Friday, November 4, 2022

Is the Vatican Synod Opening the Door to Roman Catholic Women Priests? Are Our Voices Being Heard ? by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

It is good news that the newly released Vatican document on October 27, 2022 for the next phase of Pope Francis' ongoing consultation process for the world's Catholics includes a formerly taboo topic, women priests. 

This document raises the question of the role of women in the church's governance structures, the possibility of women preaching, the female diaconate and women's ordination to the priesthood. 

On the question of ordination, the text states: "Much greater diversity of opinion was expressed on the subject of priestly ordination for women, which some reports call for, while others consider a closed issue."

So where do we go from here now? 

Pope Francis has opened the door to a worldwide dialogue that includes for the first time hearing our voices. He said that it was time to “look others in the eye and listen to what they have to say, to build rapport, to be sensitive to the questions of our sisters and brothers, to let ourselves be enriched by the variety of charisms, vocations and ministries.”

This Synodal invitation has provided an opportunity to share our blessings and challenges of serving the people of God especially those who are excluded from receiving sacraments in the institutional Church. 

During the past year many of our members have been involved in these Synodal conversations. They have been sharing the stories  of women-priests led inclusive communities and ministries with Catholics around the world engaged in the Synodal Process. 

They have been sharing experiences of building a “big tent Church” that welcomes everyone to celebrate sacraments and works for the full equality of women in every ministry in the institutional Church. 

Pope Francis has opened a new door that we are walking through in open and respectful dialogue.

 Women priests are here and now serving God’s people in communities and ministries where all are loved, all are equal and all are welcome.

We are leading, not leaving the Church, and that is making a difference in the Synodal Dialogue ! 

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