Cardinal Piacenza on Women Priests, Celibacy and the Power of Rome (part one)

Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy Speaks on Service and Unity

By Antonio Gaspari

ROME, SEPT. 18, 2011
(Part two will be published tomorrow morning)

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, rarely intervenes in public debates. He is known, rather, for his quiet and untiring work and his insightful observations on contemporary culture.

The 67-year-old Italian will next month complete his first year as head of the Vatican’s clergy congregation.

He spoke with ZENIT about what power in the Church really is and what women could be doing to offer their feminine genius to Church leadership.

Part 2 of this interview, on celibacy and increasing vocations to the priesthood, will be published Monday.

ZENIT: Your Eminence, over the past decades, with surprising regularity, the same set of ecclesial questions resurface in public debate like clockwork. How can we explain this?

Cardinal Piacenza: There have always been in the history of the Church “centrifugal movements,” attempts to “normalize” the extraordinary Event of Christ and of his Living Body in history, the Church. A “normalized Church” would lose all of its prophetic force; she would no longer say anything to man and to the world and, in fact, she would betray her Lord. The major difference in the contemporary age is media-related and, at the same time, doctrinal.

Doctrinally, there is an effort to justify sin, not entrusting oneself to mercy, but trusting in a dangerous autonomy that has the odor of practical atheism. With regard to the media, in recent decades, the physiological “centrifugal forces” receive attention and inappropriate amplification from the media, which in a certain way, lives on conflict.

ZENIT: Is women’s ordination to be understood as a doctrinal question?

Cardinal Piacenza: Certainly, and — as everyone knows — the question was clearly confronted by both Paul VI and Blessed John Paul II and, the latter, with the Apostolic Letter “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” of 1994 definitively closed the question. Indeed there it is stated: “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.” Some, grasping at straws, have spoken since then of a “relative definitiveness” of the doctrine, but frankly, the thesis is so odd as to lack any foundation.

ZENIT: So, is there no place for women in the Church?

Cardinal Piacenza: On the contrary, women have a most important place in the ecclesial Body and they could have one that is even more evident. The Church is founded by Christ and we human beings cannot decide on its form; therefore the hierarchical constitution is linked to the ministerial priesthood, which is reserved to men. But there is absolutely nothing to prevent the valuing of the feminine genius is roles that are not linked with the exercise of Holy Orders. Who would stop, for example, a great woman economist from being head of the administration of the Holy See? Who would prevent a competent woman journalist from being the spokesman of the Vatican press office? The examples could be multiplied for all the offices that are not connected with Holy Orders. There are tasks in which the feminine genius could make a specific contribution!

It is another thing to think of service as power and try, as the world does, to meet the quota for this power. I maintain, furthermore, that the devaluation of the great mystery of maternity, which has been the modus operandi of the dominant culture, has a related role in the general disorientation of women. The ideology of profit has stooped to the instrumentalization of women, not recognizing the greatest contribution that — incontrovertibly — they can make to society and to the world.

Also, the Church is not a political government in which it is right to demand adequate representation. The Church is something quite different; the Church is the Body of Christ and, in her, each one is a part according to what Christ established. Moreover, in the Church it is not a question of masculine and feminine roles but rather of roles that by divine will do or do not entail ordination. Whatever a layman can do, so can a laywoman. What is important is having the specific and proper formation, then being a man or a woman does not matter.

ZENIT: But can someone really participate in the life of the Church without having effective power and responsibility?

Cardinal Piacenza: Who said that participation in the life of the Church is a question of power? If this were the case, we would unmask the real equivocation in conceiving the Church herself not as she is — human and divine — but simply as one of the many human associations, maybe the greatest and most noble, given her history; she would then have to be “administered” by a division of power. Nothing is further from reality! The hierarchy in the Church, besides being of divine institution, is always to be understood as a service to communion. Only an equivocation, historically stemming from the experience of dictatorships, could make one think of the ecclesiastical hierarchy as an exercise in “absolute power.” This is known to be false by those who, every day, are called to assist the Pope in his personal responsibility for the universal Church! So many and such are the mediations, the consultations, the expressions of real collegiality that practically no act of governance is the fruit of an individual will, but always the outcome of a long process, listening to the Holy Spirit and the precious contributions of many people. First of all the bishops and bishops’ conferences of the world. Collegiality is not a socio-historical concept, but derives from the common Eucharist, from the “affectus” that is born from taking the one Bread and from living the one faith; from being united to Christ: Way, Truth and Life; and Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!

