August 11, 2020

Women and synod | Society

Something has changed in the Church: for the first time in a synod, women have been explicitly talked about, and what is more, of the need to find a way to recognize their commitment in the evangelization of the Amazon. Naturally, the request – more than legitimate – to have the right to vote presented by the nuns who have participated in the synodal assembly, has not received an answer, and the question of the recognition of the diaconate to women, which has been dragging on for years, is has referred once again to a new commission.

But the problem, which is considered closely linked to the Amazon context, was addressed for the first time, of the fundamental role played by women in two-thirds of Christian communities, although contradictory solutions have been devised. In the first place, to recognize these women two minor orders, such as the lectorate and the acolyte, which they have been practicing for decades; but above all, create a new ministry, the "Community Guide". This last proposal would be fine if it were not accompanied by a crushing campaign on the need to increase the number of priests, a need considered as urgent as to justify even the proposal to order married men.

If this proposal were accepted and the number of priests really increased, the women who currently lead the communities, even if the new special ministry were recognized, would in fact lose their role for the benefit of the priest, because equality is not recognized in the Church between women and men, much less between the laity and the clergy; the superiority of the priest as such remains unquestionable. We are very far from recognizing any Christian, man or woman, as a subject of the priesthood given by baptism, and for this reason, worthy of playing a guiding role, provided he has the capacity to do so.

In a way, therefore, the possibility of ordering married men may, in fact, become another way of denying women's authority, so as not to recognize the great work they have done and not even the effort invested in the work of evangelism.

The Amazonian synod has brought to light a fundamental issue, the delay of the ecclesiastical institution in recognizing the dignity of women, which reaches really serious levels, such as denying them the right to vote in an assembly of which they have been a part, and in which there has been continuous talk of the synodal path, that is, in common. But, evidently, the proposal of a common path is directed only to men, preferably priests. Nothing has been done to counteract the clericalization of the Church that Pope Francis denounces so often.

And even when you think of a new recognition, such as the Ministry of Community Guidance, you are immediately looking for a way to remove women from the possibility of playing a leadership role, even if they have conquered it on the ground, as in this case .

In addition, there is still a great vagueness: each new project seems to refer only to the Amazon, and its very special problems. But it is not only this enormous territory that laments the lack of priests and vindicates the role played by women, and it is clear that each of these measures will be extended to the whole Church. But can a particular synod, dedicated to an exploited and marginalized part of the world, become the model of such decisive changes?

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