No to lay clerical attitudes, yes to more women in Vatican


Pope Francis, Saturday, again lamented the clerical attitudes of some lay people in ministry.

He made the comment in the Vatican and at a meeting with the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

Francis said the purpose of creating the dicastery is to promote the care of family and the mission on the laity, not to clericalise laity.

“So many times it happened in the other diocese [Buenos Aires], a parish priest came and told me: ‘I have a wonderful layperson, he knows how to do everything, everything. Do we make him a deacon?’”

Francis lamented that too often he sees permanent deacons become “first-class altar boys or second-class priests” rather than “custodians of service.”

He also said the Church needs to move forward, without fear, in introducing more women in leadership positions at the Vatican, including as heads of dicasteries.

“We must move forward to include women in advisory positions, also in government, without fear,” he told the meeting.

“Yes, of course, also as heads of dicasteries,” the pope said, adding that he had considered two women for the appointment last week of the new prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy for which Francis ultimately selected Spanish Jesuit Fr. Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves.

“Women’s advice is very important.”

“The role of women in (an) ecclesial organization, in the Church, goes further and we must work on this as well because a woman is the image of ‘Mother Church”, he said.

Francis noted the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life had two under-secretaries in their leadership, both married with children.

Francis told the dicastery their role was to move beyond the local and feel the heart of the universal church.

“The dicastery of which you are a part should, above all else, help the many disciples of Christ to live in daily life in conformity with the baptismal grace they have received,” he said.

“There are so many lay faithful in the world who, living their faith with humility and sincerity, become great lights for those who live next to them,” Pope Francis said.


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