ZENIT: Doesn’t Rome have too much power?

Cardinal Piacenza: To say “Rome” is simply to say “catholicity” and “collegiality.” Rome is the city chosen by providence as the place of the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul and communion with this Church has always historically meant communion with the universal Church, unity, mission and doctrinal certainty. Rome is at the service of all the Churches, she loves all the Churches and, not infrequently, she protects the Churches most threatened by the power of the world and of governments who are not completely respectful of that inalienable human and natural right that is freedom of religion.

The Church must be seen from the perspective of the dogmatic constitution of Vatican Council II “Lumen Gentium,” obviously including the note attached to the document. There the early Church is described, the Church of the Fathers, the Church of all ages, which is our Church of today, without discontinuity; which is the Church of Christ. Rome is called to preside in Charity and in Truth, the sole sources of authentic Christian peace. The Church’s unity is not compromise with the world and its mentality, rather it is the result, given by Christ, of our fidelity to truth and to charity that we will be capable of living.

I think that it is indicative, in this regard, that today only the Church, as no other, defends man and his reason, his capacity to know the real and to enter into relationship with it, in sum man in his totality. Rome is at the service of the whole Church of God that is in the world and that is an “open window” on the world. A window that gives a voice to all those who do not have a voice, that calls everyone to a continual conversion and through this contributes — often in silence and in suffering, paying the price herself, even being unpopular — to building a better world, the civilization of love.

ZENIT: Doesn’t this role that Rome plays hinder unity and ecumenism?

Cardinal Piacenza: On the contrary, it is their necessary presupposition. Ecumenism is a priority for the life of the Church and it is an absolute exigency that flows from the prayer itself of the Lord: “Ut unum sint,” which becomes for every true Christian the “commandment of unity.” In sincere prayer and in the spirit of continual interior conversion, in fidelity to one’s own identity and in the common striving for the perfect charity bestowed by God, it is necessary to commit oneself with conviction to seeing to it that there are no setbacks on the journey of the ecumenical movement. The world needs our unity; it is therefore urgent that we continue to engage in the dialogue of faith with all our Christian brothers, so that Christ be a leaven in society. It is also urgent that we work together with non-Christians, that is, in intercultural dialogue to contribute together to the building of a better world, collaborating in good works and making a new and more human society possible. Even in that task Rome has a unique role of propulsion. There is no time for division; our time and energies must be spent in seeking unity.

(Zenit.org)

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36 Responses to Cardinal Piacenza on Women Priests, Celibacy and the Power of Rome (part one)

  1. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    The good Cardinal has delivered above, statements which are patronising and condescending towards 50% of Catholics.
    I hope that Catholic and non-Catholic women will reject what he says and the manner in which he says it.
    Could he be one of the ‘bad apples’ who JP blames for mediaeval practices?

    Like

  2. teresa says:

    Well, Mr. Whippy, I disagree with you… And I am a woman, please, ask us first what we women think before you start to put words in our mouths…!

    Like

  3. Mimi says:

    Hear, hear, Teresa!

    I do not feel in the least patronised, by the Cardinal or by the Church.

    I applaud and support the Cardinal’s words.

    Like

  4. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Well Teresa, your comment that I put words into your mouth is false. I said I hope that women will reject his words. I still do. Please read closely and accurately. It will help you to avoid such mistakes.

    I also said that the cardinal’s words are patronising etc. I stand by that, though I know very well that there are many women, even today, who are prepared to accept a subordinate role, and indeed are content, like Mimi, to be relegated to an inferior group. These are the metaphorical cleaning ladies who are permitted onto the altar only after the serious matters have been completed. The Cardinal indeed insulted 50% of Catholics, by putting them into a category (the inferior place of women) which reflects the distorted values of a bygone age. I say great changes need to be made if the Church is to have any kind of future or clean bill of health.

