09 January 2020, The Tablet

Here’s what we need: a synod that, instead of ending with women, starts with them


Here’s what we need: a synod that, instead of ending with women, starts with them

Joanna Moorhead
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As on-the-ball Tweets go, my spirits soared when I read this one. “If we want to weave humanity into the web of our day,” it opined, “we must begin again with women.”

What was particularly gratifying about this Tweet was that its author is an influential world leader. Tick! We need people like him, who understand the pivotal role of women in the world – how far they have come, but also how far they still need to go if the entire planet is to gain from all they can offer. So hurrah for a bit of common sense. And what is this world leader going to do next to make that all-important difference?

Ah well, there’s the rub. Because this is a world leader who has a bit of a knack, when it comes to women, for saying the right things and then following it up with … absolutely no action at all. Precisely nothing. Nada. He’s been in office for almost seven years, and from the start there were hopes that he’d be The One to make a difference. Every so often, there are signs of a stir. A ground-breaking commission here, a rousing speech there. A meeting with a group of prominent women. Briefings that suggests patience is what’s required, because this pontiff has it all under control.

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