New times for church women; there’s no turning back

Women of the church

Many women at a US Women of the Church conference have expressed pain, frustration and hurt by experiences of sexism in the Church.

The Women of the Church conference was for Catholic women leaders.

It took place recently.

All was not bleak, as highlighted by Women of the Church keynote speaker, theology Professor Kristin Colberg (pictured), who discussed “Fruit and Seed: New Roles for Women in a Synodal Church”.

“What’s happening with women in the Church is not just the beginning of something new, but it’s the realisation of something that’s already happening,” she told participants.

“Because we’re living through it, we can fail to see how radical and exciting a time this is in the Church,” she said.

Colberg is on the synod’s theological commission. She also helped write the synod’s continental document “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent”.

After reading synodal reports from across the globe, she said it was clear that women’s issues were not just a Western concern.

“The whole world is ready to move on the issue of women,” she told conference attendees.

She thinks the synod will bring a “fundamental transformation of the Church.”

Including women as synod voting members is a significant shift, she noted. It is bringing new means of discernment and decision-making.

“After such changes, there’s no turning back,” she said.

Women of the Church at the conference

On the last day of the conference, participants met in small groups for synodal listening sessions. In these, they reflected on the conference topics and on the Holy Spirit in their own lives.

One attendee said the event was an opportunity to discern where God is leading her.

“It fills my cup to be connected with women who are active in the Church and who are struggling like I am.

“Although we have far to go for greater equality and female leadership in the Church, there are visible signs of fruits from what’s been done and seeds for the future that are being sown — all indicate we are indeed moving,” she wrote.

“There is a transformation happening from within.”


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News category: World.

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