    I didn’t expect many women on this forum to abandon decades, nay centuries, of conditioning.

    I can’t help it if some people meekly accept the role assigned to them. Rather like battered wives who stay with the man who is giving them a hard time.

    Come on in, the future’s lovely!

    Like

  5. JabbaPapa says:

    Well, Mr. Whippy, I disagree with you… And I am a woman, please, ask us first what we women think before you start to put words in our mouths…!

    I disagree with him too ; and speaking as a JP, perhaps he should ask what JPs think before putting words in our mouths.

    Like

  6. Gertrude says:

    I disagree too. As a woman I have bever felt marginalised or patronised by Holy Church, and no, this is not the ‘conditioning’ of years – it is the acceptance of all that being Roman Catholic (not Lutheran, Evangelical or any other) entails. If I did not accept fully the teachings, traditions, Magisterium and authority of the Church of Rome, the one true Church, I would have left as soon asI was deemed to have attained ‘the age of reason’.

    Like

  7. Toadspittle says:

    ZENIT: So, is there no place for women in the Church?

    Is ‘Zenit’ deliberately asking a dopey question, or is ‘Zenit’ simply dopey?

    Like

  8. rebrites says:

    I am a woman, and I find the Cardinal´s statements to be a great wall of hot air.

    I love the sacraments, scripture, and “the beauty of holiness” that the church brings me. But the church hierarchy, IMHO, is comprised of powerful men dedicated to preserving their power (among a whole lot of other, very positive things.) These kindly men bloviate beautifully for the cameras, and in the pews the ladies happily keep to the “kirche, kuche, und kindern” roles they were born and raised to occupy. Everybody is happy, long as nobody tries “improving” the old formula. (if all these women in high Vatican posts are possible, why are they still so improbable?)

    I love the sacraments and the ground-level effectiveness of the church, and I am proud to be a part of it. I try to concentrate on the words and actions of the Christ, and not so much the windbags who say they know what he REALLY meant, but whose actions, well… you can see where the church is now. The people up on the dias bloviating are men. The people cleaning, cooking, caring for the sick and small, aka “doing the ground-level work of the Gospel?” That´s women´s work.

    (men who do it get extra credit!)

    Like

  9. JabbaPapa says:

    ZENIT: Is women’s ordination to be understood as a doctrinal question?

    Cardinal Piacenza: Certainly, and — as everyone knows — the question was clearly confronted by both Paul VI and Blessed John Paul II and, the latter, with the Apostolic Letter “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” of 1994 definitively closed the question. Indeed there it is stated: “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.” Some, grasping at straws, have spoken since then of a “relative definitiveness” of the doctrine, but frankly, the thesis is so odd as to lack any foundation.

    The Cardinal is clearly an extremely good theologian.

    I’ll comment on this question, as it is a very interesting one.

    First, I discovered recently during some research on a completely different question, that the Church has in the past ordained some women priests. This was a massive surprise to me !!

    The ordination of women was apparently an extremely minor phenomenon, mainly in the Eastern Church, and such women priests were charged with taking pastoral care of some small communities out in the sticks.

    The ordination of women was forbidden in the late 5th century.

    Now, the interesting thing is that this original teaching against the ordination of women was technically a disciplinary matter ; whereas Blessed John Paul II has redefined it as a doctrinal one.

    Now, the thing is that JP2 has declared it as a “definitive” judgement ; but he has refrained from declaring it to be an “infallible” doctrine ex cathedra.

    This means that the doctrine can technically be revised by a higher Church Authority than the Pope, of which there are only three — a full doctrinal Council of the Church as presided by the Pope ; doctrinal consensus among the Congregation of the Faithful ; God Himself.

    What this means in the pragmatic and theological sense is that JP2 has defined the question of the ordination of women as being located at the highest possible level of Catholic theology, except for that of an infallible ex cathedra statement ; meaning that no priest and no theologian is permitted to denounce that doctrine, whilst permitting lay Catholics and most priests to discuss their personal views on the question, whilst establishing a very high level of seriousness about the question, and ensuring that no simple majority vote can possibly be sufficient to overturn the ruling.

