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Pope Francis with his Council of Cardinals (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals have continued their discussions about the role of women in the Church, listening to women experts and discussing the possibilities according to canon law. Source: OSV News.

This is the fourth time the Pope and his nine-member Council of Cardinals have invited women to make presentations at their meetings. Women experts, including an Anglican bishop, attended the December, February and April meetings.

The council met on June 17-18 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Pope’s residence, the Vatican press office said.

Salesian Sister Linda Pocher, a professor of Christology and Mariology at Rome’s Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium, introduced the speakers on the first day, which was dedicated to the women’s talks and the group’s reflections.

Donata Horak, a professor of canon law in Italy, reflected on canon law by making several contrasts, “such as justice and mercy, consultative power and deliberative power, hierarchical principle and ecclesiology of communion, democratisation and the monarchical model.”

Council member Cardinal Oswald Gracias told Vatican News that he agreed with the importance of increasing the role of women in the Church.

“I come from India and in some areas women have little importance, they are ‘second class,’ and for this reason the Church is working” to give them “the right position in the family, in society, in politics,” he said.

In the Church’s Code of Canon Law, “there are many possibilities” for women’s leadership in the Church, he said. Experience has shown him “many times” that women were able to address issues with “a point of view that men had not considered. And I have great hope that this will be developed”.

The Vatican press office said the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the work of the bishops’ conferences were discussed on the second day. 


Pope, cardinals continue discussion of women in the Church (By Carol Glatz, CNS via OSV News)