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Statement by Mercy Sister Patricia McDermott

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Sister Margaret Farley, RSM is a highly respected and valued member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

I know that I speak for our membership in expressing our profound regret that a Notification has been issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding her book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.

Sister Margaret's reputation as scholar, ethicist, educator and spiritual guide has enlivened the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and enriched the entire Church. She is a Christian ethicist, an emerita professor at Yale University, and a prominent teacher invited to speak nationally and internationally.

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Sister Margaret has given witness to the highest quality of academic work and compassionate presence. She assiduously attempts to present the Catholic tradition as formative of her own rich experience while recognizing the ecumenical audience she often engages. While being faithful to her own faith tradition and commitments, her sensitivity to the varied circumstances, realities and needs of her students is the context she consistently honors.

Sister Margaret is an extraordinary teacher and pastoral minister who is deeply committed to the Gospel and the following of Jesus Christ. For more than 50 years, Margaret has given her life in exceptional scholarship and remarkable pastoral service to those who are most in need.

The process initiated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been lengthy, arduous and extremely difficult. I am deeply saddened that Sister Margaret has had to engage in this process for more than three years and that the Congregation has rendered this Notification concerning the significant pastoral and ethical thinking that are represented in her book, “Just Love.”

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