Medical Mission Sister, Birgit Weiler, a theologian and member of the Peruvian bishops’ pastoral ministry for the care of creation, was invited by Pope Francis to be one the experts to participate in the Synod at the Vatican officially titled The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology. Along with other sisters Sr. Birgit voiced her concern that women should be included among synod voting members and in church leadership positions. “When you have participated fully in the whole process of sharing faith, of discerning together,” then the vote is a natural expression of wanting to participate fully in the decision-making phase of the synod, she said. Full participation in the life of the church, Sister Weiler said, also includes giving women more leadership roles within the church.
In an October 11 briefing she said that such changes would allow the church to become “a community of sisters and brothers, sharing faith, discerning together.” Sr. Birgit said that she is grateful to Pope Francis and the steps he has taken to include women’s voices throughout the synod process and that this“is already a significant step forward, and I want to honor it.”