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Lay women speaking out on behalf of others in Asian synodal assembly

Women speak on the sidelines of the Asian Continental Assembly on Synodality, assuring their peers that, ‘In the synodal process, we are with you and our voices should be heard.’

Twelve women are participating in the Asian Continental Assembly on Synodality. In addition to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences who are members of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), each Episcopal Conference is represented by two delegates. These women have been chosen as delegates to represent their countries.

In a video interview with Vatican News, each of these women expressed the particular message or people they are representing, and whose voices they wish to be heard in the Assembly.

Rita Roseline Costa represents Bangladesh. Her message is for other women who live in Bangladesh. “I want to say that in the synodal process, we are with you. And our voices should be heard. Please consider our voices and we are not excluded.” Rita concluded, saying, “Together, we can make differences in the world.”

Joy Candelario represents the Philippines. “I bring with me all the lay people who are involved actively in evangelization.” She also brings, “all those voices that we have heard in the synodal process from the parishes, dioceses, and regions in the Philippines – a lot of voices that were disturbing, that were touching us, voices that are wounded in many ways and have not been heard fully in the Church.” Joy’s hope is that all of these people might one day participate, that “they will have a space that they can belong to us because they are Church too.”

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