By Felipe Salvosa II | CBCP News
October 22, 2023

Pope Francis greets Dr. Estela Padilla, Filipina theologian, inside Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, where the delegates gathered for the Synod on Synodality on October 7, 2023. CICM BUKAL NG TIPAN

VATICAN— Asians tend to shun conflict and prefer harmonious relations, to the extent of papering over differences in an effort to save faces. But the continent’s report to the ongoing “Synod on Synodality” gave an honest take on what’s happening in the Church from the Asian perspective.

For Filipina theologian Estela Padilla, one of 54 women allowed to vote for the first time in the assembly convened by Pope Francis to spark changes in the Church, being honest was a “liberating” experience.

“One priest asked me why is our report so full of negative things happening in the church. Where is the good news there? I told him, the good news was the honesty in facing all the woundedness of our world and our failure of witnessing to the Good News in the midst of poverty, violence brought by terrorism and political oppression, etc., and these, adding to the pain of clericalism and hierarchical leadership,” she said during the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Oct. 18.