Timothy Radcliffe calls for new ministries for women in Church

New ministries for women

Dominican priest and theologian Timothy Radcliffe OP has urged the Church to develop new ministries, particularly for women, as a key focus for the upcoming Synod on Synodality.

Lay people and “women in particular must be given a more active role in the life of the church” Radcliffe said in an interview with Ordo Praedicatorum.

Radcliffe, who served as a spiritual assistant at last year’s synod, also addressed the issue of clericalism. He highlighted Pope Francis’ view that it “poisons the Church”.

He stressed the importance of fostering an “attractive and positive theology of the ordained priesthood” to ensure active clergy support which he believes is currently insufficient.

The Dominican priest also called for theologians’ full involvement in the synod’s discussions.

“We need their help to recognise what is a healthy development of the doctrine and practice of the Church and what would be a deviation,” said Radcliffe, a former Master of the Order (1992-2001).

Open differences are fine

Acknowledging the varied opinions on synodality, Radcliffe noted that while some view it as a waste of time, the Church is responsible for supporting the global synodal process.

“At the last session of the Synod, I felt that many of our brothers and sisters in the Global South did not feel fully heard. How can the Church become a sign of unity for the world, a community in which every culture is able to offer its gifts and be liberated from its biases?

“Open differences of opinion are therefore fine” he emphasised.

“Pope Francis is always saying ‘The Holy Spirit is the protagonist of the Synod’. We cannot tell the Spirit to hurry up! We can beg God to hurry up, but grace works as He wills” Radcliffe commented.

The Synod on Synodality will conclude next autumn with a final plenary assembly at the Vatican.

To guide the discussions, a working document known as “Instrumentum Laboris” is expected to be prepared in the coming months.


English Katholisch



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