The historic month-long Vatican meeting, known as a Synod of Bishops that permitted women to vote, ended without taking any positive steps on the hot button issues of women deacons and the LGBTQIA+ population. The final document affirmed the “urgent” need to give women decision-making power in the Church, and made yet another recommendation for further studies on women deacons.
The discussion included the idea of establishing some form of reimagined permanent diaconate for women that did not focus on liturgical ministry but on service to the marginalized and poor. This is exactly what women do now! It fell short of granting them any liturgical sacramental role including preaching and presiding at baptisms or weddings which requires ordination.
By our baptism In Christ, we are all equal. Therefore, all ministries, including ordination, must be open to those who are called and prepared to serve God’s people with loving compassion. A new reimagined model of ministry rooted in baptismal equality is needed.
Pope Francis said that he wants to hear all voices including the marginalized. This invitation should include Roman Catholic Women Priests who have been creating a Church for everyone for over 21 years. In our communities and ministries all are equal, all are welcome and all are invited to celebrate sacraments. The Eucharistic table is open to everyone, no exceptions. This means women deacons and priests officiate at marriages of divorced and remarried Catholics, and within our LGBTQIA+ population.
In prophetic obedience to the Spirit and in apostolic succession, we move beyond talk into action by ordaining women and all genders to foster the full equality of women in all ministries in the Church.
Bridget Mary Meehan