The Irish bishops are finishing their first Ad Limina visit to Rome in 10 years, and one topic was mentioned in every meeting they had with Vatican departments: the role of women in the Church, reports the Catholic News Agency.
“I would say I don't think there was any congregation that we didn't mention it,” Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick told CNA.
He called the attention being given to women and their role “one of the signs of the times”.
The Holy Spirit “is saying something,” Bishop Leahy said, adding that what exactly the Holy Spirit wants is “the big question for us all", but one area that keeps coming up is engaging women more in decision-making processes.
Bishop Leahy is one of the many Irish prelates who gathered in Rome last week for their Ad Limina visit, which typically serves as a time of rest and prayer for bishops during which they meet the Pope and have the opportunity to visit each of the Vatican departments.
He was one of four bishops who spoke to journalists after their January 20 meeting with Pope Francis, which lasted just over two hours and covered a wide range of topics.
Other prelates who spoke were Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh in Northern Ireland and president of the Irish Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin.
Bishop Leahy noted that “women are so much at the heart of the Church in Ireland, they are very, very involved in the Church.”