Pope Francis Exhortation is an invitation to the laity to speak out and for our bishops to engage . The exhortation makes clear that he understands the importance of women's participation in decision-making for the cultural transition our Church must make.

 

.Women's participation in decision-making is a structural issue as important to the future of our Church and the issue of world peace and reduction of poverty, as collegiality and synodal reform.

 

.The frustrations that we have experIenced getting laity involved in the Synod do not reflect the spirit of the Exhortation.

 

. It is time for us all to speak out frankly and fearlessly to the world so Pope Francis hears.

 

. We have to break the silence between the Vatican and the laity.

 

. We are making a difference.

 

Marilyn Hatton