 2007
5. Website of the Month
6. New Online Resources
7. Directory of Knowledge Resources
8. Prayer, Study, and Action
9. Links to Archived Newsletters

Link to the Invited Article:
Sacrifice, Law and the Catholic Faith:
is secularity really the enemy?

by James Alison

1. Recent News and Events

The following is a sampling of recent news related to solidarity, sustainability, and non-violence, some specifically in the context of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):

2. Millennium Development Goals

Let us reconsider the U.N. Millennium Development Goals:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

All the MDGs are important, but there is increasing consensus that the third one, "Promote gender equality and empower women," is the most fundamental and a necessary (even sufficient?) condition for all the others to be attained. On the other hand, they all assume non-violence as the prevailing social order. None of the MDGs can be attained when violence prevails. And all forms of violence prevail as long as gender violence prevails.

Figure 1. The numbered circles stand for
the MDGs, 1 to 8; V stands for violence.
the most fundamental obstacle is violence
(and, in particular, gender violence).

Figure 3. Ancient symbol of
male-female harmony
Lao Tse, China,
ca. 5th century BCE

Figure 2. Adam and Eve
Original unity of man and woman
Genesis 1:27, 2:24
ca. 9th century BCE

Figure 4. Ancient symbol of
male-female unity
Shiva and Shakti, India
ca. 10th century BCE

The January 2007 was focused on eradicating extreme poverty (MDG1). The February 2007 issue was focused on universal primary education (MDG2). This issue (March 2007) is specifically concerned with gender equality (MDG3). Gender equality is the most crucial leverage point for all the MDGs, Violence is the most pervasive obstacle to the MDGs. Gender violence is the most pervasive form of violence, as it entails 50 percent of humanity doing violence to the other 50 percent. Gender violence can be manifested in many forms, some more subtle than others. The feminization of poverty (MDG1) is one. The significant disparity between the percentage of boys and girls who are sent to school (even at the primary level) is another (MDG2). The lack of cross-gender solidarity at all levels transcends religion, geography, culture, ethnicity, race, and any other human attribute (MDG3) is, together with gender violence, the greatest obstacle to attain any of the MDGs.

Basic MDG references:

U.N. Millennium Development Goals
Core MDG Documents
Other MDG-Related Sites
MDG Indicators Database
United Nations CyberSchoolBus
Youth and the MDGs
MDG Slideshows (Earth Institute, Columbia University)
Millennium Development Goals 2006
Trends in Sustainable Development 2006
Human Development Report 2006
The GEO (Global Environment Outlook) Year Book 2007
The State of the World's Children 2007

3. Analysis of Gender Equality

"In many countries, women own nothing, inherit nothing and earn nothing. Three out of four of the poorest billion people of the world are women." Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of the World Health Organisation, Beijing+5 Conference, New York, 9 June 2000.

We all know about the feminization of poverty. We all know that gender inequality is perpetuated by not sending many girls to primary school and higher levels of education. Another factor that contributes to gender inequality is the high fertility rates (births per woman) in the poorest regions of the world (Figure 5). These factors reinforce each other and inhibit the advent of women in roles of authority, both secular and religious (Figure 6).

Figure 5. Total Fertility Rates (Births per Woman) by World Region
Source: World Bank Health, Nutrition, and Population (HNP) Database

The bad news is the correlation between extreme poverty and high fertility rates. This correlation transcends both geographic and racial boundaries. The good news is that fertility rates are declining, albeit more rapidly in nations with high standards of living and high levels of education for both men and women. In countries where poverty is ubiquitous and education is deficient, the start of the declining trend has been later, and they are still far too high (6 births per woman in Sub-Saharan Africa!). Given that "the bed is the consolation of the poor," the intensity of sexual promiscuity is understandable. It would be nice if they could understand and practice the Christian ideals of chastity outside of marriage and natural family planning by married couples. But to impose such ideals as the only acceptable norm, and to do so in an authoritarian way (as in Humanae vitae) is both arrogant and ludicrous. No wonder Humanae vitae has not been followed even by most Roman Catholic couples in the developing nations.

