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Pope Francis greets Congolese Sr Josée Ngalula, one of five women theologians on the International Theological Commission (CNS/Vatican Media)

Asking pardon for speaking plainly, Pope Francis told members of the International Theological Commission that “one of the great sins we have had is ‘masculinising’ the Church”, which also can be seen by the fact that only five of the commission members are women. Source: CNS.

The Pope, who appoints the 28 members of the commission, said the Church needs to make more progress in balancing such bodies because “women have a capacity for theological reflection that is different from what we men have”.

Francis met members of the commission at the Vatican yesterday. He handed them a prepared text, which he described as a “beautiful speech with theological things,” but said that because of his ongoing respiratory problems due to bronchitis, “it’s better that I don’t read it”.

The Pope said that perhaps his conviction about the importance of women theologians comes from the fact that “I’ve studied a lot the theology of a woman,” Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, and her work on Fr Romano Guardini, a German priest, philosopher and theologian, who died in 1968.

Francis told members of the commission that at the next meeting of his international Council of Cardinals, “we will have a reflection on the feminine dimension of the Church.”

Providing no other details, he repeated what he has said in the past: “The Church is woman. And if we do not understand who women are, what the theology of a woman is, we will never understand what the Church is.”

Francis said having more women on the commission would help, but the theologians also need to dedicate more energy to studying the issue and to “de-masculinising” the Church.


Pope asks theologians to help ‘de-masculinise’ the Church (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via USCCB)