Superiors General of female orders want more influence

The superiors general of 34 female orders want more influence in the Church.

As part of an international umbrella organization, the International Union of Superiors General, the superiors from orders in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg want women to be admitted to all offices in the Church, including ordained offices.

The German-speaking superiors general, who met last month in Innsbruck, Austria, have called for a new “culture of dialogue, of participation, and of gender equality.”

The Church’s teaching should be adjusted to “new scientific findings in the theological and other academic disciplines.”

The superiors general say an increase of qualified women in the Church would bring “diversity and an enrichment on all levels.”

One could learn from religious communities “how men and women have fruitfully worked – and still work – together for the people.”

They have also requested that women have voting rights at future synods of bishops.

“In the future, more women are to be included at synods of bishops – of course with voting rights. That is the only way they can influence decisions,” they explain.

The Union consists of 2,000 representatives of apostolic women’s communities worldwide with more than 900,000 members.

It was at their initiative in 2016 that Pope Francis established a commission on women deacons.


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