Figure 6. Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) by World Region
Source: UNDP’s 2004 Human Development Report, Tables 24 and 25.
Note: GEM zero values for Roman Catholic and Islamic institutions added by the editor.

Definition of the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM)

The United Nations Development Programme calculates a gender empowerment measure (GEM) on a similar basis to the HDI, but focusing on women’s opportunities rather than the capabilities of both men and women (see Data Set 173: Human Development). The GEM components are: the female share of parliamentary representation; the proportions of legislators, senior officials, mangers, professional and technical employees who are women; and the ratio of female to male earnings.

The Gender Empowerment Measure for the world is 430. A figure of 1000 would imply gender equality on the components that constitute the measure. For mapping the total population is multiplied by the gender empowerment measure divided by 1000. This gives a world figure, excluding Central Africa, of 2.7 billion. Note that all estimates for the territories of central Africa are set to zero as there is insufficient data to estimate a regional average.

Summary of the joint analysis for MDG1, MDG2, and MDG3:

Is there a way to break this vicious cycle? There is an increasing consensus that, at this point in human history, the next required breakthrough is to dismantle the phallocentric mentality and strive for gender balance in all human communities and institutions, both secular and religious. It is disgraceful that such mentality keeps inhibiting the gifts and talents of 50 percent of humanity, and this includes the spiritual dimension of human affairs. In the words of Buddha (quoted by Smita Poudel):

"Don't accept a thing merely because it is handed down by tradition, because many people repeat it, merely on the authority of a sage who teaches it and don't accept a thing merely because it is found in so called holy scriptures. After examination, after testing it for yourself, if you find it reasonable and is in conformity with your well being and the well being of the others as well, then accept it and follow it."

St. Paul had the same insight (see 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22):

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil."

4. GEO Year Book 2007


This report is a fundamental point of reference. Free PDFs of the entire report, can be found on the GEO2007 web site. The extensive knowledge content of the report is outlined in the table of contents:

Global Environment Outlook ~ Year Book 2007

  • Preface
  • Table of Contents
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Acknowledgements
  • Overview 2006
    • Global
    • Africa
    • Asia and the Pacific
    • Europe
    • Latin America and the Caribbean
    • North America
    • West Asia
    • Polar
  • Feature Focus: Environment and Globalization
    • Introduction
    • The Many Faces of Globalization
    • Linking Globalization, Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-Being
    • Managing Globalization to Protect Ecosystem Services and Human Well-Being
    • Conclusion
  • Emerging Challenges – New Findings
    • Introduction
    • The environmental benefits of nanotechnology
    • The environmental risks of nanotechnology
    • Looking ahead
  • GEO Indicators
    • Environmental trends in 2006
    • Energy
    • Climate change
    • Stratospheric ozone depletion
    • Forests
    • Fisheries
    • Biodiversity
    • Water and sanitation
    • Environmental governance

About GEO Year Book 2007 .... from the web site:

"The GEO Year Book 2007 is the fourth annual report on the changing environment produced by the United Nations Environment Programme in collaboration with many world environment experts.

"The 2007 Year Book includes global and regional overviews of significant developments over the past year. It highlights linkages among ecosystem health, human well-being, and economic development; examines new thinking on the value of ecosystem services and the threat from ecosystem degradation; and describes recent research findings and policy decisions that affect our awareness and response to global change.

"A special feature focus analyzes the intersection between environment and globalization where ecosystem services and the human well-being that depends on those services are affected by natural resource exploitation in response to global demands. The chapter also explores some of the innovative policy mechanisms that link global supplies of goods and services with sustainable development objectives.

"The emerging scientific and policy challenges of nanotechnology are examined from an environmental perspective. Nanotechnology will bring environmental benefits but it is vital that we adopt appropriate assessment and legislative processes to address the unique challenges presented by nanomaterials and their life cycles."

