Teresa Forcades, OSB
About Teresa Forcades OSB Forum 2017 Faith and Freedom.
“The image that surfaces when Sr. Teresa Forcades speaks is evocative of spiraling energy, bubbling in spirit, and of being on the ground with the needs of the people of God. Forcades — a Benedictine nun, activist, feminist theologian and physician from Catalonia in Spain — and Francis — a Jesuit pope from Argentina — share a kindred vision of empowering the poor through nonviolence. Both understand the relationship between capitalism and poverty.” Janice Sevre-Duszynska RomanCatholic Womenpriests
“Teresa Forcades offers a lucid and inspiring reflection on the mutually enriching relationship between contemplation and action, the spiritual and the political, faith and feminism. Structuring her presentations around the liturgy of the hours, she shows how the Christian life can be lived in a way that is deeply rooted in prayer and tradition, but also radically engaged with the contemporary world.” Tina Beattie, University of Roehampton, UK
“Theresa Forcades is an exciting international colleague whose breadth and depth are rivaled only by her deeply humane convictions. She brings together solid scientific training with foundational theological understanding. Her commitments to human freedom and self-determination in accountable communities ground her political and theo-political views. To encounter Theresa is to be reminded of just how skilled and caring Catholic feminists are in the quest to create a just and equal church and world.” Mary E. Hunt Women’s Alliance for Theology Ethics and Ritual (W.A.T.E.R.)
“Teresa Forcades masterfully integrates politics, faith, and feminism in a contemporary world, making her a prophet of our time. A deeply spiritual mind, Forcades’ passion for feminist, social justice resonates with many women who long for a Church and society free from misogyny.” Erin Saiz Hanna, Co-Director of the Women’s Ordination Conference
“When I think of strength, intelligence, and courage of one’s convictions, even if controversial, I think of Teresa Forcades. The fact that she is a woman and a Benedictine religious are icing on a Catholic feminist cake.” Jeannine Gramick, SL New Ways Ministry, Co-Founder
‘I have known Teresa Forcades since she was a student at Harvard Divintiy School during my time there. She is a remarkably multi-talented person: medical practitioner, feminist theologian, fearless political commentator, and Benedictine nun. Not to be missed’. Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge
“Teresa Forcades is a force of nature! She’s brilliant, passionate and extraordinarily committed to the prophetic vision of Gospel justice and to Jesus the Christ. A true Magnificat woman, Teresa is fearless in challenging the powerful from global pharmaceutical giants to blatant misogyny in the Roman Catholic Church. She makes you think and then she makes you want to join her glorious struggle for God’s justice and peace to reign on EARTH as in heaven.” Christine Schenk CSJ Founding Executive Director FutureChurch and Forum presenter
Teresa Forcades i Vila, O.S.B., a Catalan physician and a Benedictine nun, is a prominent social activist who has gained an international reputation for her criticisms of the pharmaceutical industry. A writer who understands feminism as a form of liberation theology, Forcades has openly criticized the Catholic church as “misogynist and patriarchal in its structure.”
Born in Barcelona in 1966, Forcades grew up in a home where her parents rejected religion. She was sent, however, to the Sacred Heart school where she discovered religious faith through the study of the Bible. “”I was baptized, but I was not a religious person,” she said. “I read the Gospels when I was 15 and I was impressed.” Her vision, she said, has also been shaped by liberation theologians Leonardo Boff and Gustavo Gutierrez as well as mystic Simone Weil.
Forcades completed a residency in internal medicine from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine in 1995 and received a Master of Divinity from Harvard. In 1997, Forcades entered the Benedictines at their mountain monastery in Montserrat, Spain, after witnessing their support of gay Catholics. She later earned doctorates in public health and theology.
Can the impressively multi-lingual Teresa Forcades speak English? You will understand Teresa better than you will understand my Liverpool-Irish-Scouse. According to the BBC, she has “disarmingly perfect English – mastered during a few years at Harvard University … with a natural flair for public speaking, and a razor-sharp mind.”
Her first published book in English will be out in time for Forum 2017.