I feel I experienced something special during the past two weeks in Thailand at a gathering of women religious leaders from Asia and Oceania. The women seemed to come increasingly alive as they took time to reflect on scripture and the way Jesus treated women - and the way a woman challenged Jesus.
Access to education and to open discussions and reflections on spirituality and theology seem to be key in the liberation of women religious in many places around the world. Try as they might, those male clerics who are trying to contain the energy of women religious are bound to fail.
The AMOR women also seemed to recognize that women religious elsewhere can get into trouble for thinking for themselves and so they reached out to the U.S. women religious with whom they felt deep empathy. "There but for the grace of God (and a more visible place in the world church), the women seemed to say.
I hope, in my reporting, I did not blow their cover. It is not as if they have anything to hide. The women religious of Asia are faithful to the church and want nothing more than to serve. And they will continue to do so. Of this, I am quite certain.
I wrote a piece for the web site today, giving the AMOR gathering some historical context.