Female president-delegate presides at Synod of Bishops

The first female president-delegate has presided at a Synod of Bishops assembly.

Sister Maria de los Dolores Valencia Gomez (pictured) says her inclusion in the role at the Synod on Synodality shows the Church “has… something that places all of us at the same level”.

Gomez led the Synod on Synodality assembly Friday morning in her capacity as one of Pope Francis’s 10 president-delegates.

Gomez’s presiding role came as the synod assembly began working on the topic of “co-responsibility in mission”.

That includes a focus on women’s role in the Church.

She described the participation of women in the ongoing Synod of Synodality as “setting the stage for future changes.”

She adds that being able to sit at the same table as Pope Francis is a sign of things to come in the Church.

“I feel that this is a gradual process,” said Gomez, who is from Mexico. “Little by little, we shall see changes.”

While the Church cannot ordain women sacramentally, Gomez noted Francis has broken from precedents.

Pope Francis has given women governing roles in the Church, including in the Vatican, she says involving women in the synod is a new practical compromise that bypasses difficulties for the Church.

Besides being the first synod with a female president-delegate, this is the first time women have ever voted in a Synod of Bishops.

The synod on synodality includes 54 women among the synod’s 365 delegates.

Speaking of the synod on synodality, Gomez describes it as “a way of life for forever, journeying together with a permanent and ongoing dialogue”.


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News category: World.

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