Australia, protest causes bishops to surrender: yes to deacons

In a somewhat fiery atmosphere, the business General Council subordinate Australian Catholic Church. The final assembly, held in Sydney, saw real moments of tension after a proposal on the role of women in the church – which included an opening paragraph for deaconesses – did not get the affirmative vote. Two-thirds of the bishops, required for approval.

The General Council consists of 277 members. But while the vote of the other delegates (both lay and religious) was advisory only, the vote of the bishops’ delegates was deliberative. The failure to reach a quorum provoked a lively protest in the Great Hall of St. Mary’s College that about sixty delegates stood up and left their posts. a exciting uprising which threatens to damage the synodal image of the Australian Church, and it met in the General Council for the first time since 1937. A pause ensued during which the Steering Committee embarked on work on reform and eventually a compromise was found which led to the final approval of the text in which he wrote that “In the event that Universal Church Act is amended to allow women deacons, the General Council recommends that Australian bishops consider how best to apply it in the context of the Church in AustraliaDespite the relief, the victory Rebel delegates.

In another proposal, moreover, the attempt of those who wanted to remove an explicit reference to Catholics self-identifying as LGBTQIA+ was rejected. Despite this, one of the protest leaders, Delegate Francis Sullivan, said: he said to catholic weekly was there in classLots of anger and frustration“Not only by women but also by”rainbow communityOf the nineteen proposals that were put on the table of general discussion, the only one that was rejected was one that asked for permission for the laity to preach sermons during Mass. Roman Missal This is more Inclusive Compared to what is currently in force. Australian Cardinal George Peel, who served as chair of the Vox Clara Commission, made an essential contribution to the translation which was rejected during the council’s plenary session, which debuted on the first Sunday of Advent in 2011.

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The atmosphere which prevailed at the Council of Sydney did not please many members, not only those who later obtained the consent of the bishops on the question of the female deacon. This is evidenced by the joke of an anonymous participant in the American portal column commented: “We must be here listening to the Spirit, that’s what everyone constantly says. But at least some people seemed to have come up with a very clear idea of ​​what the spirit was supposed to say“.


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