5. Website of the Month

The "website of the month" for March 2007 is WomenWatch. This website is an initiative of the U.N. Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE). It is opportune to review this website in conjunction with the current status and future outlook of MDG3.


WomenWatch is a one stop depository of information and data on gender equality and empowerment of women. It includes reports of recent news and events, announcements of upcoming events, and quick links to detailed reports of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It provides search boxes for WomenWatch website resources and for UN-wide gender resources. The website is "the central gateway to information and resources on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women throughout the United Nations system, including the United Nations Secretariat, regional commissions, funds, programmes, specialized agencies and academic and research institutions" (see About).

Website contents include both thematic information on gender equality activity and the responsible U.N. entities:
Thematic Resources

Gender Mainstreaming

UN Conferences, Meetings and Special Days

International Instruments and Treaty Bodies

Statistics and Indicators

Millennium Development Goals

Women and Poverty

Education and Training of Women

Women and Health

Violence against Women

Women and Armed Conflict

Women and the Economy

Women in Power and Decision Making

Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women

Human Rights of Women

Women and the Media

Women and Environment

The Girl Child

Rural Women



Men and Boys

Population / Migration

Women and ICT

UN Entities

Entities Specializing in Gender Issues:

OSAGI - Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women

DAW - United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women

UNIFEM - United Nations Development Fund for Women

INSTRAW - United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women

Gender Equality Activities in All UN Entities:

UN Secretariat
UN Intergovernmental bodies
UN Specialized Agencies
UN Programmes and Funds
UN Gender Training and Research
Inter-Agency Collaboration
Women in the UN System
Gender Equality Activities by World Region:
East Asia
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Latin America
North Africa and the Middle East
North America
South and South-East Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Western Europe


WomenWatch information content also can be explored and retrieved via a Directory of UN Resources on Gender and Women's Issues, so the visitor can use the directory, or the website search box, or both. The high level taxonomy of the directory is as follows:

In brief, WomenWatch is the gateway of choice for researchers seeking knowledge content pertaining to gender equality and empowerment of women. This includes accessing data in the UN Common Database, the MDG Indicators Database, and the NGO Database (15,000 NGOs).

6. New Online Resources

The following resources are now available on the web (free downloads):


STATE OF THE WORLD 2007: OUR URBAN FUTURE, WorldWatch Institute, 2007.

WORLD SITUATION AND PROSPECTS 2007, DESA, DPAD, United Nations, January 2007, 177 pages.



The following websites, launched recently, are free access and may be of interest:


UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS INDEX OF UNITED NATIONS DOCUMENTS, University of Bern, Switzerland, and University of Montreal, Canada (English, French, Spanish).

INTERNATIONAL HELIOPHYSICAL YEAR 2007, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).

OPEN SPACE FORUM, World Social Forum (WSF).



SAVE ENERGY NOW, DOE Industrial Technologies Program.

RIO BODY COUNT, (Portuguese).

7. Knowledge Organization Model

Readers are reminded that the newsletter home page now includes links to a growing number of resource directories:

The knowledge organization model that has been chosen for The Pelican Web and the Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence newsletter is a variation of the knowledge map of Knowledge Map of Chaim Zins. It includes two taxonomies, one for knowledge organization and one for knowledge access. The reason for the double taxonomy is that the knowledge must be found and accessed before it can be used and organized. This is work in progress, and will continue to evolve, but the current taxonomies are shown in the table below. Clicking on the main title will take you to the directory of links that "populate" the knowledge organization and access taxonomies.