    Let us look at “definitive” versus “infallible”, too — “definitive” actually means that by definition, priests are men. This means that we are commanded to accept by definition that priests are men.

    We are not commanded to accept this as an infallible teaching though, so that debate concerning this question remains permissible – although we cannot teach against the doctrine that priests are men.

    I’ll also point out that JP2 made no comment whatsoever concerning the possibility of women deacons.

    JP2 writes, as Pope, that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women” ; this does not preclude that such authority might be provided in the future, because this is not an infallible doctrine, but it means that it is not permissible to address this question in any but the most serious manner.

    Finally, this is a doctrinal teaching ; but it remains founded upon discipline rather than dogma.

    Technically, it is a discipline that is incorporated into the doctrinal definition of the nature of the priesthood.

    JP2 was well aware that doctrinal definitions can shift over time ; he has basically ensured that this particular definition of the priest as being a man can only be redefined by a full Church Council working very specifically on that very question ; or by a massive consensus by Catholics ; or by divine Revelation.

    He has forbidden any of his successors to permit the ordination of women priests without prior authorisation from the Church as a whole, modifying this very strong doctrinal teaching.

    Like

  10. Chris Sullivan says:

    If one wants a good insight into the leading role of women in the early Church, read St Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 16, which describes numerous women in leadership roles, including the Deacon Phoebe and the Apostle Junia. That’s the way the Church originally was made by Jesus, and the way it should be.

    God Bless

    Like

  11. Mr Badger says:

    Dear CP&S management: I’ve got too many tabs open, and that comment wasn’t for here!!! Luckily it is hardly offensive 🙂 but it is out of context and off topic, perhaps it should be deleted? 🙂 Sorry for the gaffe!!

    Like

  12. Toadspittle says:

    .

    “That’s the way the Church originally was made by Jesus, and the way it should be.”

    Says Chris.

    Well, there goes 2,000 years of something or the other.

    Like

  13. JabbaPapa says:

    St Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 16, which describes numerous women in leadership roles, including the Deacon Phoebe and the Apostle Junia.

    I’ve no idea which translation you’re using ; but Romans 16 is basically a list of people that Paul says hello to.

    Phoebe is described as being a “servant” of the Church, which could mean “deacon”, but maybe not. This is clearly though one of the Biblical passages describing women as being in some sort of ministry. A “leadership role” ? The text is silent on that point.

    Julia OTOH is described as being “well-known to the Apostles”, and any translation describing her as being herself an Apostle can only be a poor one.

    The important thing in Romans 16 is that he sends warm greetings to the men and women of the Church alike : but there’s little point reading more into that chapter than can actually be found there.

    Like

  14. JabbaPapa says:

    ^^ Junia not Julia

    Like

  15. Toadspittle says:

    .

    What nobody is asking here is why any woman in her right mind would ever want to be a priest.
    Nothing but trouble, and your name in the papers. Thinks Toad.

    Like

  16. Chris Sullivan says:

    Junia is described, not as “well known to the apostles” but as “numbered (the Gk means marked) among the apostles”.

    There is an ancient tradition of Mary Magdelene as “Apostle to the Apostles”.

    Ample evidence that in the early Church the apostles included women.

    God bless

    Like

  17. Chris Sullivan says:

    I don’t know that ANYONE in their right mind would ever want to be a priest.

    There are lots of reasons why someone might.

    In the Catholic tradition the only really valid one is that God calls one to it.

    There do seem to be plenty of women today who seem to experience just such a call, despite all the pain and anguish (and excommunication) that comes with it.

    God Bless

    Like

  18. JabbaPapa says:

    “marked among the Apostles”, translated by Jerome as “nobilis in Apostolis”, ie “well-known to the Apostles”.

    The literal meaning of the adjective ἐπίσημος is actually “famous” — so literally, famous among the Apostles. What you are suggesting is a straightforward mistranslation.

