Women, more visible in the structure of the Catholic Church | International | News

Pope Francis appointed the Franciscan nun and political scientist Raffaella Petrini as secretary general of the Interior of the Vatican City State.


That Pope Francis has appointed the Franciscan nun and political scientist Raffaella Petrini, 52, secretary general of the Governorate of the Vatican City State It is a historical milestone: for the first time a woman holds this important position that had been reserved for bishops, according to the American digital newspaper. The National Catholic Reporter.

It is, in short, “number two in the Vatican”, as it is responsible for administrative management, Vatican museums, the post office and the police.

Petrini, who was an official of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, was born in Rome on January 15, 1969 and belongs to the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist.

She has a degree in Political Science from the Free International University of Guido Carli, as well as a doctorate from the Pontifical University of San Tommaso d’Aquino, where she is currently a professor of Welfare Economics and Sociology of Economic Processes.

But this is not an isolated event. It is one more step in the pontiff’s efforts to give more visibility to the work of women in the Church, report the agencies AFP and EFE.

In January, 84-year-old Francisco already changed the law to allow women to read the Bible at mass, give communion and help at the altar during the liturgy.

A month later, the pope appointed to the French nun Nathalie Becquart Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, becoming de facto the first woman in history who would have the right to vote in this type of meeting (which addresses the main questions of Church doctrine).

And last August he elected six women as lay experts to the Council of the Economy. One of them, Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, she was appointed vice-coordinator of this council in September.

Also in August, Francis appointed several female scientists to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, including Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier, founder and director of the Max Planck Unit for Pathogen Science in Berlin and Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020.

Too, Donna Theo Strickland, Professor of Optical Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo and awarded in 2018 with the Nobel Prize in Physics for having invented in 1985, together with Gérard Mourou, the amplification of laser chirp pulses, ultrashort optical pulses and high intensity lasers used in millions of eye surgeries.

In some of his public speeches, according to a review The viewer, Francis has deplored the condition of thousands of women in relation to men.

Thus, in a general audience (held every Wednesday) last September, he spoke of “a slavery” of women “who do not have the same opportunities as men.” “How many times do we hear expressions that despise women! How many times have we heard: ‘But no, don’t do anything, they are women’s things,’ “said Francisco.

“Men and women have, however, the same dignity, but there is in history, and even today, a slavery of women. Women do not have the same opportunities as men ”, he concluded.

The Pope has also denounced, at other times, “the excesses of machismo” that considers women “second class” and spoke of “the instrumentalization and commercialization of the female body in the current media culture.”

Since the Supreme Pontiff created a commission in 2016 to study the history of female deacons in the early years of the Catholic Church, reformist groups have hoped that there may one day be priestesses. But at the moment the pope does not open the door for women to be ordained as such. (I)

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Women, more visible in the structure of the Catholic Church | International | News

Hank Gilbert