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Loyola Marymount Univ. to Host Dissident Theologian on ‘Feminist Bioethics’

The Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University has announced that a Loyola University Chicago theology professor, who signed a public letter calling for major structural and doctrinal changes in the Church including the ordination of women and recognition of same-sex partnerships, will lecture on "Feminist Bioethics and the Concept of Parenthood in the Age of Reproduction" on February 6.

The University describes the event with Dr. Hille Haker this way:

We live in an age of reproduction, when technological innovations, scientific advances, and societal developments have expanded the possibilities for reproductive autonomy. Consequently, we have new ethical challenges with regard to our concept of parenthood and understanding of parental responsibility. In this lecture, Hille Haker, Ph.D., addresses the moral complexities that women face in their struggle for reproductive autonomy and offers her reflection on prospective and prenatal parenthood in addition to reproductive rights and family care. This is a compelling topic for Catholics everywhere, and the lecture promises to be enlightening and educational.

Haker once wrote that “the opponents of the women's movement denied not only women's moral agency but also the possibility of dilemmatic moral situations during pregnancy, furthermore ignoring the practical moral conflicts many women would have expressed with respect to their need to be assisted in their (actual and prospective) parental responsibilities, had they been asked.”

The letter she signed, entitled “Church 2011: A Need for a New Beginning,” stated that, “As theology professors, women and men, we can no longer keep silent.  We recognize our responsibility to contribute to a truly new beginning: 2011 must be the year of a new departure for the Church.”

Part of that “new departure” included a call for the ordination of women. “Ministry within the Church must serve the life of the communities – not the other way around,” the letter stated. “The Church also needs married priests and women in ordained ministry.”

It further stated, “The Church’s esteem for marriage and for the unmarried form of life goes without saying.  But this does not require the exclusion of people who responsibly live out love, faithfulness, and mutual care in same-sex partnerships or in a remarriage after divorce.”

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