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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A large group of devout Catholic women are petitioning for orthodoxy against non-bishop voters at the upcoming Synod of Bishops in Rome.
The statement titled "Declaration of Catholic Women to Bishops on the 'Synod on Synodality,'" published Sept. 30, was signed by over 600 women — including theologian Janet Smith, Sr. Deirdre Byrne and Fox News' Rachel Campos-Duffy.
The letter declares, "As Catholic women who practice the Faith and believe all that Holy Mother Church teaches, we wish to be represented only by bishops, to whom Christ entrusted the governance and leadership of His Church, and only insofar as they believe and profess the Church's faith."
It continues, "We and our families, and indeed all Catholic laity, have a right to orthodox doctrine and faithful preaching from the pastors of the Church (CIC, can 229 §1)."
Dr. Janet Smith told Church Militant, "The Holy Father keeps saying that he wants to hear from women, thus I think the importance of a statement like this is that, 'OK, does our view count too?' He's very happy to hear from women on the Left, but is he willing to hear from more traditional women?"
Smith, a retired moral theologian, hoped the letter would help those women who are still in the dark about what is going on presently in the Church:
There's a lot of people who aren't aware. They're going to Mass on Sunday. They're not following Catholic media. They aren't tuned in, you might say, to what's going on. But when you get a number of women who sign a very sophisticated statement, then I hope other women who haven't been in those circles will start to take a look at them and say, "Wait a second. If all these mothers are not happy with the direction of the Church in certain respects, then maybe I need to be wary about what it is that I accept coming out of the Vatican at this point in history."
The group warned of the potential danger of the October Synod on Synodality, beginning this week in Rome. It maintains the synod poses a danger to the dignity and role of women in the Church.
It also warns about the leftist ideology of the women chosen to vote at the synod: "Suggestions have even been made that the 'structures' of the Church be 'reformed' so that women might participate in 'governance' and that 'women's inclusion in the diaconate' be considered."
"Female participants whom Pope Francis has appointed," it notes, "have advocated heretical doctrines and espouse views contrary to the Catholic faith."
This can clearly be observed in the case of Julia Oseka — a 22-year-old student at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Oseka is one of 10 non-bishops from the United States and Canada who will not only attend but also vote at the synod. In at least one interview, Oseka has said that she believes women and so-called LGBT people should have greater roles in the Church.
Janet Smith calls into question the idea of a college student voting at the synod: "How many of us, 10 years after we're out of college, still have the same views we have in college? We're in formation."
She continued, "And to think that an individual of that age should have any influence on long-standing teaching of the Church — certainly you can consult them to know what they think, and that often helps us know how to respond to them — but to make them a voting member is preposterous."
Another voting member from the United States is Cynthia Bailey Manns, the director of adult faith formation at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Saint Joan of Arc is long known for its liturgical abuses and pro-gay activism. The Oct. 1 parish bulletin boasts of an "LGBTQ+ Book Club" and a screening of the pro-gay film Wonderfully Made: LGBTQ+R(eligion).
Manns proclaimed to pro-gay America Magazine, "I'm an African American woman in a space that is doing the kind of work that ... Christ is calling us to do ... to reach out, through the profound love of God, to our neighbor, without distinction."
Quoting poetry to honor the power of motherhood, Smith proclaimed, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." Smith proclaimed the power women have to shape the world as mothers is much greater than any they could receive in Church governance.
She noted that women rightly already have power to govern in the Church: "I think it's good to hear from women. I think women have a unique perspective, but women have a lot of ways of making their views known besides holding an official office in the Church."
The women's declaration also criticized the synod's preparatory documents, maintaining it does more harm than the good that is being advocated for. "In the preparatory documents themselves, poisonous error is insinuated to the effect that unrepentant notorious public sinners should be 'welcomed' into the Church without repentance as a precondition of sacramental Communion," the group noted.
"Such a 'welcome' would only ensure more terrible torments for these individuals in the world to come, as anyone who professed the Catholic faith would know."
The document claimed that there were more pressing issues for the Church to rally around instead of the LGBT and women's governance issues.
"In recent times the moral authority of the Catholic Church appears to have been co-opted by the spirit of the world, and her voice silenced on matters that threaten the lives and eternal salvation especially of the young."
The letter cites the damage being done to children by gender ideologies, experimental gene therapy drugs and procedures. "Many of those entrusted with the preservation and propagation of the Deposit of Faith are more preoccupied with 'nonjudgmental' acceptance of those who indulge in and promote these practices than with protecting the innocent from the predators who seek to corrupt and destroy."
The group ended the letter by demanding prelates answer seven different questions in order to prove their fidelity to the Deposit of Faith. All women wishing to sign the petition for orthodoxy can do so at Restore Tradition's website.