The Synod & LGBTQ+ People: Towards October 2024

January 30, 2024

The Synod on Synodality concludes in October 2024 with a second global assembly. Between now and then, the Vatican has asked Catholics to both deepen and broaden their engagement with the synodal process. To help LGBTQ+ people and allies respond to this invitation, New Ways Ministry is hosting a panel featuring two Synod delegates, Dr. Cynthia Bailey Manns and Julia Osęka.

Dr. Bailey Manns and Ms. Osęka will offer insights about how issues of gender and sexuality have been addressed in the Synod so far, and how LGBTQ+ people and allies can continue engaging the Synod in the lead up to this October. See below for the panelists’ bios. Their remarks will be followed by a question and answer period. You are welcome to submit questions in advance via the registration page.

Dr. Cynthia Bailey Manns, DMin., is one of five U.S. laypeople who made history by participating as voting members at the Synod on Synodality’s global assembly in October 2023. She represented the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis at the North American Continental Stage meetings, and, at the archbishop’s request, worked with the World Council of Churches and Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity to draft materials for the 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Dr. Bailey Manns is Adult Learning Director at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community, Minneapolis—a community whose vision is to be a visible, progressive Catholic Community, compassionate and welcoming to all, including a long-standing commitment to LGBTQ+ministry. She holds a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Florida. She currently serves as Adjunct Faculty at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and previously served as Professional Faculty in St. Catherine University’s Theology Department.

Julia Osęka participated in the first General Assembly of the Synod on Synodality in October 2023 as one of the non-bishop, voting delegates from North America. She is a junior at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, studying physics and theology. Originally from Poland, Julia combined her experiences of service and participation in the Polish and U.S. churches in her role as a student leader in SCHEAP (Synodality in Catholic Higher Education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia). After co-organizing and facilitating listening sessions between college students, faculty, staff, and clergy, Julia was asked to represent her diocese at North America’s Continental Stage meetings. Outside of her synodal involvements, Julia serves as a head sacristan and a peer minister for liturgy and music at her university.

This webinar is part of New Ways Ministry’s “From the Margins to the Center: An Educational Series for LGBTQ+ Catholics & Allies about Engaging the Synod on Synodality.” For past presentations and more resources, click here.

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