Breaking down barriers, affirming freedom
12 August 2020
HONOLULU (NcR) The 2020 annual national assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is underway in Honolulu, under the swaying palms and by the sparkling sandy beaches. Once again the gathered sisters have met to affirm each other in their respective callings.
Beth Mackee, LCWR co-mentor, introduced this year’s national assembly speaker Dyna Moore. Moore, the latest in a series of transgendered Daughters of Charity to profess vows, told the assembly in her keynote speech how liberating it was for her now to be a woman.
However, Moore directed the majority of her remarks to the Assembly’s theme, “Age: The Final Frontier“.
Picking up on the assembly’s strong anticipation of President Obama’s fourth term, Moore reminded the group that “much still needs to be done to carry forward the liberation of women from all forms of oppression, especially sexual oppression”.
Congratulating the LCWR for its defeat a decade earlier of the CDF’s attempted 5-year takeover, Moore recalled the women religious who in the meantime “heroically fought the male hierarchy’s strong support of legislation banning polygamous lesbian marriages”.
Yet Moore challenged the assembled sisters to intensify their efforts in support of a national law aimed at lowering the age of sexual consent to 11.
In her talk, Moore, a professor of linguistics at Notre Dame, surveyed the negative history surrounding language concerning women’s rights.
Moore claimed that “terms such as abortion and prostitution and polygamy, and now pedophilia, have been used by men to stigmatize women in their search for sexual liberty”.
After fighting for the right of women of all ages to have abortions without parental knowledge or consent, Moore suggested that women religious should “lead the battle for the relational freedom of females of every age”.
The assembly rose in a standing ovation when Moore declared that “the human right of girls to choose sexual partners regardless of age represents the final frontier of women’s sexual and reproductive freedom”.
While Moore was speaking, members of the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Nuns, SNAN (formerly known as SNAP) protested outside Honolulu’s most expensive hotel, where the Assembly was held.
“They are compromising the future repressed memories of countless children,” said a SNAN spokesperson.