Pope Francis allows women on committee to advise appointment of bishops

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Pope Francis intends to appoint women to the Dicastery for Bishops – the institutional body that recommends priests and bishops for promotion within the Catholic Church.

Although Pope Francis has been clear that women cannot and never will serve in the clergy due to the theology of the Church, he has taken several important steps to bring women’s perspectives to the Vatican.

The Bishops’ Dicastery, also known as the Congregation for Bishops, is the pope’s immediate advisory board for evaluating the performance of the clergy. The dicastery offers reports and evaluations to future bishops before entrusting the final decision to the pope.

“Two women will be appointed for the first time to the committee responsible for electing bishops to the Congregation for Bishops,” Pope Francis said. told Reuters in a July 2 interview.

UN “HAS NO POWER”, SAYS POPE FRANCIS

Pope Francis joins participants in prayer during the opening of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region on October 7, 2019 at the Vatican. (Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images)

“I am open to giving an opportunity (to women),” the holy father said at one point. “That way, things open up a bit. »

The move had been expected for some time – Francis has already appointed a woman to several non-clerical positions within the Vatican. Last year, the pontiff approved Sr. Nathalie Becquat, nun Xaviere, as under-secretary of the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

However, the pope has not shied away from female priests, sometimes directly opposing activists who push for the consecration of women.

According to Catholic doctrine, priests and bishops are supposed to act in the name of Jesus, who is a man. They are believed to be the successors of the original twelve apostles, all of whom were appointed by Jesus and were also male.

In 2019, Pope Francis addressed the International Union of Women Superiors General saying, “We walk a solid and just path, the path of revelation, we cannot take a different path. […] that alters revelation and dogmatic expressions.”

The pope concluded abruptly by saying: “We are Catholics, but if any of you want to found another church, you are free to go there”

Sister Nathalie Becquart, member of the Congregation of the Xavieres, at the headquarters of the International Union of Superiors General in Rome on February 10, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

Sister Nathalie Becquart, member of the Congregation of the Xavieres, at the headquarters of the International Union of Superiors General in Rome on February 10, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Bishop of Rome, after months of ill health and relative passivity, has repeatedly made headlines in recent weeks via interviews and public appearances with seemingly renewed vigour.

Pope Francis has criticized the “ideological exploitation” of the Catholic Church in an interview with the press authority of his native country.

Pope Francis made the comment Friday to Argentina’s national news agency, Telam, in an interview. Questions and discussion were conducted in Pope Francis’ native language, Spanish.

The pope drew a distinction between the closeness of the South American Church to the people and the political corruption of the Church.

“It was changed when people couldn’t speak out, and it ended up being a church of track leaders, with pastoral workers in charge,” the pope clarified. “People began to speak out more and more about their religion, and they ended up becoming the protagonists of their own story.”

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