On Monday, the Swiss Bishops’ Conference published a document for the upcoming Synod on Synodality in Rome reporting the Catholic Church was seen as suffering from clericalism —as well as “denying equality to women” and excluding “people with LGBTQ identity”.
“Several official church positions on the role of women in church and society, on sexuality and lifestyles are perceived as pejorative and exclusionary,” the Swiss report said according to CNA Deutsch.
“The Synodal Assembly of Switzerland, held on May 30, 2022, in Einsiedeln Abbey, finalised the report based on comments and requests for adjustments,” the bishops explained.
“This assembly had the task of combining the reports that emerged from the diocesan phase of the synod into an overall national report.
“In Switzerland, the debates and the synodal questionnaires raised awareness of the importance of baptism for the life of the Church,” the bishops said.
It was emphasised that a synodal church increasingly recognises “the royal, priestly and prophetic dignity and vocation” of the baptised.
Two points, in particular, were emphasised, namely “overcoming the experience that many people are excluded from full participation in the life of the church” and a critical examination “of the clericalism that still exists in some places”.
The report also said synodality would only succeed once “clericalism is overcome and an understanding of the priesthood increasingly develops as an element that promotes the life of a more synodically oriented church”.
On clericalism, the 11-page report said: “Criticism of the exercise of power by ministers is ignited by observations of clerical mentality, abuse of power, ignorance of the realities of life and culture in Switzerland, devaluation of women and rejection of people from the LGBTQ spectrum, retreat into individual identity notions of being a priest, lack of attention to people, disinterest in the poor, etc”.
In another section, the report also cites minority votes. These are mainly aimed at “questioning the need for a synodal culture for the Catholic Church, not changing the role of priests and the current hierarchical shape of the Church, limiting the influence of lay men and women in the Church, and more preservation and promotion of traditional forms of liturgy, especially the ‘extraordinary form’”.
The report is due to be sent to the Synod Secretariat in the Vatican where it will form part of the forthcoming global synodal process.