‘Excuse me, Your Eminence, she has not finished speaking’

By Phyllis Zagano, 24 November 2023
A group photograph of the Synod sisters, all (except for the facilitators) who participated in the First Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Synodality in Rome. Image: Supplied


Without doubt, the best line to emanate from the synod on synodality is “Excuse me, Your Eminence, she has not finished speaking.”

That sums up the synod and the state of the Catholic Church’s attitude toward change.

In October, hundreds of bishops, joined by lay men and women, priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers met for nearly a month in Rome for the synod on synodality. At its end, the synod released a synthesis report brimming with the hope and the promise that the church would be a more listening church.

Some 54 women voted at the synod. Back home, women are still ignored.

The women who want to contribute, who want to belong, are more than dispirited. They have had it. And they are no longer walking toward the door — they are running, bringing their husbands, children and checkbooks with them.

Will the synod effort work? Francis’ opening to women in church management is promising. Where women are in the chancery, there is more opportunity for women’s voices to be heard. No doubt, a few more women there could help.

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Phyllis Zagano holds a research appointment at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York. Her most recent book is Just Church: Catholic Social Teaching, Synodality, and Women (Paulist, 2023).

With thanks to the National Catholic Reporter and Phyllis Zagano, where this article originally appeared.


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