Meet the Trailblazing Nun Appointed by Pope Francis to the Synod of Bishops

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Currents News Staff

Sister María Luisa Berzosa is known as a trailblazing religious woman who participated in both the Synod dedicated to young people and the one dedicated to the Amazon. 

She made headlines in May of 2019 when Pope Francis appointed her one of four women consultors to the Synod of Bishops. 

“During the Synod on youth, the Pope modified the rules and used his authority to allow superiors general to vote, whether priests or not,” Sister Maria said. “That’s when it no longer made any difference to the superiors general whether I was a woman or a man, and that led us to ask ourselves: why make this distinction?”

The Spanish nun took her vows in 1965 and has dedicated her life to educating the poor and underprivileged in Spain, Argentina, and Italy. She’s also a vocal advocate for the role of women in the Church.

Sister Maria says reviving the spirit of the Second Vatican Council is one of the main focuses of Pope Francis’ pontificate.  

“I’ve been hurt by the Church, but I never wanted to leave. I always wanted to stay,” Sister Maria said. “I mean, this is it: this is the Church of Jesus. Jesus and the Church are one and the same to me, not separate. The Church leads me to Jesus, and Jesus leads me back to His Church.”

Sister Maria says the Church must search for creative ways to address the challenges of our time. But above all, the Church must listen and give a voice to all people. 

“I offer spiritual guidance, give spiritual exercises, I listen to people and accompany them in formation,” she said. “I’m an educator, even if this is not a school. In our groups I emphasize how our’s must be a synodal and participatory Church.”