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Catholics in India welcome pope’s decision to allow religious brothers to head communities

“Put simply, it overcomes discrimination in religious life and serves as a great equalizer,” said a Jesuit theologian in Delhi

Catholics in India, both lay and religious, welcomed Pope Francis’ decision to allow religious brothers to lead their religious communities.

“It is not a small technical or legal change but a profound shift with enormous theological and spiritual implications,” said Jesuit Father Stanislaus Alla, a Delhi-based theologian.

He said the pope’s move “distinguishes the power of ordination and the ability to lead and govern and recognizes them as different spiritual gifts.”

“Put simply, it overcomes discrimination in religious life and serves as a great equalizer,” said Father Alla who teaches in Delhi’s Vidyajyoti College of Theology.

Capuchin Father Suresh Mathew said the announcement is “a much awaited reform” and “a sign of equality and true fraternity.”

Father Mathew’s congregation has both priests and brothers and the new change gives lay brothers “equal responsibility in religious congregations.”

“It will also put an end to clerical domination,” he said, adding that fraternity now “will go beyond words to action.”

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“Synodality speaks of walking together. Until now, brothers have been left behind,” said Father Mathew.

Read full story on Matters India

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