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Newsletter - 28 December 2020

The 2022 Synod must be expanded to include lay people, especially women and young people

Pope Francis has repeatedly said he wants us to be a "synodal" church. Understanding synod to mean “walking together,” it is our expectation that any coming synod will mean that lay people and especially women and young people are going to be walking together/side by side with the bishops and priests in this assembly.. But our fear is that they will be walking behind (two tiers, two rows, front and back) as has always been done in the past. In the Synodal Path assembly held in Germany this year, the bishops and lay people walked in side by side in a genuine synodal style. Pope Francis has called for a Synod in 2022. Our concern in advance is that this Synod will not be “the whole Church walking in a synodal way.”

At this moment, the Lineamenta (the preparatory document for the Synod) is already being drafted. Our concerns: Are lay people/women involved? Or is the document from the top down? Who is being consulted? Where is the distribution of the Lineamenta taking place? Is it going directly to a wider, inclusive group? In the old model, it went to the Conferences of Bishops, to the Pontifical University, and to the Union Superior Generals of men. But is it going to the Union Superior Generals of women or to International lay groups? Let us do all in our power to ensure that, finally, voting participants in this Synod will be more inclusive!

When the Lineamenta came out in Vatican documents on young people, there was no reference to the term “LGBT+” (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered, etc.). Young people requested that it be included in the document. It is a reality in our world and in humanity. On the synod floor, there were many disputes over this issue. African bishops declared they had no gay people in their country. When young people were asked what is missing from our Vatican documents, they said reference to sexuality. Rome is frightened of addressing this issue. When Francis came out with his Apostolic exhortation, these topics were left out. It was felt they were too controversial.

Voting guide to Catholic Christians from Pope Francis

This newsletter is going out to our supporters globally. While the upcoming election of a new president is technically only an American issue, we realize that this election is about preserving democracy and truly impacts the entire world. So if you are a U.S. citizen, we ask you to click on the Scorecard link as you weigh the issues of importance to you in this election. If you are from another country, we ask your prayers for the outcome of this election. And if you have family or friends from the United States, we invite you to share this newsletter with all of them.

Who are Pope Francis Voters?

Faith does not fit neatly into the secular institution of political parties. And still, we are called to be engaged in politics. This is no small feat. As Pope Francis says, "Following Jesus means swimming against the tide, renouncing evil and selfishness." Our nation is in a spiritual crisis, and our faith and patriotism compel us to speak clearly and to act according to our consciences and our personal values.

Catholics are called to defend, promote, and protect the sacredness of human life. We cannot be single issue voters. Instead, we are called to be Pope Francis Voters. The sacred issues that Pope asks us to bring into the voting booth include protecting people in poverty, the elderly, and migrants and rejecting racism. Prayerful consideration of the candidates for President make it clear: Catholics are called to be true to their faith and recognize that there are multiple issues to consider when casting our vote.

Equally Sacred scorecard

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