German Archabbot regrets that women religious may not vote at the synod

This story appears in the Family Synod 2015 feature series. View the full series.

by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

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As women religious were so deeply committed to pastoral work with families and did such a great job in this field, Benedictine Abbot Jeremias Schröder said he wished for a greater presence of women religious at a synod which was specifically on the family.

Schröder, who is in an English language group moderated by the Irish Archbishop Eamon Martin, gave an interview with the German section of Vatican Radio Tuesday.

Asked what he thought of Canadian Archbishop Paul-André Durocher's suggestion to ordain women deacons, Schröder replied, "I was impressed. That was very courageous. It seemed a convincing suggestion. I can imagine taking it up."

But Durocher's suggestion had found little resonance in the Synod Hall, he said. "It was one voice -- and that's it for the moment."

At the Tuesday press briefing, Schröder was questioned on women religious' right to vote at the synod. He said he glad that women religious had applied to be allowed to attend the synod and had been given permission, albeit only after their application had been supported by men religious. It was, however, deplorable, that they were not allowed to vote, Schröder said.

Ten men religious, including one lay brother, are attending the synod and are all allowed to vote. Three women religious are attending the synod and they are not allowed to vote.

[Christa Pongratz-Lippitt is the Austrian correspondent for the London-based weekly Catholic magazine The Tablet.]

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