Sr Nathalie calls on Catholic parishioners to have their say
Sister Nathalie Becquart, the most senior woman in the Vatican, says the church has commenced a period of greater inclusivity.
She told a forum held at the NSW State Library and sponsored by the PAYCE Foundation, that this was a special time as the Church embarked on its global synodal process by listening to the many voices within it.
Sister Becquart, who was in Australia for seminars organised by Melbourne’s Newman College and the Diocese of Parramatta, said the big challenges for the Church were the same issues facing society: inequality, violence, climate change and care for creation, and overcoming polarisation.
She was appointed by Pope Francis in 2019 as a consulter to the synod of bishops and since 2021 has been undersecretary to the synod – the first woman to hold this position and the first woman to have voting rights in the synod.
The French Nun said she was delighted to be in Australia and listen to the many voices within the Australian Church, with an emphasis on synodality – a process in which lay Catholics are included in discussions about the future direction of the Church.
“We need to continue to empower lay people to help them understand the Church is not only the priests and the bishops, the Church is also the people,” she said.
PAYCE Foundation Director Dominic Sullivan said it was privilege to host the Vatican’s most senior woman.
“Sister Nathalie gave a wonderful address on the need for inclusivity, and the future direction of the Church through the process of synodality,” she said.
“She has shown great strength and inspiration in her important role in the Vatican.”