October 1, 2020

Isabel Snchez: “I am a feminist, but without excluding men” – La Provincia


He declares to be at the service of God since he discovered the teachings of Monsignor at the Nelva School in Murcia José María Escrivá de Balaguer. The laity Isabel Sánchez (1969), the most powerful woman in Opus Dei in the whole world, hoists from her chosen singleness the flag of feminism, yes, convinced that “the wiring” of the brain of the two sexes is different and that the DNA of the Church is incompatible with the idea that women can say mass. Just published ‘Compass women‘(Espasa), a gallery in which women become protagonists of the future that is coming marked by the pandemic of the coronavirus.

-Is ‘Compass Women’ a feminist book?

-Yes because it includes a leadership that emerges in this time of social transformation in which women take charge of situations.

-How is feminism lived within Opus?

-The options are multiple because each person has the freedom to live feminism as they want.

-But they will have a shared general idea of ​​feminism …

-We seek equal opportunities. We aspire to a solidarity and service feminism. I am a feminist, but without excluding men.

-You are the woman with the most power within Opus in the whole world.

-So is. I am in the position with more decision-making power when advising the prelate of Opus, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz.

-In what matters do you advise the prelate?

-In everything related to the expansion of the Work. In projects to eradicate poverty, educational initiatives, family, youth and proposals to favor the promotion of women.

-What worries Monsignor Ocáriz about women?

-The need to revalue the role of women in the Church. But above all she wants to bet on the family, on peace and on those women who have professional aspirations and who want to change the world.

-Do you see women saying mass?

-That is to center leadership on a vision of power. The priesthood is not a path of development of dignity or power. The priests are there to serve the laity. It is part of the DNA of the Church that priests are men like Jesus Christ. It is a matter of faith and there is nothing to change.

-What lesson do you think this pandemic is leaving us?

-Our common condition of urban recluses without any control over our destinies has shown what we really are. Time has stopped for us to look towards what is essential, which is the people we love.

-There has not been much love with the elderly who have died in nursing homes, many of them run by religious orders.

-That shows that we weren’t focusing on people. We have all felt the pain for the loss of those elderly people and now we value life more and all those people, such as the health workers, who have reacted with great generosity.

– Should we wait for a “miracle” or do we have to settle for science to end the pandemic?

-I believe in miracles and I believe that everything goes hand in hand. We have to put all the scientific advances in this fight, but always trusting in God. Man can live in dignity kneeling before God. There is no need to fear because fear paralyzes.

-Has the coronavirus punished women more than men?

-Yes, because in the house all the burden has fallen on the woman’s shoulders.

Don’t you think then that it is time for men to assume once and for all that they have a privileged position that should be balanced for the benefit of the family?

-Exactly, men should realize that the family belongs to everyone and that there is co-responsibility. Men and women are bound to contribute together to the advancement of knowledge and to care for and protect the dignity of people by fighting for the respect of the human being and their rights.

-What do you think of the theories that proclaim that sex is a mere social construct that one can adopt regardless of being born male or female?

-Neuroscience and biology tell us that there are two types of brains: one of man and one of woman that make us perceive the world and life differently. I firmly believe that male and female “wiring” are different.

-You believe that women are better “wired” to care for children and the elderly.

-It is a task that we can all do, but the woman has already worked in this field for many centuries and is an expert.

-But maybe it’s time to change things …

-Absolutely and that is the message of Pope Francis, to discard a society of discard to bet on a society of care among all.

-The pandemic has also surfaced the scourge of sexist violence. Is it in the “wiring” of the man to mistreat the woman?

-That there is so much violence in the family is something that challenges everyone: governments, education and people. This is one of the priorities we have at the Work: fostering homes of peace through respect for people. And that begins with the education of the little ones.

-Children and young people are now facing an uncertain school year that, according to many, can cause a “generational catastrophe” …

-But we will know how to overcome difficulties through new technologies.

-Isn’t physical contact essential to promote those values ​​of solidarity, respect and creativity that you defend?

-During this pandemic, let’s focus on what we have and do the best we can. This is a temporary situation.

-Are new technologies an effective tool to talk with God?

-Of course. They facilitate contact with other people and God is a person. We can talk to God everywhere, in a Church he is present, but we find God in our hearts.

– Would Jesus have used social networks to transmit his message?

-For sure. Jesus Christ was a man of his time and would have used social networks to convey his message.

-Do you do it?

-Yes. We have a website and social networks. We use all kinds of channels so that people have spiritual food.

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