  • Human Knowledge
  • Divine Wisdom
    • World Religious Traditions
      • Judaism
      • Christianity
      • Islam
      • Buddism
      • Hinduism
      • Confucianism
      • Taoism
      • Shinto
      • Baha'i
    • Sacred Texts Archive
    • Bible (OT & NT)
    • Koran (Qu'ran)
  • Human Wisdom
    • Philosophy
      • Philosophy of Science
      • Philosophy of Religion
    • Theology
      • Biblical Theology
      • Dogmatic Theology
      • Systematic Theology
      • Moral Theology
      • Liberation Theology
    • Spirituality
      • Ascetism
      • Mysticism
      • Monasticism
      • Renewal Movements
      • Spiritual Exercises
  • Mathematical & Physical Sciences
    • Atmosphere
    • Biosphere
    • Chemistry
    • Energy
    • Geography
    • Geology
    • Materials
    • Mathematics
    • Meteorology
    • Physics
    • Earth
    • Probability & Statistics
      • Statistical Data
      • Data Analysis
      • Trend Analysis
  • Living Non-Human Sciences
    • Agriculture
    • Biology
      • Microbiology
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
    • Oceanography
  • Living Human Sciences
    • Human Person
    • Humanities
    • Anthropology
    • Medicine
    • Psychology
    • Sexuality & Gender
    • Human Development
      • Human Development Indicators
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Politics
    • Law
    • Religion
      • Religious Education
    • Technology
    • Industries
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
      • Computer Science
      • Information Science
    • Population
    • Linguistics
    • Literature
    • History
    • Management
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge
    • Patriarchal Structures
    • Society & Economics
    • Society & Ecology
    • Society & Politics
    • Society & Psychology
    • Society & Religion
    • Society & Technology
    • Human Solidarity
    • Organizational Subsidiarity
    • Environmental Sustainability
    • Sustainable Development
      • Sustainable Human Development
    • Religious Violence
      • Religious Gender Violence
      • Religious Psychological Violence
      • Religious Physical Violence
    • Ecological Economics
    • Global Issues
    • Quality of Life
    • Futures Research
    • UN MDGs
  • Institutions
    • United Nations
      • CyberSchoolBus
      • FAO
      • ILO
      • ISO
      • Main Portal
      • Reform
      • Site Locator
      • UFP
      • UN News
      • UNAIDS
      • UNCTAD
      • UNDP
      • UNEP
      • UNESCO
      • UNFPA
      • UNFPA
      • UNHCR
      • UNICEF
      • UNIFEM
      • UNMDG
      • UNRISD
      • UNSTATS
      • UNU
      • WHO
      • WIDER
      • WMO
      • WTO
    • Worldwide
      • WSF
      • WEF
      • WEC
      • WEO
      • WCC
    • European Union
      • United Kingdom
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Germany
    • Asia
      • Japan
      • China
      • India
    • Africa
    • Latin America
    • Middle East
    • Oceania
      • Australia
      • New Zealand
    • USA
  • Library Cataloging
    • DDC
    • UDC
    • LOC
  • Libraries Online
    • Library Web Portals
      • Library of Congress Portal
      • British Library Portal
    • Web Libraries
    • Web Tools
      • Browsers
      • Directories
      • Search Engines
        • General Search
        • Meta Search
        • Specialty Search
    • Database Tools
      • U.N. Common Database
      • U.N. MDG Database
      • RDBMS
      • Firebird
    • Analytical Tools
      • DSM (Eppinger)
      • PSM (Steward)
      • Interindustry Matrix (BEA)
    • Simulation Tools
      • System Dynamics
        • Using Excel
        • Using Powersim
        • Using Vensim
        • Using Stella
      • Agent-based
      • Forio
    • KMS Tools
      • By system name
    • KOS Tools
      • By system name
        • Zins
    • Mapping Tools
      • Global
      • By region
      • By country
      • By topic
      • By name/title
    • Scenario Development
      • By geography
      • By time horizon
      • By subject matter
  • News Services
    • National
      • Newspapers
      • Wire Services
      • Online Services
    • International
      • Newspapers
      • Wire Services
      • Online Services
    • Global
      • Newspapers
      • Wire Services
      • Online Services


Table 1. Preliminary Knowledge Organization and Knowledge Access Taxonomies

It should be stressed that there is no presumption of general applicability for these taxonomies. This is just a working model that attempts to organize the links to knowledge required for the "Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence" research project and the links to online resources (databases, tools, gateways, ....) that allow the researcher to locate and browse the knowledge content. It is hoped that other researchers may find this to be a good starting point to develop knowledge taxonomies suitable to their subject matter. Google and many other excellent tools are always available, but using them takes a lot of time. If the knowledge organization model for a project is refined so as to provide quick access to the knowledge you need 80 percent of the time, research productivity should increase significantly; and the other 20 percent should be more interesting and more fun.

