Pope Francis has strongly defended his record on naming women to positions of authority at the Vatican, saying in a new book that women do not need to be priests to serve as leaders in the global Church. Source: NCR Online.
In Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, released December 1, the Pope points especially to his 2016 appointment of Italian Barbara Jatta to lead the Vatican Museums and to several other women he has named as under-secretaries of Vatican departments.
Francis also notes that in Catholic dioceses across the world women often serve in leadership positions, running Catholic schools or hospital systems, or heading up diocesan departments.
“Perhaps because of clericalism, which is a corruption of the priesthood, many people wrongly believe that Church leadership is exclusively male,” the Pope states in the book.
“To say they aren’t truly leaders because they aren’t priests is clericalist and disrespectful,” he said.
In the new 154-page book, a collaborative effort with British author Austen Ivereigh, Francis widely reflects on how the world should change following the coronavirus pandemic to better address social, political and economic inequalities.
On social issues, Francis addresses the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, fiercely reiterates his frequent criticisms of the market capitalist system, and expresses support for proposals that people receive a universal basic income, or a regular government payment to provide for basic necessities like food and housing.
Women need not be priests to lead church, Francis says in new book (By Joshua McElwee, NCR Online)
Pope Francis: My life’s three moments of solitude (Vatican News)
Pope book backs George Floyd protests, blasts virus skeptic (AP via US ABC News)