In anticipation of the upcoming Synod on Synodality, women from around the world are taking center stage in the conversation. To shed light on these developments, we recently had the opportunity to speak with Mónica Santa-Marina, President General of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations. In a candid interview, Ms. Santa-Marina shared her thoughts on the role women are set to play and the impact it could have on the Church.
The World Women's Observatory has been at the forefront of these preparations, organizing three webinars this week, aptly titled "Let Us Prepare for the Assembly in Dialogue with the Women of the Synod." Ms. Santa Marina expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming response, with hundreds of women from diverse corners of the globe participating in these discussions.
"These webinars are part of a project we initiated two years ago within the World Women's Observatory," said Ms. Santa Marina. The recent webinars featured presentations of a comprehensive study conducted with nearly 500 women involved at various levels within the Church, such as diocesan, national, and continental levels. The discussions revolved around their thoughts, feelings, and the necessity of female involvement in the different phases of Church governance.
What made these webinars truly impactful, however, was the rich dialogue that ensued. Women from various regions, united by their commitment to the Church, actively participated. They represented a spectrum of backgrounds, ages, and cultural perspectives, with some even having hands-on experience in synod processes.
When asked about the significance of women's participation in the Synod on Synodality, Ms. Santa Marina emphasized its important role. "The presence of women in the Synod will help the Church make the correct discernment of the contribution, services, and ministries traditionally denied to women but in which they can participate according to their baptismal calling, dignity, vocation, and talents," she affirmed. Indeed, women bring unique perspectives, experiences, and talents that can enrich the Church's mission.
Looking ahead to the Synod next month, Ms. Santa Marina expressed her hopes for substantial progress. "I hope that some important decisions are taken to guide the Church on how we can work together in a different way," she said. She underlined the importance of creating a more inclusive and open Church that reaches out to those in need. While acknowledging the gradual pace of change in the Church, she remained hopeful that women's contributions would accelerate progress.
In closing, Monica Santa Marina offered a positive outlook for the Synod on Synodality. "Women are going to help a lot with that, I am sure," she concluded.