Dissent with Sister Teresa Forcades


The second conversation in our ‘Keeping the faith’ series is with Sister Teresa Forcades who – with good reason – has been dubbed ‘Europe’s most radical nun’.

Sister Teresa joins us from her Monastery on the mountain of Montserrat, near Barcelona in Catalonia, where she lives with thirty Catholic Benedictine sisters. We discuss her open criticism of the very Catholic Church she serves, her feminism, her politics, her general mission to speak out in order to create a more loving and fair society, and her experiences of being silenced for doing so.

Plus, as a physician and expert in public health, it would have been rude not to ask Sister Teresa for her professional thoughts on the pandemic, the vaccination programme and the role of big pharmaceutical companies. Which, as you may have guessed already, she has a lot of alternative (some would say ‘controversial’) things to say about.

Katherine and Paul reflect on the conversation with Sister Teresa and Katherine, in particular, is taken aback by how refreshing Sister Teresa’s views are in comparison with her Catholic schooling. And Paul is reminded by Sister Teresa about just how important it is to be made to look more closely and think again.

Links, resources and episode timestamps (for all you skippers out there) below.

Teresa Forcades i Vila (1966) is a physician, theologian and Benedictine nun in the mountain monastery of Sant Benet de Montserrat (Catalonia, Spain). Master of Divinity (Harvard, 1997), doctor in Medicine (U. Barcelona, 2004) and doctor in Sacred Theology (Facultat de Teologia de Catalunya, 2007). From 2015-18 she took a leave of absence from her monastery (exclaustration) to become politically active in the Catalan movement for independence. Since 2017 she has been the director of the journal of Christian critical thought Iglesia Viva and hosts a weekly radio program on Catalan radio. She is also the principal of the Sinclètica Monastic School of theology.



Sister Teresa Forcades: Europe’s most radical nun

Europe: a Nun’s Eye View (2017) – Greenbelt recorded talk

Teresa Forcades i Vila in conversation with Martin Wroe (2017) – Greenbelt recorded talk

Núria Calduch – First woman appointed Secretary of Vatican Biblical Commission

Jan Brueghel The Elder – The Crucifixion

On the Abolition of All Political Parties by Simone Weil

A Letter Concerning Toleration by John Locke

The Peril of Not Vaccinating the World

Ivermectin for Covid-19


00:00 – Welcome to Somewhere To Believe In
00:49 – Katherine and Paul catch up
03:01 – Introducing Sister Teresa Forcades
05:50 – Sister Teresa joins the conversation
06:19 – Sister Teresa on her monastery
07:24 – Sister Teresa on young women wanting to become nuns
12:19 – Sister Teresa on feminism, misogyny and sexuality
22:00 – Sister Teresa on vaccines and public health
31:14 – Sister Teresa on being silenced
33:40 – Sister Teresa on politics and democracy
39:00 – Sister Teresa on church and politics
45:08 – Katherine and Paul reflect on the conversation with Sister Teresa
1:00:40 – How to get in touch with us
1:01:25 – Thank you’s
1:02:10 – Hidden track


A huge thanks to the Greenbelt Volunteer Talks Team for all their hard work on editing this episode. Our podcast music is ‘I Can Change’ by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.