    I *could* point out that Junia(n) is not necessarily even a woman’s name, but that would be both petty and unnecessary …

    Like

  19. Mr Badger says:

    They’re tougher here than on BF CS, bigger pond you see 😉

    Like

  20. Toadspittle says:

    .

    Inside Baseball, Part 98:

    Jabba and Chris take turns dancing on the head of a pin.

    Like

  21. Chris Sullivan says:

    Chrysostom wrote: “O how great is the devotion of this woman that she should be counted worthy of the appellation of apostle! ” [Homily on Romans 16]

    For episemos as “having a mark on it, marked, stamped, coined” see http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1978&t=KJV

    Fr Jospeh Fitzmyer writes (Anchor Bible) that most of the patristic interpreters and most of the modern interpreters he cites took the term as “those of mark (numbered) among ths apostles”.

    Similarly Fr Brendan Bryne in Sacra Pagina.

    Both Fitzmyer and Bryne were appointed by Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Biblical Comission.

    God Bless

    Like

  22. JabbaPapa says:

    The meaning “having a mark on it, marked, stamped, coined” is Classical Greek, circa 5th/6th centuries BC, and not described as being a meaning of the word circa 1st century AD. Using Classical Greek definitions for New Testament interpretation is the hallmark of NT misinterpretation ; such as that provided by Jehovah’s Witnesses for example, who insist on systematically interpreting as many words as possible outside the scope of their 1st Century definitions.

    From the dictionary excerpt that you link to, it is however quite clear that the prevalent meaning in Biblical Koine should be famous/infamous/well-known, because that is the meaning that is attributed to both Biblical usage and contemporary usage in that excerpt.

    Furthermore, Jerome (who had access to Koine as a living language) translated the expression as such in the Vulgate.

    The balance of the evidence weighs clearly in favour of “well-known” being the proper interpretation, no matter what you may think ; besides, the NT authors did not generally use complicated periphrase to say what they meant. If Paul had wanted to describe this Junia(n) as an “Apostle”, he would have been very likely to do so quite straightforwardly.

    Finally, seeing that you’re willing to go this far, the text mentions Junian — now, this is an Accusative, but there is no guarantee that this is either a Greek nor a Latin name -a in the Nominative, it could just as well be -an in Nominative too. Jerome translates “Iuniam”, so his reading of it appears as a feminine form ; but there is still some serious doubt about it, because this could just as well be a Junias, which would naturally decline as -an in Greek, -am in Latin. But still not described as an Apostle by the text, of whichever sex…

    This is some very weak evidence for your case, in other words.

    That Phoebe (no doubt whatsoever that this is a woman !!!) was a servant/minister of the Church, possibly a deacon, is FAR more plausible on the basis of Romans 16 than this vague speculation about Junia/Junian/Junias as based on a non-contemporary definition of an adjective which is in turn interpreted via metaphor. It’s all a bit … stretched, if you see what I mean.

    Like

  23. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    JP, your communications skills are… unique, if you see what I mean.

    Like

  24. teresa says:

    Toad, indeed, I never thought of becoming a priest and never felt any desire of becoming one!

    Like

  25. teresa says:

    Mr. Badger, nice to see you back again! We have been busy so didn’t participate too much in the comment section, I saw your comment on the SSPX thread later, so please accept the apology that we neglected to respond.
    (your mistakenly posted comment is now removed upon your request).

    Like

  26. Mimi says:

    It really pisses me off when people dismiss cleaning, cooking and child-minding/rearing as “inferior” and “subordinate”. Where do they get off telling me my work is worthless? It is these people who are patronising and demeaning women, not the Church.

    Like

  27. Gertrude says:

    Well said Mimi. All priests were raised by a loving Mother (one hopes) and Our Blessed Lady fulfilled this role to perfection. For some men, their vocation will be the priesthood, for others, maybe religious life, maybe loving and supportive husbands and fathers. Each woman should be proud of her vocation as a Wife and Mother, or in religious life, or in the unmarried state. All these have equal merit before Our Blessed Lord.
    It is indeed patronising and demeaning to suggest otherwise.

    Like

  28. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    G, you are right to say that “these have equal merit before Our Blessed Lord”. It’s just a shame that, as Toad puts it, there is a stained glass ceiling if you want to go further.

