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Inside the VaticanSeptember 14, 2023
Bishops use electronic voting devices June 12, 2019, during the spring general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

In the months before each of the last few synods, one of the most-debated questions has surrounded who should be able to vote on the synod’s final proposals to the pope. While voting was once limited to bishops, an accidental oversight led to a lay religious brother being allowed to vote in 2015; for the next several synods, the limitation on voting remained a matter of sex rather than ordination.

At the Synod on Synodality’s Roman meetings, lay men and women have both been included for the first time as full, voting members. But, argues the Rev. Louis Cameli, if this synod is not to be a “parliament,” as Pope Francis often warns, perhaps there should be no voting in the synod at all.

Father Cameli, who is Cardinal Blase Cupich’s Delegate for Formation and Mission and a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, joins veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell and host Colleen Dulle for a conversation on voting at the synod. Read Father Cameli’s argument in the National Catholic Reporter here.

A few more stories from this week:

Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Pope Francis’ peace delegate, traveled to Beijing this week to meet with Chinese officials in order to “support humanitarian initiatives and the search for paths that can lead to a just peace” and an end to the war in Ukraine. It seems clear, Gerry writes, that those humanitarian efforts are the Vatican’s effort to reunite Ukrainian children with their parents, along with facilitating prisoner exchanges. Gerry explains that the visit came after a long delay, and gives an update on whom Cardinal Zuppi might meet in Beijing.

The new prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Victor Manuel “Tucho” Fernández, has given a wide-ranging interview to the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, reflecting on the mandate he received from the pope and the work he sees ahead of him. The full interview is available here with excerpts published by America.

Finally, there have been conflicting reports on what degree of privacy or secrecy there will be surrounding the Synod on Synodality’s deliberations. The Vatican has yet to confirm its plans, but you can read Pope Francis’ comments on the matter here.

Links from the show:

If the synod isn't a parliament, voting should be dropped

China has agreed to receive Pope Francis’ Ukraine peace envoy after long delay

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