Pope Francis to appoint first women to bishop selection committee

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Topline

Pope Francis said he plans to appoint the first women in history to a Vatican committee that helps select bishops, in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, a month after changing the constitution of the Vatican Curia to allow all baptized Catholics, male or female, to lead certain departments of the high church.

Highlights

Pope Francis says two women will be “appointed for the first time to the committee responsible for electing bishops to the Congregation for Bishops,” helping him select all-male bishops around the world, though did not name any specific candidates.

The Pope said last year that he had appointed Sister Raffaella Petrini to no. 2nd position in the office of Governor of Vatican City.

Francis suggested that lay women or men could lead the Department of Catholic Education and Culture and the Apostolic Library, which are currently run by clergy.

crucial quote

“I am open to giving [women] an opportunity,” the holy leader said. “That way, things open up a bit.

Key context

In March, Pope Francis presented a new constitution for the Vatican which reformed the administrative part of the Vatican, known as the Curia. The new document replaced a constitution put in place by Pope John Paul II in 1988. Francis’ new doctrine, “Praedicate Evangelium,” or “Preach the Gospel,” was released nine years after he became pope and entered into force. in May. In addition to allowing lay Catholics, not just cardinals or other clergy, to hold key positions, the reforms reduced the number of departments in the curia.

Tangent

Pope Francis has denied rumors that he plans to step down soon, as discussions have swirled for months over his health and travel plans. In the same interview with Reuters, the pope’s stance against abortion remained stable, despite his desire to include more women in Vatican leadership, and compared the procedure to “hiring a hitman “.

Further reading

Pope announces plans to expand role of women in Vatican (Washington Post)

Exclusive: The Pope will give women a say in the appointment of bishops (Reuters)

EXCLUSIVE Pope Francis denies plans to step down anytime soon (Reuters)

Vatican Curia reform document enshrines diversity goals long sought by Pope Francis (Religion News Service)

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