In first, Pope Francis names three ladies to Dicastery for Bishops

On this handout image launched on November 5, 2021 by Vatican Media exhibits Pope Francis (R) greets Franciscan sister Raffaella Petrini, which have been appointed on November 4, 2021 as new secretary basic of the governorate, making her the primary lady to ever maintain the publish. AFP

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis named two nuns and a laywoman to the Vatican division that helps select new bishops, the Holy See mentioned Wednesday, the primary time ladies have been allowed to serve on the physique.

The appointment of the three ladies to the Dicastery for Bishops — nuns Raffaella Petrini and Yvonne Reungoat and lay lady Maria Lia Zervino — comes as Francis seeks to usher in additional gender equality inside the Church’s positions of presidency and accountability.

The 85-year-old pope has repeatedly mentioned that ladies ought to play better roles inside the Vatican’s hierarchy and has damaged centuries of precedent to position ladies in some key spots beforehand held by males.

Final yr, he issued a decree to permit ladies to function readers at liturgies, altar servers and distributors of communion — however stopped in need of saying the change may in the future open the door to feminine monks.

The Roman Curia’s new structure that got here into impact final month — Francis’ years-long effort to restructure the Vatican’s highly effective governing physique — permits feminine Catholics to go up Vatican departments.

Petrini, a Franciscan nun from Italy, has since November served because the secretary basic of the governorate of the Vatican, the primary ladies to ever maintain the publish.

Reungoat, who’s French, is the Mom Basic Emeritus of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Assist of Christians, a missionary congregation.

In one other first, in 2019, Francis appointed Reungoat and one other six ladies to the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, which is accountable for non secular orders and congregations of each sexes.

Members had beforehand included solely males — cardinals, bishops and monks.

Laywoman Zervino from Argentina is the president of the World Union of Catholic Ladies’s Organizations.

Members of the Dicastery for Bishops weigh in on potential candidates for bishops and supply suggestions for the pope.

In a press release, the Ladies’s Ordination Convention (WOC) mentioned it welcomed Francis’ transfer, whereas cautioning that appointing extra ladies to Vatican posts “can’t alone deal with the injustices ladies face within the church”, citing “a tradition of clericalism and sexism”.

“We additionally word the deep irony that ladies might now help in deciding on bishops, a task they themselves are prohibited from holding on account of their gender,” wrote the WOC, which advocates for the ordaining of girls as deacons, monks and bishops.


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