8. Prayer, Study, and Action

In Venn diagram terminology, it would be incorrect to think about prayer, study, and action as mutually exclusive events during human development. Indeed, "prayer, study, and action" proceed in feedback loop cycles. But there is usually a lot of overlapping, and this overlapping is both necessary and desirable. The essential fact to keep in mind is that all three elements -- prayer, study, action -- are always present to carry forward the process of human development. Human development is hard work, and it is like a tripod. If any of the legs is missing, the tripod collapses:

The following diagram attempts to capture the human development tripod. The "acting person" is the intersection of sustained, lifelong prayer, study, and action.

Figure 7. Prayer-Study-Action Process for Human Development

Life long human development (in terms of maturity, learning, and skills) is already required to make a living in many countries, and globalization will continue to intensify this trend. The tripod of prayer, study, and action originated in Spain (1940s) within the context of the Roman Catholic Church and the Cursillo Movement. Originally it was meant to be a method of leadership development within the Roman Catholic Church, but it has by now been adapted by many churches (see Worldwide Cursillo Movement) and organizations, and is used for many projects of human development such as, for example, the Pax Christi process for breaking the cycle of violence and the MDGs.

9. Links to Archived Newsletters

The following are links to previous issues of the newsletter:

V1 N1 May 2005: Cross-Gender Solidarity
V1 N2 June 2005: The Phallocentric Syndrome
V1 N3 July 2005: From Patriarchy to Solidarity
V1 N4 August 2005: Synthesis of Patriarchy and Solidarity
V1 N5 September 2005: From Solidarity to Sustainability
V1 N6 October 2005: Dimensions of Sustainability
V1 N7 November 2005: Analysis and Synthesis of Objective Evidence
V1 N8 December 2005: Solidarity, Subsidiarity, and Sustainability
V2 N1 January 2006: Synthesis of Solidarity and Sustainability
V2 N2 February 2006: Sustainable Human Development
V2 N3 March 2006: Patriarchy and Mimetic Violence
V2 N4 April 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions
V2 N5 May 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 2
V2 N6 June 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 3
V2 N7 July 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 4
V2 N8 August 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 5
V2 N9 September 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ September 2006
V2 N10 October 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ October 2006
V2 N11 November 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ November 2006
V2 N12 December 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ December 2006
V3 N01 January 2007: MGD1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty
V3 N02 February 2007: MGD2: Universal Primary Education

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|Link to Newsletter Home Page|

Link to the Invited Article:
Sacrifice, Law and the Catholic Faith: is secularity really the enemy?
by James Alison

The Pelican Symbol


The pelican is a legendary symbol of commitment to the service of others, especially those who are weak and most vulnerable to physical and/or psychological violence. See The Physiologus.

Gender violence is usually rooted in religious violence. It is the most pervasive form of violence, and the main obstacle to both solidarity and sustainability. See sermon by Rev. Sylvia Roberts.

Search Books



Call for Papers

This newsletter is now seeking scholars willing to write (pro-bono) short articles about the impacts of religious violence on human solidarity and ecological sustainability, as well as critical reviews of this work from the perspective of various religious traditions, i.e., Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, etc.

Articles should be 1000 words minimum and 3000 words maximum, with no images. Please submit only material that has not been already published elsewhere. The author's CV should be submitted with the paper. The newsletter is published monthly, but there are no specific deadlines. Papers approved by the editor will be included as an "invited paper" when time and space allows.

