The Church should not be male-dominated or authoritarian, the Scottish Bishops’ Conference’s final report on the synodal process has said.
The Bishops said the document, which compiled the synod reports of Scotland’s dioceses and other Catholic and interfaith bodies, will ‘feed into the global debate’.
The report said that ‘while every diocese acknowledged and celebrated the contribution of women in the Church there was common agreement that women must be given a greater voice in the Church.’
It also says ‘there was a unanimous view from all dioceses that the laity should be given far greater responsibility at all levels of the Church.’
It notes that it was ‘suggested by some that, as there is a need for more priests,
therefore married priests and the ordination of women should be considered. This aspiration was considered by others as a quick fix and not addressing adequately the deep crisis of vocation in our society nor reflecting the complementary gifts and talents of women and men’.
There is a call for ‘spiritual, pastoral, intellectual and human formation for all members of the church although warns that ‘a clericalizing of the laity was a real fear expressed by some voices’.
The document noted that despite ‘the great efforts of our Catholic schools and their participation in the Synodal Process, it was clear that many young people, influenced to some extent by our secular society, regard the Church as hypocritical.’ It suggests that ‘the Church must be seen to welcome all her children, especially those on the margins, to listen and accompany them’.
It closes with a call for Catholics across Scotland to ‘find new ways to express our faith without fear but with compassion and mercy’.
The report can be read here.