No New Zealand women at global Catholic Synod

New Zealand women

Concern is brewing among Catholics when they learnt that not a single New Zealand woman is representing the country at the upcoming Synod.

New Zealand’s bishops had nominated a balanced slate of nine candidates, including five women and four men, but the final selection process has left many Kiwi men and women scratching their heads.

The New Zealand Bishops Conference in a social media post said that they did not make the final selection and that it was made “offshore”.

It is unclear what “offshore” means, but the selection of 10 representatives was part of a larger Oceania group that includes Australia and the Pacific Islands. (Photographed.)

People CathNews spoke with expressed alarm at the exclusion of New Zealand women.

“There are no excuses.

“Excuses will be offered by the ‘all boy’s club’, but the credibility of anyone offering an excuse is really in tatters before they start,” says Jo.

The New Zealand women acknowledge that six of the Oceania region representatives are women and four are men, but they remain wondering why they have been ignored.

  • “I am dissatisfied. Rather than being synodal and going out to the peripheries, New Zealand women have been forgotten, or at worst shut out” – Susan
  • “We should definitely be there. If it’s good enough for the Aussie women…” – Barbara
  • “You’re kidding” – Beth
  • “When important issues are being discussed and teased out, New Zealand women won’t be heard. That’s wrong. We need a voice” – Mary
  • “New Zealand women’s exclusion from the global Catholic Synod has led to a wave of public dissatisfaction and questions about how the Vatican sees New Zealand” – Lisa
  • “The Church has come such a long way” – Ana
  • “New Zealand women are so pivotal to the community, how is it that we are not represented?” – Natasha
  • “If the future it to be future-focussed, our New Zealand children, particularly our girls need to see representation on the world stage.” – Natasha
  • “Pope Francis sees the Church as a place of welcome – he said “tutti, tutti, tutti” must be allowed in: everyone, everyone, everyone, but not New Zealand women” – Pip
  • “We were the first to give New Zealand women the vote, but the last at the Vatican” – Janet
  • “I wonder if Jesus’ mother were a New Zealand woman whether she’d have been invited” – Arihi
  • “What!!!” – Rosie
  • “And this is a meeting about openness, change and the Catholic Church!” – Hoana
  • “You mean Rome chose our representatives?” – Christina

Only one Catholic woman CathNews spoke with said she didn’t mind the decision.

  • “It doesn’t worry me. We can blame the men when it all falls over” – Margaret

The absence of New Zealand women from the Synod has ignited a debate about inclusivity and representation, leaving many to wonder if the country’s diverse voices are being heard on the global stage.

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