- Now the talking really begins
Pope Francis wanted frankness and openness and that is what he got. But there is also the sense that the real debate in the Church about marriage and families is only just starting
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Former Irish president Mary McAleese has become a patron of the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology.
The institute, which is based in Cambridge, prepares women for lay ministry.
Ms McAleese, a canon lawyer who served as President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011, has called for a de-centralisation of the power of the Magisterium.
In an article published in The Tablet analysing the first year of Pope Francis’ pontificate she wrote that the Holy See’s “tight-grip approach” had “very damaging consequences for the Church in the modern world.”
She praised Pope Francis’ recent questionnaire on the family, in advance of the upcoming Synod, as a “first for the Church”.
“[It] could be a template for the kind of noisy, messy, argumentative Church the [Second] Vatican Council envisaged and that Francis seems comfortable with … unafraid of bad news, unafraid of healthy debate,” she said.