‘Two women will be appointed for the first time in the committee to elect bishops in the Congregation for Bishops.’
Pope Francis said he wants to give women more top-level positions in the Holy See and disclosed that for the first time he would name women to a previously all-male Vatican committee that helps him select the world’s bishops.
The role of women in the Vatican hierarchy was one of the many Church and international topics the 85-year-old pontiff discussed in an exclusive interview with Reuters in his Vatican residence on July 2.
A new constitution for the Holy See’s central administration that came into effect last month allows any baptized Catholic, including lay men and women, to head most Vatican departments.
“I am open to giving (women) an opportunity,” he said in the part of the 90-minute interview that discussed the new constitution for the central administration, known as the Curia.
He mentioned that last year, for the first time, he named a woman to the number two position in the governorship of Vatican City, making Sister Raffaella Petrini the highest-ranking woman in the world’s smallest state.
“Two women will be appointed for the first time in the committee to elect bishops in the Congregation for Bishops,” he said.
The move, which has not been officially announced, is highly significant because women will for the first time have a say in the appointment of the world’s bishops, who are all men.
“This way, things are opening up a bit,” he said.