Please share this invitation with your friends and associates. Send all correspondence to the editor, Luis T. Gutierrez.


Millennium Development Goals:


1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

Interested in more information and data? Click the map below:


For the latest environmental facts and figures:


For the latest human development data:


For the latest MDG data and trends:


UNICEF World's Children 2007


Vocational Gendercide
in the
Roman Catholic Church

The Second Vatican Council started in 1962 and ended in 1965. The council brought about a sense of euphoria that the Roman Catholic Church was about to turn the corner and face the world as it is and in the manner Jesus would have done it. It is by now clear that, whether intentionally or not, the council produced little but false hopes. The mystery of the church as "communio" has regressed to the entire church being silenced on critical issues such as the ordination of women. Idem with regard to the "collegiality" of bishops who, having signed the "oath of fidelity" to be appointed, must simply repeat verbatum the words uttered by the Vatican, or else.

At a time when there is increasing consensus that gender inequality is a huge obstacle to human and social development, it is noteworthy that most (if not all) the links in the chain of events that has transformed the postconciliar "fresh air" into the current state of repression have something to do, directly or indirectly, with keeping in place the subordination of women in church and society. This Consider the following chronology:

  • Humanae vitae, 1968, trying to keep in ecclesiastical (male) hands all decisions of conscience relative to the gift of nuptial love and the gift of having children.
  • In 1976, the Pontifical Biblical Commission concludes that the scriptures alone provide no basis for excluding women from ordination as a matter of divine will. The report is presented to the Pope, then ignored.
  • Inter insigniores, 1976, arguing for the continued exclusion of women from ordination to the diaconate, priesthood, and the episcopate.
  • Mulieres dignitatem, 1988, recognizing (better late than never!) that women are human beings, fully share human nature, and are entitled to the same dignity as men; except, of course, the dignity of serving in roles of religious authority.
  • In 1989, the first version of the "oath of fidelity" is drafted, possibly to prevent another massive protestation like the one after Humanae vitae.
  • In 1993, the Pontifical Biblical Commission concludes that the scriptures should not be interpreted in a "literalist" (as opposed to "literal") manner that ignores the culture in which they were written. The report is presented to the Pope, but never published.
  • Ordinatio sacerdotalis, 1994, elevating the male-only priesthood from a matter of discipline to a matter of "definitive" doctrine -- a new classification that attempts to conflate what Roman Catholics must believe with "certainty of faith" with other doctrines which have never been defined as being "of the faith" (de fide).
  • Evangelium vitae, 1995, a sequel to Humanae vitae reiterating the teaching on the "value and inviolability of human life" except for using even more authoritarian language. Most Roman Catholics keep turning away with fingers in their ears.
  • Responsum ad dubium, 1995, affirming that there should be no doubt about the "infallibility" of Ordinatio sacerdotalis and decreeing that further discussion of the issue is forbidden.
  • Ad tuendam fidem, 1998, including a revised version of the 1989 "oath of fidelity" which now includes (surprise!) Ordinatio sacerdotalis.

Scapegoating: Throughout this process, the Vatican keeps insisting the the church cannot ordain women because she "is not authorized" to do so by the Lord Jesus. This is not the first time that the Risen Christ has served as scapegoat for whatever the church wants (or does not want) to do. Most probably, it will not be the last.

Gendercide: There is a contradiction between the "pro-life" doctrine of Humanae vitae and Evangelium vitae, on the one hand, and the palpable "contraceptive" mentality of Inter insigniores and Ordinatio sacerdotalis on the other. The vocation of a person is a crucial dimension of the person's life. Isn't the refusal to ordain women an artificial contraceptive (perhaps even an abortifacient) of female priestly vocations, and therefore a form of gendercide? They keep insisting that married couples should not systematically avoid having babies, but they systematically avoid having to deal with the possibility of priestly vocations in baptized women. Given that men and women fully share human nature, and given that Jesus was human "in all things but sin," why is it that a baptize male can image Christ, and a baptized female cannot image Christ? The absurdity is self-evident, so they make Christ the scapegoat. Something smells fishy.

