What’s behind the synod of bishops’ “woman priest” Facebook post?
CNA contacted a spokesperson for the Synod of Bishops but did not receive a response by publication. CNA also sought comments from McIntyre and the Philadelphia Catholic Higher Education Synod.
One of McIntyre’s images summarizes the synod and depicts the students against the backdrop of the Philadelphia skyline. Included is a local color element: a small image of Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot of the National Hockey League.
This seems to be a visual summary of this synod: 48 listening sessions in 14 universities, 28 interracial sessions and 27 interreligious meetings. Six young people are seated on folding chairs. They are labeled as “Muslims”, “Freshmen of Education”, “Physicians”, “CLC Leader”, “Graduate Student”, and “Queer”.
The image records several statements, although it is unclear if these are direct quotes from synod participants. “Being Catholic is a crucial part of my identity,” said one. “It’s all about meeting Christ,” reads another comment.
Other comments seem more critical. “I’m afraid to call myself a Catholic because I don’t want to be seen as ignorant,” said one of them. “The only female leader in my church was in the choir,” said another. “I don’t want my future family to be left out because I’m gay,” read one comment.
Another synod comment suggests more “coffee dates” with campus priests, clerics and ministers.
In another image, McIntyre seems to portray the Church as a refuge from all the strains, divisions, and broken bonds of life. Yet another image depicts the threads of various identities, including racial, ethnic and gender identities, hand-woven into a single garment with the caption “God is love”.
The summary report of the synod includes various points of view in tension or in conflict.
Some students have found joy in “a strong affiliation with a tradition with a deep history amidst so much change brings comfort and clarity”. Others cited an “inability to be who you really are in the church, to be unhealthy, hurtful, bad.” There was consensus on certain issues such as the need “to be animated by a God who loves without counting and a Church defined by hospitality”.