Two women religious urged the Synod of Bishops to open more space in the Catholic Church, including in decision-making roles, to women and young people. Young Catholics can “challenge all the people of God in living our common purpose of revealing God’s love,” said US Sr Sally M. Hodgdon, superior general of the Sisters of St Joseph of Chambery. “Can we let go and walk the path with them?” Sr Hodgdon and Korean Sr Mina Kwon of the Sisters of St Paul of Chartres were among the nonvoting synod observers who were invited to address the gathering Oct 5.
As reported by CNA, Synod members must try to trust the Holy Spirit, Sr Hodgdon said, and trust young people “to design what a welcoming and open Church is and looks like today.” In addition to the horror of the sexual abuse scandal, she said, Church members betrayed young people “through nonacceptance, a lack of integrity and transparency and a lack of authentic Gospel living.” Sr Kwon addressed the call from young Catholics around the world for “spiritual mentors.” Coming from Korea, where the Catholic faith took root and spread for decades through the sharing of laypeople and not priests, Sr Kwon said “it is ironic” that the church in South Korea, like throughout the world, has adopted a “new medieval hierarchy” that places all responsibility in the hands of priests and bishops.
The Vatican is releasing texts of the observer’s speeches to the synod, although it is not releasing the speeches of the synod’s voting members or even summaries of them. The official press briefings provide impressions of the day’s speeches rather than summaries of them.