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Synod Watch: Coming and Going

October 5, 2023

Yesterday, the 2023 Synod on Synodality began in Rome. This historic gathering of 54 women and 365 bishops and other lay, religious, and ordained is the first of two large meetings.  According to the Instrumentum Laboris, or the working document, participants will discern which issues related to communion, participation, and mission will be studied over the next year with more decisive action to be taken in 2024.  Pressing issues like climate change, women’s roles and ordination, LGBTQ inclusion and rights, and opening the priesthood to married men will certainly be raised in these discussions and discernment.

This is my second SynodWatch blog.  I will be sending more, but not from Rome as I had originally planned. My circumstances have changed.  Just a few hours after I arrived in Rome, I received a call and learned that my beloved family member (I wrote about him in my first blog) is back in the hospital, seriously ill again, and, at this moment undergoing open heart surgery.  I am writing this from the hospital waiting room as the doctors perform a six-to-eight-hour surgery.  I have my rosary in hand and many family and friends are praying for him.  I feel deep gratitude for this outpouring of love and care.  Love heals.

And although I am disappointed that I cannot serve as one of your eyewitnesses from Rome at this historic time, the decision was not a hard one. I must be here.

So, as the days unfold, I will be reading, listening, interviewing, and writing about major events, especially as they pertain to the women who are participating inside and outside the synod hall.

Thank you all for your understanding as I move into my primary role as a mother and grandmother as my beloved one heals.

Deborah Rose