Speaking at a conference in Rome this week on women's role in conflict resolution, Cardinal Peter Turkson told participants that the next Secretary of the pontifical council that he heads could be a woman, reports The Tablet.
Jewish, Muslim, and Christian women scholars spoke at the conference, held this week,on the theme “Women’s Leadership in Conflict Resolution: Faith Perspectives” at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).
Donna Orsuto, a professor of spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University, spoke of the leadership of Christian women in conflict resolution through “hidden” grassroots efforts.
She gave the examples of a Ugandan religious sister who negotiated with the Lord’s Resistance Army, of Liberian women who reintegrated an ostracised a group of child soldiers into their community, and of former Irish president Mary McAleese, whose “domestic diplomacy” prepared the road for the Belfast Agreement.
Professor Orsuto said Christian women’s efforts towards peace are generally characterised by fellowship, patient listening, courage, prayer, and the Christian obligation to cultivate peace.
Irene Kajon, a Jewish philosophy professor at La Sapienza University, offered an exegesis of the Bible’s two creation narratives and Exodus 14, which she said demonstrate that women “have the privilege of confiding more strongly in God’s word, have greater faith and are more ready to act in new and original ways than men.”