WelCom August 2023
Renee Kohler-Ryan says that as a lay theologian and mother of five, she was struck by the significance of her inclusion in the upcoming Synod of Bishops.
Professor Kohler-Ryan, national head of philosophy and theology from the University of Notre Dame Australia, was this month named as a non-bishop voting member of the synod.
She is one of 10 Oceania representatives who will join more than 360 cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and other lay men and women in having a vote at the synod.
‘We’ve had laity in the professions, taking on key roles in Church governance, laity all along have been doing the absolutely essential work in parishes and hospitals and schools, carrying out their apostolic mission,’ Professor Kohler-Ryan said.
‘But this moment of bringing the laity into Church decision-making processes is unique, and it now means the laity need to be quite aware not only that this is a momentous thing, but also of the responsibility that we hold to do what is right for Christ’s Church.’
Australia will also have a number of women experts at the synod, including ACU academic Dr Sandie Cornish and synod methodology commission member, Adjunct Professor Susan Pascoe.
Source: CathNews Australia, The Catholic Weekly