Questioned by the German Catholic media Domradio on Wednesday July 26, the future prior of the ecumenical community of Taizé said he was open to the possible admission of women in the future. “Here in Taizé, we must keep our hearts open to this question and be attentive. It’s not up to us, it’s up to the people asking the question,” said Brother Matthew, an Anglican friar recently chosen by the current prior, Brother Alois, to succeed him next December.
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Nuns have already been present in Taizé for fifty years: the Sisters of Saint-André. A community of these Ignatian nuns, whose mother house is in Belgium, settled in the neighboring village, in Ameugny, where they “share and support the pastoral care of the brothers of Taizé with young people since 19666”.
They provide spiritual accompaniment to the young women who take part in meetings at Taizé or who stay there as volunteers, but are independent of the community founded by Brother Roger Schutz. Sisters from other communities are also in Taizé to help with accompaniment and the first aid post.
“The question is sometimes asked by some young women”
“Without the sisters, it would not be possible to experience what we are experiencing in Taizé,” emphasizes Brother Matthew, interviewed by La Croix. “These collaborations are going very well and we would like them to continue”. In his interview with the German Catholic site, the future prior even explains that “the fact that they are not Taizé sisters gives them a certain independence” and “allows special cooperation”.
“We are very grateful for the presence and support of these communities and we do not envisage any change in the future on our side”, he insists to La Croix. “But it is true that the question is sometimes asked by some young women: will there be Taizé sisters in the future? »
The example of Bose in Italy
Meeting members of another community that was initially purely male and today mixed would have greatly impressed him. Last year, he was able to talk at Taizé with the current prior of the Italian community of Bosé, founded by Father Enzo Bianchi in Piedmont, and the head of the sisters of this community.
“A young woman had come to ask the brothers if she could become a sister. They understood that with this person anything was possible and that’s how their female branch began,” he says. “This example struck me, it seems to me that it is a beautiful sign of what we want to live: to be attentive to the people we meet and to listen to the Spirit. »
Women’s ordination: “What does the Spirit say about this? »
On the question of the ordination of women priests, posed by Domradio, Brother Matthew recalled that this decision was up to each individual Church. He admits that when his own, the Anglican Church, decided to do so, he was at first “skeptical”. But it was at his grandmother’s funeral that he first met a female priest. “I experienced this as something very beautiful and I thought: ‘Yes, the Holy Spirit is here!’ “, he acknowledges. “The Catholic Church must answer for itself the question: ‘What does the Spirit say about this?'”
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Founded in 1944 by Roger Schutz, the ecumenical monastic community of Taizé today numbers around a hundred brothers, Catholics and of various Protestant origins, of thirty nationalities: around 75 in Taizé and 25 in the seven fraternities throughout the world (Asia, Africa and Latin America).