Posted by: janecronin | November 23, 2014

Teresa Forcades Vila (born 1966)


Teresa Forcades is a Benedictine nun who is a doctor, theologian and social activist.  She first came to public attention for her outspoken criticisms of the handling of the swine flu (gripe A) so-called pandemic by the World Health organization and pharmaceutical companies and is now well-known for her feminist and anti-establishment views regarding both the church and the state.

She was born in Barcelona to a non-religious family who sent her to a private church-run school where she became interested in religious matters.  She graduated in Medicine at Barcelona University and qualified in Internal Medicine in the United States.  She then went on to study for a Masters in Protestant Theology at Harvard University, specializing in Feminist Theology.  On her return to Spain she felt called to enter the Benedictine order but her theological qualifications were not recognized by the Catholic Church.  She completed a Doctorate in Theology in 2009 specializing in the Mystery of the Trinity and a Doctorate in Medicine specializing in Alternative Medicines.  She has also done post-doctoral research in Humboldt University in Germany in areas of anthropology and theology.

In 2009 she broadcast a video in which she outlined the failings in safety and reliability of the vaccine widely distributed by the World Health Organization to combat swine flu.  A number of prominent experts spoke out against Teresa accusing her of irresponsibility and scaremongering, although many of her assertions were later vindicated.

Teresa’s feminist views have also caused controversy, particularly regarding recent changes to the abortion laws in Spain.  In contrast to the official church view, she believes that a pregnant woman has a right to self-determination and supports the right to choose abortion.  Despite being called into line by Catholic authorities, Teresa has continued to assert her freedom to remain within the faith but to express her disagreements publicly.  She refers to the Catholic Church as misogynist and patriarchal and believes that it should give women a stronger leadership role.

Teresa Forcades is a defender of the Catalan right to self-determination in the form of a referendum for independence.  In recent years she has become regarded as a champion of Spanish alternative social movements and has appeared on television in debates discussing a range of contemporary issues.

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