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Sr Liliana Franco Echeverri addresses Synod assembly Friday (CNS/Lola Gomez)

The life of women in the Church “is full of scars” and alternating experiences of being encouraged or rejected, members of the assembly of the Synod on Synodality have heard. Source: CNS.

But the most obvious and defining experience, “has been the love of God, a love that remains even beyond the efforts of some to make invisible the presence and contribution of women in the church,” said Sr Liliana Franco Echeverri, the president of Latin America’s religious superiors.

Sr Echeverri spoke to the Synod assembly on Friday as participants began work on the third section, or module, of the working document: “Co-responsibility in mission.”

The working document asked Synod members to reflect on: ways to increase a sense of responsibility for mission among all Catholics; the relationship between liturgy and mission; the relationship between ordained ministry and the dignity of all the baptised; recognising and promoting the dignity and gifts of women in the Church; and involving them in leadership and decision-making, including investigating the possibility of women deacons.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, relator general of the Synod, said “all the baptised are called and have the right to participate in the mission of the Church, all have an irreplaceable contribution to make”.

In approaching the discussions, Cardinal Hollerich asked participants to recognise that “each of us is the bearer of a point of view that is essential, but to address the themes effectively, we are also called to realise our own partiality.”

For example, he said, “most of us are men. But men and women receive the same baptism and the same Spirit. The baptism of women is not inferior to the baptism of men. How can we ensure that women feel they are an integral part of this missionary church?”

In most parishes and dioceses around the world, Sr Echeverri said, “the Church has a woman’s face,” at least when looking at those gathered for Mass, joining parish groups, teaching religion and helping the poor.”


Synod looks at Catholics’ shared mission, but also exclusion of women (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via OSV News)