Pope’s pick says ‘clericalist mindset is changing’

Sr Nathalie Becquart (CNS/Paul Haring)

A French sister who could be the first woman to cast a vote in the Synod of Bishops says her appointment as an undersecretary is evidence the “clericalist mindset is changing”. Source: Crux.

Sr Nathalie Becquart told journalists on Wednesday that Pope Francis has been underlining the importance of including women in the decision-making processes, helping move the Church from a clericalist attitude towards a more synodal one.

“How can we somehow end with a clerical Church, where there have been abuses, of power and other kind of abuses,” she asked, during a conference transmitted live from Rome via Zoom. “By being like Christ, by being at the service of others and accompanying others.”

The Synod of Bishops is a product of the Second Vatican Council, and since the late 1960s it has been meeting in Rome semi-regularly to discuss a wide array of topics. It serves as an advisory body to the Pope, with no actual decision-making power.

No woman has ever voted in one of these meetings, though they have regularly taken part as observers, advisers, auditors and experts.

Sr Nathalie, appointed by Pope Francis as undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, could become the first woman to cast a vote. Though there’s no written rule that says the undersecretary does vote, it has been the tradition thus far.

But Sr Nathalie sees her appointment as being about service rather than power: “Now that I have been appointed, the question is, how can I be of service? How can I use this authority for the service of the Church?”


Nun says her Vatican appointment means ‘clericalist mindset is changing’ (By Ines San Martin, Crux

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