Options: Roman Catholic women who sincerely believe the Lord is calling them to ordained ministry better start looking for new horizons such as the Episcopal Church, some other churches of the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, the Old Catholic Church, and churches of the independent catholic movement.

Bottom line: Most religious institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church, are heavily subsidized by national governments. Using tax monies of working people to support gender inequality is outrageous, and something must be done. Our "person of the month," Professor Janice Gross Stein, University of Toronto, has recently diagnosed both the disease and the cure.

Person of the Month

Janice Gross Stein
Professor of Political Science
University of Toronto
Read her excellent article:
University of Toronto Magazine
Winter 2007

Person of the Year

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Next president of the USA?
Read her books:
It Takes A Village
Simon & Schuster, 1996, 319 pages.
Living History
Simon & Schuster, 2003, 562 pages.


The World Future Society will hold its annual conference, "World Future 2007: Fostering Hope and Vision for the 21st Century" in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the Hilton Minneapolis, July 29-31, 2007. This 2-1/2-day conference will focus on ideas, insights, and strategies for coping with, adapting to, and taking advantage of the tremendous changes occurring on our planet. The deadline for papers is February 28, 2007. If additional information is needed, please let me know: Timothy C. Mack.

Blaise Pascal Instituut, Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit July, 4-8, 2007. This is the annual meeting of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion, a scholarly society focused on the exploration, criticism, and development of René Girard's Mimetic Theory. See the conference website for subthemes, deadlines for abstracts, etc. For more information, contact Thérèse Onderdenwijngaard.

11 Nov 2007 - 15 Nov 2007, Rome, Italy. The World Energy Congress is the most authoritative international energy meeting held by the World Energy Council (WEC) every three years. Papers and posters are accepted in either of the WEC official languages: English or French. Deadlines: Submission of papers and posters: from 1st June 2006 to 31st December 2006. Notification of acceptance: by 31st May 2007. Contact: Organising Secretariat

the 2007 conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) will take place at the University of Bremen, Germany, September 23-27. It will be a joint conference of the EASR and the DVRW (Deutsche Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft). The conference title is "Plurality and Representation. Religion in Education, Culture and Society". For the conference concept and call for papers please take a look at the conference website. Proposals for panel sessions and individual papers may be submitted directly through the conference website.

IADIS International Conference, Salamanca, Spain, 18-20 February 2007. The mission of this conference is to publish and integrate scientific results and act catalytically to the fast developing culture of web communities. The conference invites original papers, review papers, technical reports and case studies on the web, in particular the emerging role of so-called Web-Based Communities. Conference contact:


Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 3-6 July 2007. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication in the fully refereed International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for review and possible publication in the journal, and provide access to the online edition of the journal. For more information visit the conference website.

2nd-4th February 2007, The Centre for Religion and Popular Culture, University of Chester, St Deiniol’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. For details, or to propose a paper, please email a title and brief abstract (no more than 150 words) to Eric Christianson, Senior Lecturer, Biblical Studies Co-Director, Centre for Religion and Popular Culture Dept of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Chester.

Conference of the National Council for Science and the Environment, February 1-2, 2007, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC. The conference will address the many essential roles the environment plays on our well-being today, as well as the multi-dimensional relationships between human health and environmental components, which may have far-reaching consequences for society. For more info: NCSE2007.

February 28–March 3, 2007, Baton Rouge, LA. This conference is sponsored by the American Society for Environmental History. To submit a poster proposal, please use the proposal submission form. For more info, please contact ASEH Program Committee.