    Like

  29. Mimi says:

    Here we go again with the “go further”! Further than what?? Oh yes, further than that despised work of cooking, cleaning and caring for others.

    You concede the “equal merit before Our Blessed Lord”, but you are obviously still judging in the meaningless worldly terms of “prestige”, “status” and supposed “power”, aren’t you?

    And still patronising . . .

    Like

  30. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Yes Mimi, I willingly concede the equal merit etc. Unfortunately the Church does not. And that is my point.

    I did not mention prestige, status and power so please don’t put these words in quotations as if I had said them. You say I am “obviously still judging ….in wordly terms” etc; Mimi you are off to Planet Zog here. At this Mimi, I will say no more as you seem to be incapable of seeing beyond your own projections.

    Thanks anyway.

    Like

  31. The Raven says:

    Chris

    The Greek does not say “numbered among the apostles”, the word used is επίσημοι – notable or conspicuous. The reading that you have chosen has good patristic precedent, as has that adopted by JP, but it is of little help to us – the Greek is sufficiently imprecise for us to be unsure as to which reading is correct (or even to know for sure that Junia (feminine) wasn’t actually Junias (masculine), as the earliest texts lacked the vital diacritical marks to tell us which was intended).

    I don’t think that any of us would want to hang an argument on a single greeting in a line of scripture that could be read in half a dozen different ways.

    Like

  32. The Raven says:

    “Yes Mimi, I willingly concede the equal merit etc. Unfortunately the Church does not. And that is my point.” quoth Whippy.

    Upon what do you rest that assertion (viz that the Church does not concede equal merit), Whippy? That wouldn’t be a projection of your own would it?

    Perversely enough, it has always struck me that the people who accorded least merit to the roles traditionally taken by women are precisely the sort of activists campaigning for WO: ladies buying into the same lies that men have been telling themselves to alleviate their misery since the birth of the industrial age and the growth in the demarcation between the roles of householder and wage earner.

    Like

  33. joyfulpapist says:

    Hear, hear, Raven. What sort of equality is it that says women’s work is only of value if the work they’re doing was once traditionally the preserve of men? Any idiot can be in government, and many idiots are, but only women can breastfeed the next generation. There is, of course, no reason on earth why a woman can’t be both a wage earner and a homemaker – and at the same time. Many women are, as they have been throughout human history. But to hold that one role is ‘going further’ and the other is ‘inferior’ is just daft. One role provides the wherewithal to support the other. Without a home to provide a nest to sally forth from, income earning would be much harder. Without an income, who could have a home to support?

    Like

  34. Mr Badger says:

    Let us grant Church teaching on the male only priesthood. Done. No problem. Ok, well riddle me this, why must positions of authority in the Vatican be held exclusively by the ordained? Why is it the case that the major offices in the Vatican are all held by clergy, not laity, thereby meaning, by default, men only. I would find the arguments we hear about the reservation of the priesthood to men more convincing if they didn’t seem to take for granted the fact that positions of high authority in the Vatican will not be held by the laity.

    Like

  35. JabbaPapa says:

    There was one nun who was granted some rather high office at the Holy See some years ago, I think during the papacy of JP2, though a quick google finds no trace of her online.

    To answer your question though, I think that this is tied to collegiality more than anything else ; candidates for high office at the Vatican are very simply liable to be chosen among the bishops, who have experience in managing dioceses, rather than among people not having that kind of professional experience.

    Like

  36. Gertrude says:

    Actually, there are women on Pontifical councils at the Holy See, and probably in other positions of influence:
    Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace :

    VATICAN CITY, 21 JAN 2010 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has released a communique concerning today’s appointment of Flaminia Giovanelli as its new under secretary. The communique is signed by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson and Bishop Mario Toso S.D.B., respectively president and secretary of the same dicastery.

    Flaminia Giovanelli, says the communique, “is the first woman to hold the position of under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Before her the Australian lay woman Rosemary Goldie held the same post in the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 1966 to 1976, while a religious, Sr. Enrica Rosanna F.M.A., is currently under secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

    Like

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