Moira McQueen Register file photo.

Moira McQueen among five women appointed to Vatican theological commission

  • September 23, 2014

A touch of Canada, a touch of Scotland and a feminine touch has been added to the assembly of 30 theologians who advise the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — all in one appointment. Canadian Moira McQueen, a Scottish-born, University of Glasgow-trained lawyer turned moral theologian, is among a record five women appointed to the International Theological Commission.

McQueen is well known as the executive director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, through her frequent talks to Toronto area parishes about medical ethics, end-of-life decisions and family life. She has been teaching at the University of St. Michael’s College Faculty of Theology, where she obtained her doctorate, since 1994. She took up the job at the head of the CCBI in 2004.

The author of Bioethics Matters: A Guide for Concerned Catholics, she specializes in sexual ethics and moral decision making. McQueen has published and lectured in the areas of end-of-life care, reproductive technologies, stem cell experimentation, regenerative medicine, genetics, and mental health.

With the new appointments, this is the first time more than two women have held positions on the International Theological Commission. It wasn’t until 2004 that the Commission, in existence since 1969, appointed a woman. 

The commission also now has five Latin Americans, three Africans and three Asians. Europeans are the largest group with 12 representatives. There are two Americans, one Australian and now one Canadian.

More than two-thirds of commission members are ordained men. Nine of the theologians are members of religious orders, including two sisters.

The Theological Commission shuffle comes just as bishops are heading to Rome for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in the Context of the New Evangelization. While the theologians will not meet before the two week synod, it is possible they will be asked for advice on theological issues that arise during the discussions.

The International Theological Commission was established in 1969 to study important doctrinal issues as an aid to the Pope and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 

Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Are there sexual guidelines for young or mature couples in married relationship whom want to live by church teaching.

Patrick Campbell
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Finally, women represent women in the church.....

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