“We can’t be a Church in which decisions are made only by men”, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich has said.
Driving the news
The new cardinal from Luxembourg, who received his red hat last October 5, was speaking from the Amazon Synod in Rome, where he is present by special papal invite.
Hollerich praised Catholic women for being “at the forefront” of the Church’s work on a day-to-day basis, and insisted on their equal standing with men.
“God created man and woman, or woman and man; women and men have the same dignity, the same love for God, the same baptism”, the cardinal explained.
“That’s why we can’t be a Church in which decisions are made only by men. For me that’s very clear”, Hollerich said.
Along with the theme “New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology”, greater roles for women and married Catholics have taken up a large part of discussions thus far at the Synod, which runs from the 6th to the 27th of this month.
Reflecting on his own participation at the Synod, Hollerich said for him it is a “grace” to be participating in the meet, where “frank” conversations between bishops, auditors and outside experts are the order of the day.
The cardinal, who is the moderator of the English and French-language small discussion circle, said he believed the Synod will make the Church and world more aware of the realities of the Amazon.
“The burning of the jungle in the Amazon region is terrible”, Hollerich decried.
“At least in Europe, many young people are shocked by that, and it’s good that they’re shocked”, he explained.
“But we have to transform this impact into energy to fight and commit to the Amazon region and to the people who live there”, the cardinal continued.
Why it matters
The problems in the Amazon apart, Hollerich also said the Synod has special relevance for Europe.
“I believe that for many young people in Europe the Church is an old institution, without much to say to their own lives”, he revealed.
But when those same young people see “that the Church is committed to preserving Creation, committed to human rights, to human dignity, committed against violence and that the Church has the power to transform the service it gives, to change, that brings a new image of Church”, the cardinal explained.
Hollerich added that he hoped that “new image” would herald “the beginning of a broad missionary movement in Europe”.