In her widely covered and critical speech regarding the treatment of women in the Catholic church, former Irish President Mary McAleese quoted Irish Jesuit theologian Gerry O’Hanlon. She was speaking on International women’s day, Thursday 8 March 2018, in the same Jesuit hall in Rome where Fr O’Hanlon had attended the 34th international Jesuit General Congregation in 1995. In this interview, Gerry O’Hanlon explains to Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications why Mrs McAleese was referencing him.
He also gives his own views on her controversial speech in which she said that the Catholic church has “long been a primary global carrier of the virus of misogyny”. He explains why he thinks Pope Francis is trying to do something quite radical in trying to reconfigure the way the Catholic church operates. And he says the Pope is not getting enough support, in implementing this vision of Vatican II, from bishops and clergy both here and abroad.