Thanks to all of you, on Friday, we delivered over 5,100 signatures to the Synod of Bishops office in Rome urging Cardinal Baldisseri to open the voting to women religious alongside male religious as a first step toward justice.
The petition said:
As the upcoming Pan-Amazonian Synod begins on October 6, 185 men are expected to vote on the final document, and 0 women are expected to vote. One non-ordained, religious brother is voting while no non-ordained, religious sisters will be voting. Women who have the same ecclesial status as non-ordained men are excluded, again.
In 2018, calls for women religious to vote at the Synod on Youth came from Catholics across the globe. Women religious themselves worked hard for the vote. And the final document, which was the will of the bishops, for the first time, called the inclusion of women in decision-making structures a “duty of justice.”
This year, among the 265 participants, only 33 are women.
Ten of the women are religious from the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). This group of women have the identical ecclesial status as the male non-ordained religious superiors, one of whom is voting at the synod. Still, these women religious superiors are not voting at the synod.
Two women religious were named as part of the pre-synodal council, orchestrating the agenda and the working document alongside 16 ordained men. All 16 ordained men on this list are voting members of the Synod. The two women religious are auditors but not voting.
This injustice must end.
We will not stop until women have the right to vote at our synods. And we will not!