Synod of Bishops Resources Links to Women’s Ordination Group | National Catholic Register

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The Women’s Ordination Conference, founded in 1975, describes itself as “the oldest and largest organization working to ordain women as deacons, priests and bishops”.

VATICAN CITY — A website overseen by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican has linked to a group campaigning for the ordination of women.

In a post dated January 15, the Synodresources.org website shared information about the organization of the Women’s Ordination Conference, based in Washington, DC.

Thierry Bonaventura, head of communications for the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, told CNA Jan. 19 that the website does not promote the group.

“I would rather say ‘sharing’ as the title of the website,” he said.

Bonaventura pointed out that the “About” section of Synodresources.org emphasizes that the site is “a listening tool and a sharing platform that does not replace the official website of Synod 2021-2023 (synod.va)”.

“Rather than vertical, top-down communication, this is horizontal communication,” he says.

The website was previously at the center of controversy after being linked to an LGBT outreach ministry.

Officials at the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops removed the link with New Ways Ministry after learning that the U.S. Episcopal Conference expressed disapproval of the organization in 2010.

But following an outcry, they reestablished the link and issued an apology.

Synodresources.org is also linked to the Latin American Rainbow Catholic Community, which is part of the Worldwide Network of Rainbow Catholics, which says it “brings together groups and their members who work for the pastoral and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and their families.

The Women’s Ordination Conference, founded in 1975, describes itself as “the oldest and largest organization working to ordain women as deacons, priests and bishops”.

In his apostolic letter of 1994 Ordinatio sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II wrote that “the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment must be definitely held by all the faithful of the Church”.

During an in-flight press conference in 2016, Pope Francis was asked if there are likely to be female priests in the Catholic Church in the coming decades.

“As for the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the last clear word was given by St. John Paul II, and that stands,” he replied.

The pope has asked two commissions to study the question of a female diaconate in the Catholic Church.

The first, created in 2016, examined the historical question of the role of deaconesses in the early Church but did not come to a consensus.

He instituted a second commission in 2020, following a discussion of the female diaconate at the 2019 Amazon Synod.

Pope Francis changed Church law in January 2021 so that women can be formally instituted to the lay ministries of lector and acolyte.

The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, a permanent Vatican-based institution serving the Synod, is currently overseeing what has been called one of the greatest consultation exercises in human history, ahead of the 2023 Synod on synodality.

A vade mecum, or manual, published by the Vatican in September 2021 urged dioceses to include “all the baptized” in the process, including those on the margins of church life.

She said: “Special attention must be paid to the involvement of people who risk being excluded: women, the disabled, refugees, migrants, the elderly, people living in poverty, Catholics who practice rarely or never their faith, etc. “.

A pop-up on the Synodresources.org home page explains that anyone can submit material to the site, but not all contributions will be accepted.

He says: “The current synodal process is addressed to all the People of God, to all the baptized. In chapter 2.1 of the Vademecum, we urged dioceses to involve people at risk of exclusion (women, migrants, elderly people or Catholics who rarely or never practice their faith).

“At the same time, to participate fully in the act of discernment, it is important that the baptized listen to the voices of others in their local context, including those who have abandoned the practice of the faith, people of other religious traditions , people who have no religious belief.

“Therefore, anyone has the right to send material. At the same time, because we firmly believe that faith experience is and should be communal, we will only accept contributions that express the views of a clearly identified group. We regret that individual submissions are not considered.

The Vatican announced in May 2021 that the synod on synodality would open with a diocesan phase beginning in October of the same year.

A second continental phase will take place from September 2022 to March 2023.

The third universal phase will begin with the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to the theme “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission”, at the Vatican in October 2023.

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