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Women in
the Church
   
PLEA FOR TRUCE IN WOMEN'S DEBATE
Extreme elements from both sides of the debate must respect each other, a key author of last year's groundbreaking report on women's role in the Church said after there was a "lack of tolerance" at the Adelaide hearings on the issue.
    Dr Marie Macdonald, who coordinated the study, told The Southern Cross that an intolerance toward persons holding opposing views had "stood out" as a feature of Adelaide's hearings.
    The Adelaide hearings were part of an exhaustive two-year study commissioned by the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, including hearings in major cities, rural areas, focus groups, and a survey of 120,000 Mass-goers, which resulted in the publication of Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus.
    One Diocesan Pastoral Team member listening to Dr Macdonald said that when she appeared at the Adelaide hearings "people heckled and jeered and made it very difficult to speak...it was very painful".
    Dr Macdonald said while Adelaide was also cited as a model diocese for its use of inclusive language the researchers had also found a "bit of a backlash" to this in its Adelaide hearings with some people arguing for a return to exclusive, or traditional, language at Mass.
   
Southern Cross
   
7 July 00



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