Observatory

Amazon women look again to the Synod

06 November 2021

Sister Mariángel Marco Teja has a dream. “An inclusive Church, in which men and women exercise their mission and ministeriality fully, at the service of life and the people of God”.

It was this deep yearning that guided her to Rome, along with the delegation of the Nucleo Donne della Rete ecclesiale panamazzonica [Women’s Nucleus of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network] (REPAM) and Discerning Deacons, for the opening of the Synod. A process that she sees in intimate continuity with the previous Assembly dedicated to Amazonia, in the preparation of which the Ursuline Sister of Jesus actively participated. The event produced abundant fruits for the Church in the region, as shown by the birth of the Ecclesial Conference of Amazonia (CEAMA).

In addition, it inspired the unprecedented experience of the Continental Ecclesial Assembly, scheduled for November 21-28 in Mexico City. The women of Amazonia and REPAM, for their part, have seen their capacity for organization and impact strengthened. For this reason, Sister Mariángel looks forward to the new Synod with hope. It is a Kairos, she thinks, it is the opportunity for the Church to make those changes in mentality and structure to fully live “communion, participation and mission”, the three keystones of the path indicated by Pope Francis.

Within this framework, she believes, is the knot of the female presence. “The full participation of women, at the pastoral, representative and decision-making levels is urgent for the good of the whole Church. The equality of the baptized and the baptized must be effective. The Pope has repeatedly defined clericalism as an ancient evil that disfigures the Church. The presumed superiority of the clergy over the laity, the confusion between ministry and power, contradicts the Gospel”

And Francis himself, Sister Mariángel points out, has denounced the persistent marginalization of women. “In the Church it is a reality that cries out to heaven. With the excuse that Jesus was a man, women have been deprived of any relevant function. Thus, however, it is ignored that, with the Resurrection, Christ lives beyond his own body, in every Christian, made in the image and likeness of God”.

A determined and confident nun, Sister Mariángel believes that we must reflect on the many issues that animate the current debate, such as the possibility for women to give homilies. In her dream “gender equality should be contemplated in all the organizational instances of the Church. The whole Church, and not only women, would gain from it!”.

by Lucia Capuzzi
Journalist “Avvenire”