At first glance, the report of the General Assembly of the Synod which has just taken place brings hope for better consideration of the diversity of the “people of God”. Thus the Church is invited to “engage (…) in the public denunciation of injustices perpetrated by individuals, governments, businesses” . With fair words, the Synod points out “clericalism, machismo and the inappropriate use of authority (which) continue to mark the face of the Church and harm communion ”.

After years of fighting against gender discrimination in the Catholic Church, the Skirt Committee is satisfied to see the need for “dialogue between men and women without subordination, exclusion or competition” highlighted . Thus, it is fortunate that the report recognizes the importance of “avoiding repeating the error of talking about women as a problem” and finally considering them “as protagonists” . Catholic women, pillars of our parishes , rejoice at no longer being a problem!

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Welcome renewal of ecclesial discourse

The fact of considering that a “true ministry of the word of God (could) be configured, which (…) could also include preaching” is also to be welcomed. It is also probable that the presence of women in the synodal reflection groups (even if they remained a very minority, representing 54 of the 365 votes) allowed this welcome renewal of the ecclesial discourse.

So that this long-awaited awareness does not remain a dead letter, we must now hope that the synodal path takes concrete directions, with strong proposals. And this is where the problem lies: as a flagship measure, it is suggested to relaunch research on the female diaconate, even though this is a ten-year-old problem. This seems very little: how can we fight against discrimination if the opening of all ecclesial and governance responsibilities to women still remains taboo?

Wounded believers

Further on, questions linked to gender identity and sexual orientation are buried in a mass of anthropological themes and are approached with great circumspection: "Certain questions, such as those relating to gender identity and sexual orientation, at the end of life, difficult marital situations, ethical problems linked to artificial intelligence, are controversial. »

While the question of the blessing of homosexual couples has come up as a central subject in many national synodal syntheses, we wonder whether this setting aside is due to an inability to think about these subjects or to intellectual laziness. Here, even the vocabulary used to evoke the people concerned aims to annihilate them: we are not talking about divorced-remarried people or homosexual couples but about “difficult matrimonial situations” . This element of language, both hypocritical and euphemizing, will undoubtedly permanently hurt these excluded believers who expect so much from the Synod.

Deep questioning

On second reading, we look in vain for signs of a real desire for change, and doubt sets in. Would this not be, once again, a scattering which seeks to conceal the refusal to question the clerical system, the abuses of which continue to be denounced country after country, yesterday in France by the Ciase , today in Spain ? How much longer will the “time for reflection” last, while the number of victims of sexual violence within the Church continues to increase and the diagnosis of systemic responsibility of the institution remains largely ignored?

Fundamentally, we believe that no decisive progress can be envisaged without a profound questioning of the model proposed by the Church, which is based on a naturalizing pseudo-anthropology. This continues to refer to different “natural” vocations for women and men, of which only it would have knowledge, and to lock women into a “complementarity” to the dominant masculine model. The archaic vision that persists prohibits us from thinking about the family and the role of women outside of the “dad-mom-children” schema , decreed as the only natural one, without dialogue with the social sciences which have thoroughly reworked these essentialization mechanisms. .

Beyond the evolutions of the discourse, a change of paradigm, in accordance with the “signs of the times”, constitutes an increasingly pressing demand of the faithful, which the institution can no longer be content to ignore.