General Relator explains reasons for removal from consultations

Cardinal Hollerich: This is why women's ordination is not an issue at the Synod on Synodality

Rome - Commissions had dealt with the issue of the diaconate for women. However, Pope Francis excluded the topic from the Synod on Synodality and transferred it to one of ten study groups. Cardinal Hollerich now explains the background.

Published  on 10.07.2024 at 11:16  – 

The General Relator of the Synod on Synodality, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, has explained why the topic of ordained ministries for women is not part of the discussions at the second session. The reason for this is that the question of the ordination of women to the priesthood "has not been raised by the whole world", said the Luxembourg archbishop, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerichin an interview with "Vatican News" on Tuesday after the publication of the publication of the working paper for the assembly in October. As General Relator, Hollerich is a kind of moderator in the synodal process of the universal Church.

As some local churches have raised the question of the diaconate of women a commission will deal with theological reflection in order to "better understand what the diaconate is: participation in an ordained, but not priestly, ministry", said the Pope's confidant. The consideration of whether the diaconate could be opened up to women was therefore part of the process and not completed with the synod meeting. The church will continue to move forward synodally and questions will arise that need to be answered.

Participation and shared responsibility

Among other things, the Cardinal emphasised that the Church is not a clerical Church, but a "Church of the baptised". Women and men are called by God to proclaim the Gospel and to shape the Church together. "This results in the participation and shared responsibility of all," the cardinal continued. However, this does not mean that the ordained ministries of bishops and priests should be relinquished. These would find their full meaning in a "synodal church", said Hollerich. In terms of participation and co-responsibility, there is no difference between women and men, said the cardinal. "We have already seen this when the Pope opened up the offices of acolyte and lector to women," Hollerich concluded.

The 2021 Synod on Synodality was initiated by Pope Francis. After two years of local and continental consultations, the first session of the Synod on Synodality took place in Rome last October. At the second meeting next autumn, concrete proposals are to be drawn up for the Pope. The Pope can then make decisions on this basis. However, the decision of the head of the church was met with criticism, controversial topics such as the diaconate for women diaconate from the synod and ten study groups to deal with these issues. (mtr)