28 March 2022
Mary, icon of woman for a synodal Church intrinsically Marian
Concluding remarks by Fr. Awi Mello at the First International Seminar on Woman
The Latin American Academy of Catholic Leaders organized its 1st International Seminar on Women with the objective of reflecting and deepening the role, contribution and challenges of women in the Church and society, in terms of co-responsibility, participation and communion, especially in the perspective of the synodality of the Church.
The theme of the Seminar - which took place in the virtual classroom on Saturdays from March 5 to 26, 2022 - was "Woman, Church and Synodality: listening and caring for reality," and the secretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, gave the concluding lecture entitled: The Virgin Mary, Icon of the contribution of women to synodality in the Church.
In front of the participants from different parts of America and the world, Fr. Awi Mello wanted to reflect on the fact that "Talking about Mary" at the end of the Seminar should not seem "out of place," since the speakers of the previous sessions had already identified the challenges and the way to address them. "However," said Awi Mello, "I would argue that, on the contrary, looking at Mary at the end of this journey is absolutely necessary for a number of reasons. First, because God wanted a woman to essentially participate in salvation history, a history that is happening today. ...Second, because Mary is a caring mother, concerned about the lives of God's people and each of his children, interceding here and now so that the challenges identified in this seminar can be met and can become a reality in the life of the Church and humanity. And third, because Mary is an icon for the Church and for every Christian, especially for women. She is the image, the mirror to which we must look when we put into practice all that we are reflecting on. She is the model of the virtues that we must embody in order to fully live the synodal journey as Church."
"The Marian theme is not, therefore," the Secretary continued, "just 'the icing on the cake' or 'a nice appendix' or even a 'pious meditation' at the end, to make everything 'sound good' and appear ecclesial and Catholic, but a necessity for the realization of the synodal path itself, an intrinsic part of the process.
The Latin American Academy of Catholic Leaders is a foundation established in Chile whose mission is to form leaders from a Catholic perspective, rooted in the faith of the Church, to transform the social, political and economic world in light of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Its goal is to form a new generation of Latin American Catholics with political and social responsibilities to transform the face of the continent at the service of its peoples, in light of the Magisterium of the Church.