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.”
“Even Pope Francis highlighted several times the importance that women be more involved in the processes of discernment and decision making in the Church,” he said.
“Already in the last synods, the number of women participating as experts or auditors increased. With the appointment of Sr Nathalie Becquart, and the possibility that she will participate with the right to vote, a door has been open,” Grech stated. “We will then see what other steps could be taken in the future.”
Sr. Nathalie Becquart, 51, has been a member of the Congregation of Xavieres since 1995.
She has been one of five consultors, four of whom are women, to the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, since 2019.
Because of her extensive background in youth ministry, Becquart was involved in the preparation for the Synod of Bishops on young people, faith, and vocational discernment in 2018, was general coordinator of a pre-synod meeting, and took part as an auditor.
She was the director of the French bishops’ national service for the evangelization of young people and for vocations from 2012 to 2018.
Marín, 59, is from Madrid, Spain, and a priest of the Order of St. Augustine. He is an assistant general and archivist general of the Augustinians, based out of the order’s general curia in Rome, which is located just outside St. Peter’s Square in Rome.