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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

October 2, 2023: Francis has asked all to speak with “parrhesia” - boldly and with freedom

October 2, 2023

Francis has asked all to speak with “parrhesia” - boldly and with freedom



According to the media, the most important issues facing the Synod on Synodality are the possibility of married priests, women deacons and the blessing of gay couples. …


The document that defines the synod is called the instrumentum laboris which is the distillation of all the meetings, hopes, dreams and desires for justice of the people throughout the world including all the meetings in our diocese and especially the meetings at Star of the Valley which several of us attended and the excellent work of Enid and Jacqueline who helped us gather our thoughts and provide the information to the Sisters in Baltimore. “The document is also an opportunity for the entire People of God to continue the journey that has begun, and an opportunity to involve those who have not been involved so far," said Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Synod. I’m sure he’s referring to those who have left the church – like us.


Pope Francis’ priorities are fundamental too: They are communion of all, participation from all and mission for all.



Read more about the document of the Synod using this link:



Here are some practical questions from Deborah Rose who is a Co-Director of FutureChurch


How would participants and the faithful even talk about communion, participation, and mission in any meaningful way without getting into particular issues? And aren’t these three ways of “walking together” intimately and inextricably bound up with Gospel justice including gender and LGBTQ justice?


The listening session documents up to and including the final Continental Assembly reports are chock-full of very particular concerns, sorrows, and hopes that Catholics share over seven regions. Catholics across the world agree that we need to discern new roles for women and ordination for women. Many Catholics from around the world also agree that now is the time for LGBTQ justice. The Instrumentum Laboris states it was drafted “on the basis of all the material gathered during the listening phase, and in particular the final documents of the Continental Assemblies (3).”


The questions that will be posed in October will require ongoing and honest discussions about women’s ministry and authority, including ordination, LBGTQ rights, and yes, as the Amazon bishops signaled in 2019, married priests.


While some may cast a stern gaze on those of us who have spent our lives working for justice within the Church and are speaking up, since 2021, we have been invited to share our concerns and keep the dream of a more just Church alive as we walk together. Be reminded that the Vatican continues to encourage us to, “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent.” That means making room for those whose voices have been ignored, disparaged, silenced, or excluded.


Scroll down their webpage and you will see in big letters, “The Church is Listening.” I hope those who are troubled by women's words will join the rest of us in listening.


Finally, follow Pope Francis on this one. He has asked all to speak with “parrhesia.” That means speaking boldly and with freedom.


May our synodal journey this October and beyond continue to be blessed, authentic, bold, and fruitful.


- Excerpted reflection from Deborah Rose, Co-Director FutureChurch


Read Deborah’s whole reflection using this link:




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