From Independent (Irish News):
The Vatican made the new when .... the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, which is headed up by Irish Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who made headlines last week when he refused permission for Mary McAleese and two other speakers to speak at an event in the Vatican to mark International Women's Day next month.
The ban on Mary McAleese highlighted the question of how women are regarded by the Vatican. Tina Beattie, professor of Catholic Studies at Roehampton College in London, is involved in the Voices of Faith conference on International Women's Day. Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence programme last week, she warned that the women invited to events at the Vatican tend to be handpicked and are known to be the most conservative voices who will tell the organising prelates what they want to hear.