Vatican prepares document on women in leadership of the Catholic Church

The Vatican announced that it will prepare a document on women in leadership roles in the Catholic Church, an initiative to respond to long-standing female demands.

The document will be written by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, an organ of the Holy See, as a contribution to Pope Francis’ Church reform process, which is now entering the second phase with the synod of bishops, from October 2nd to 27th.

The Vatican indicated that it was preparing the doctrinal document, shortly after a press conference on the preparatory work for the October meeting, without providing details.

Pope Francis called the synod more than three years ago, as part of work to make the Church a more welcoming place for marginalized groups and where ordinary people can have a greater voice.

Catholic women do a large part of the Church’s work in schools and hospitals and tend to take the lead in passing on the faith to future generations. However, they have long complained about a second-class status in an institution that reserves the priesthood for men.

Francis has already reaffirmed the ban on women being ordained, but he has appointed several women to high-level positions at the Vatican and encouraged debate about other ways to make women’s voices heard.

This includes the synodal process, in which women have the right to vote on specific proposals, a right previously only granted to men.

During his 11-year pontificate, the pope responded to demands for ministerial roles for women by appointing two commissions to study the possibility of women having access to the diaconate.

Deacons are ordained ministers, but they are not priests, although they can perform many of the functions of priests: presiding over weddings, baptisms and funerals, and preaching. They cannot, however, celebrate mass.

The results of the two commissions were never released and, in a recent interview with the North American CBS program “60 Minutes”, Francisco responded negatively when asked if women could one day be ordained deacons.

The North American organization Women’s Ordination Conference, which defends the ordination of women as priests, said that relegating the issue of women’s access to the diaconate for the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith is not a sign of a Church that seeks to involve women more.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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