Synods, seen by Pope Francis and many to be inclusive, have the possibility of becoming exclusive.
The signs of hope that Synods hold for women and those within the Church who want to see change may deliver the opposite.
The warning comes from involved and committed Catholic women in a conversation on Flashes of Insight.
Saying that synodal discernment is not easy nor fast, leaves the question open to how much time and effort people will have to give to a process that perhaps seems to be better suited for church professionals.
The women warn the noninvolvement of people may have the inverse effect of opening up the Church, implying it may return the Church walled garden albeit built by a minority view.
Through groups, she is associated with in Australia, Auckland theologian and lecturer Jo Ayers is watching the Australian Plenary (synod) develop.
From her involvement with these groups, she questions how inclusive the process is and suggests that excluding people from the conversation will have the significant potential to further alienate, perhaps the majority of Catholics.
“There is a lot of discussion and struggle about the agenda for the (Australian) Plenary and who will be the members who make the decisions”.
All four women on Flashes of Insight are hopeful and want to see change.