April 11 - 14, 2007 in Toronto ON Canada. Call for proposals due October 6. Convened by the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH). For information about being a conference cosponsor, exhibitor, advertiser or supporter, contact Shelly Tolo, CCPH Conference Manager by phone: (206) 962-0012 or e-mail:


Conference on Faith, Spirituality and Social Change, University of Winchester, UK, 14 April 2007. A conference bringing together people whose action for social change is informed by their faith, organisations working with faith communities for social change, and academics exploring faith-based social change issues. Proposals - in the form of a title, a short abstract (300 words max) and a brief biographical statement (100 words plus affiliation) should be sent by 1 Dec 2006 to Dr. Christina Welch or Adrian Harris at For any additional information contact Christina or Adrian or please visit the conference website.

March 14–16, 2007, Le Majestic Centre De Congres, Chamonix, France. The International Association of Science and Technology for Development (IASTED), is a non-profit organization founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1977. The purpose of IASTED is to promote economic development through science and technology. For more information:


The Jean Piaget Society invites program submissions for the 37th Annual Meeting to take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, May 31-June 2, 2007. Organizers: Phil Zelazo, Michael Chandler, and Eveline Crone. Please use the Proposal Submission Forms. Submission deadline is November 15, 2006. Point of contact: Chris Lalonde.


June 17-21, 2007, Park City, Utah. This is the 13th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. The theme for the 2007 symposium is "Landscape Continuity and Change - Social Science Perspectives and Interdisciplinary Conversations." Abstracts for posters and papers due January 31, 2007. For more information about the symposium, contact Dr. Douglas Jackson-Smith.

NWSA 2007
The National Women’s Studies Association, 28th Annual Conference, Pheasant Run, St. Charles, Illinois. June 28-July 1, 2007. Theme: PAST DEBATES, PRESENT POSSIBILITIES, FUTURE FEMINISMS. Featured Conference Speaker: SANDRA CISNEROS. For more info:

Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, Charleston, South Carolina, July 8-11, 2007. The 2007 conference will be focused on the ways that technology shapes and is shaped by the multidimensional phenomenon of globalization. Proposals should be made electronically to Joseph Pitt, Program Committee Chair.

The 18th annual meetings of the Society for Economic Dynamics will be held June 28-30, 2007 in Prague, Czech Republic. The plenary speakers are Dilip Abreu (Princeton), Robert Shimer (Chicago), and Kenneth Wolpin (Pennsylvania). The program co-chairs are Ricardo Lagos (NYU) and Noah Williams (Princeton). A program committee will select the papers for the conference. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2007. Contact:


University of Granada, Spain, 10-13 July 2007. The conference will examine the nature of disciplinary and interdisciplinary practices across the social sciences, as well as the relation of the social to the natural sciences, applied sciences and the professions. The focus of papers will range from the finely grained and empirical (research practices and results exemplifying one or more disciplines), to wide-ranging multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary practices, to perspectives on knowledge and method. The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 22 October 2006. See the conference website for other details.


The XV International Meeting of the Society for Human Ecology, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 4-7, 2007. Some preliminary proposals for sessions include themes such as: Biodiversity, Coastal Management, Cultural Diversity, Education, Philosophy, and Traditional Populations, among others. This is an invitation to submit proposals for sessions, symposia, and roundtables that we can incorporate into the early stages of meeting planning even before we issue the formal call for papers. If you have ideas, please contact Alpina Begossi, President, Society for Human Ecology, or

Planned for November 2007. This event will be a major milestone in bringing corporate redesign to the public agenda, profiling Corporation 20/20 design concepts and charting a pathway forward. For more info:


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A Meditation on
Long Journeys


Caminante ....

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar.

Antonio Machado,
España, 1875-1939


Wanderer ....

Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing behind
one sees the path
that never will be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road --
Only wakes upon the sea.

Antonio Machado,
Spain, 1875-1939

Translated by Betty Craige,
University of Georgia, 1978

Source: Selected Poems of
Antonio Machado

Happy Earth Day
Coloring Book

Environmental Protection Agency

Rustle the Leaf

European Space Agency

World Council of Churches



"Corruption has appeared in both land and sea
Because of what people's own hands have brought about
So that they may taste something of what they have done
So that hopefully they will turn back."

Koran 30:40


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