Vatican City, Feb 6, 2021 / 05:20 am
Pope Francis Saturday appointed a Spanish priest and a French religious sister as under-secretaries of the Synod of Bishops.
It is the first time a woman has held a position of this level within the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
Fr. Luis Marín de San Martín and Sr. Nathalie Becquart will replace Bishop Fabio Fabene, who was named secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in January.
Working with and under secretary general Cardinal Mario Grech, Marín and Becquart will prepare the Vatican’s forthcoming synod on synodality, scheduled for October 2022.
In an interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Grech said in this position, Becquart will vote in future synods alongside other voting members, who are bishops, priests, and some religious men.
During the 2018 youth synod, some people asked why religious and consecrated women could not vote on the synod’s final document.
According to the canonical norms governing synods of bishops, only clerics - that is deacons, priests, or bishops - can be voting members.
Grech noted Feb. 6 that “during the last Synods, numerous synodal fathers emphasized the need that the entire Church reflect on the place and role of women within the Church.”