Catholics want the role and vocation of women to be tackled urgently, according to a new report that has come out of the synodal listening process.
The landmark synod report says that Catholics repeatedly express the desire for a more welcoming, inclusive Church that eradicates the misuse of power.
The findings are contained in a 45-page document released by the Holy See’s synod office that summarises the results of the unprecedented listening and dialogue process as part of the global synod.
“From all continents comes an appeal for Catholic women to be valued first and foremost as baptised and equal members of the People of God. There is almost unanimous affirmation that women love the Church deeply, but many feel sadness because their lives are often not well understood, and their contributions and charisms not always valued,” the document states.
Titled the “Working Document for the Continental Stage” of the synod, it is an unusual text as it does not offer any rulings on contested topics inside the Church, nor does it have teaching authority. Instead, it is a theological document aimed at furthering the synod process as it expresses a “listening to the voice of the Spirit” through the People of God. It was drawn up by a group of around 30 theologians, lay workers and bishops who met for several days in Frascati, near Rome, in September to synthesise reports from 112 bishops’ conferences, different religious orders and around 150 lay groups. In the United States, 700,000 Catholics participated in the local synod listening exercises; in Spain, it was around 200,000; in France, 150,000; in England and Wales, 30,000. The numbers are without any obvious precedent in a Catholic context.
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Download the Synod 2023 “Working Document for the Continental Stage” here.
Christopher Lamb is Vatican Correspondent for The Tablet and author of The Outsider: Pope Francis and His Battle to Reform the Church.
With thanks to The Tablet and Christopher Lamb, where this article originally appeared.