Date of Event: October 29, 2013
About the Speaker: Mary McAleese served two terms as president of Ireland, from 1997-2011. She was the first president elected from Northern Ireland and the first woman president to succeed a woman president in world history. With a theme of bridge-building, she focused her presidency on peace and reconciliation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. As president, she signed the historic Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and hosted the first state visit to Ireland by a British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in 2011.
Prior to her presidency, she was a barrister and a law professor at Trinity College Dublin and Queen's University, and was appointed the first female pro-vice chancellor of Queen's University. Since, she has been pursuing her licentiate degree in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She authored "Quo Vadis: Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law" (Columba Press, 2013).
About the Talk: In a question and answer format, Mary McAleese weaves her family history in Ireland and experience in governance with her study of church law to make her case for change in the governance of the Catholic Church. She advocates for an increased decision-making role by the College of Bishops, a theme highlighted at the Second Vatican Council, and a Church that actively listens to its 1.2 billion followers. She points to code 212.3 of canon (church) law which says all people of God have a right and a duty to express their opinions to their sacred pastors on matters they believe are good for the Church. She called for serious discussion in the Church about the role of women and the defense of marginalized groups, such as those with alternate sexual identities.
Watch the lecture below or download it free from iTunes U.