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Founder and board of Vatican women’s magazine resign

Lucetta Scaraffia

The board accused Vatican officials of a campaign to undermine them

The founder and editorial board of the Vatican’s women’s magazine have resigned, accusing Vatican officials of trying to discredit them and put them “under the direct control of men”, especially after they reported on the sexual abuse of nuns.

The board of “Women, Church, World” made the announcement in an open letter to Pope Francis and in their planned April 1 editorial.

In the editorial, seen by AP, editor Lucetta Scaraffia wrote: “We are throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization.”

In additional comments to AP, Scaraffia said the new editor of L’Osservatore Romano, Andrea Monda, told her earlier this year he would take over as editor. He reconsidered after the editorial board threatened to resign and Catholic weeklies across the world said they would stop distributing the magazine.

After this attempt failed, Scaraffia said there were “indirect attempts to delegitimize us” which included bringing in new women to write for L’Osservatore Romano “with an editorial line opposed to ours”.

Scaraffia launched “Women, Church, World” in 2012 as an insert for L’Osservatore. The magazine was editorially independent of the Vatican newspaper, and achieved prominence last year after reporting on the abuse and exploitation of nuns by clergy.

In an interview for the Catholic Herald in February, Scaraffia said that “a couple of cardinals have paid sympathetic attention” to her writing, but “that’s about all”. Asked if there were people in the hierarchy trying to get rid of her, she responded: “We’ll have to wait and see”.