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Role of women in church further explored

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Pope Francis invited women to participate in the Council of Cardinals to reflect on the role of women in the church from the 15-16 April.

“The church’s teaching is that women cannot be ordained, and Pope Francis has also explicitly stated that he does not want to change this teaching. However, at the same time, many members of the ecclesial community are strongly advocating for this issue to be reflected on,” said Linda Pocher Professor of Theology at Pontifical Auxilium Faculty and attendee at the Council of Cardinals.

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“If we believe God speaks through history and not only through tradition but also through the present moment, I think it is important to listen to these requests with an open mind.”

“Pope Francis is showing that he wants to listen, but without pressure to quickly make decisions and change the church’s tradition.”

Linda explained that Pope Francis is studying what specific roles women could have within the Christian community.

In 2021 the pope acknowledged that women had access to the lay ministries of lector, something that was already in place in many parts of the world.

“The Second Vatican Council rediscovered the fact that ministry is a dimension that belongs to the church and therefore, in a way, belongs to all believers,” explained Linda.

She continued to point out that the Second Vatican Council brought to light the matter of the diaconate which had been asked in the early christian communities.

The matter was also addressed at the last Synod assembly. Now, it has been introduced in the Council of Cardinals, which is the body that advises the pope on the governance of the church.

Three meetings have already been dedicated to the topic of women and the next one will be held in June.

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