Feminists Around The World Jubilate As Pope Francis Give Women A Say In Appointment Of Bishop

Feminists all around the world are jubilating as Pope Francis announced that he has given women around the world a say in the appointment of Bishop.
Pope Francis has said he intends to offer more women senior roles in the Vatican and that he will designate women for the first time to a formerly all-male Vatican committee that assists him in choosing the world’s bishops.

In an interview with Reuters that was released on Wednesday, July 6, the 85-year-old pontiff spoke about a variety of subjects, including the position of women in the Vatican.

The Pope’s remarks follow the implementation of a new charter for the central government of the Holy See last month, which permits any baptized Catholic, including laymen and women, to lead the majority of Vatican departments.

“I am open to giving (women) an opportunity,” he said in the part of the 90-minute interview that discussed the new constitution for the central administration, known as the Curia.

He mentioned that last year, for the first time, he named a woman to the number two position in the governorship of Vatican City, making Sister Raffaella Petrini the highest-ranking woman in the world’s smallest country.

“Two women will be appointed for the first time in the committee to elect bishops in the Congregation for Bishops,” he said.

The move is highly significant because women will for the first time have a say in the appointment of the world’s bishops, who are all men.

“This way, things are opening up a bit,” he said.

Francis did not name the women or say when their appointment would be announced officially.

Members of the committee, which is now made up cardinals, bishops and priests, usually meet twice a month in Rome.

Asked which other Vatican department can be headed by a lay man or woman, Francis suggested that they could include the department for Catholic Education and Culture and the Apostolic Library which are currently headed by male clerics.

Francis has already named a number of women, both nuns and lay women, to Vatican departments.

In addition, Francis has named Nathalie Becquart, a French member of the Xaviere Missionary Sisters, as co-undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, which prepares major meetings of world bishops held every few years.

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