Pope Francis has broken with Catholic tradition to appoint a lady as an undersecretary of the synod of bishops, the primary to carry the post with voting rights during a body that studies major questions of doctrine.French woman Nathalie Becquart is one among the 2 new undersecretaries named Saturday to the synod, where she has been a consultant since 2019.
The appointment signals the pontiff's desire "for a greater participation of girls within the process of discernment and decision-making within the church", said Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary-general of the synod."During the previous synods, the amount of girls participating as experts and listeners has increased," he said.
"With the nomination of Sister Nathalie Becquart and her possibility of participating in voting, a door has opened."The synod is led by bishops and cardinals who have voting rights and also comprises experts who cannot vote, with subsequent gathering scheduled for autumn 2022.A special synod on the Amazon in 2019 saw 35 female "auditors" invited to the assembly, but none could vote.
The Argentinian-born pope has signalled his wish to reform the synod and have women and laypeople play a greater role within the church.He named Spaniard Luis Marin de San Martin because the other under undersecretary within the synod of bishops.Becquart, 52, a member of the France-based Xaviere Sisters, features a academic degree in management from the distinguished HEC graduate school in Paris and studied in Boston before joining the order.