VATICAN CITY, OCT. 29 -- A worldwide synod of Roman Catholic bishops condemned discrimination against women today but rejected U.S. bishops' recommendations for opening all nonordained ministries in the church to women.

In recommendations to be presented to Pope John Paul II and in a separate message addressed to the world, the bishops spoke in mostly general terms of the role of women in the church.

The prelates also said Catholic politicians should uphold church policy and fight for social justice, human rights and religious freedom.

American bishops said their specific proposals on women, included in an early draft, had been cut out of the final document. But they said they were satisfied that the principle of their suggestions was upheld.

"When you have to say something which will pull from every culture, it has to be couched in terms that are very general," Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee said at a news conference.

About 220 bishops from around the world took part in the month-long synod, an advisory body convened by the pontiff to examine the role of lay Catholics in church and society. The assembly ends Friday with a mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

Bishops from the United States and other countries told the synod that the church should take specific steps to give women a greater role.

Archbishop John May of St. Louis, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, said last week that there was a "strong consensus" at the synod that all nonordained ministries be open to women. These ministries include acolytes, lectors and altar servers. Although women are not permitted to serve in these positions under church law, they do so informally in the United States and some other countries.

The recommendations were included in a first draft document prepared last week, but they were eliminated from a second draft this week and did not appear in the final report approved today.

The final recommendations said women should have greater participation in church decision-making, including preparation of pastoral documents. They also include Weakland's suggestion that the church ensure that the language of its texts and documents do not discriminate against women.

"We condemn the discrimination {against women} which proceeds from sin and still continues to our day in many countries," the bishops said in their public message. "We rejoice in the progress and advances which have been made in recognition of the legitimate rights that enable women to fulfill their mission in the church and in the world."