Pope calls for more female leadership in the church

Pope calls for more female leadership in the church

Pope Francis used his post-Angelus remarks to call for more female leadership in the church.

He would like women to “participate more in areas of responsibility in the church.”

“Today there is a need to broaden the spaces for a more incisive female presence in the church,” he said on October 11, “because in general women are set aside. We must promote the integration of women into places where important decisions are made.”

Adding, however, that women leaders in the church must maintain their vocation as laity and not fall into “clericalism.”

Pope Francis has made many gestures to give momentum to this desire to give women greater weight in the Church.

“Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded,” he wrote in Evangelii Gaudium.

Fr. Frédéric Fornos S.J., International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, says that since 2013, much has been accomplished, but more needs to be done.

Earlier, Pope Francis reflected on Jesus’ parable from the Gospel of Matthew about the king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. When the initially invited guests did not arrive, he sent his messengers out to invite anyone and everyone.

God loves and has prepared a banquet for everyone — “the just and sinners, the good and the bad, the intelligent and the uneducated.” Every Christian is called to go out to the highways and byways sharing God’s invitation to the feast, Pope Francis said.

“Even those on the margins, even those who are rejected and scorned by society, are considered by God to be worthy of his love,” the pope told the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray with him.

The church as a whole and each of its members, he said, are called to go out to “the geographic and existential peripheries of humanity, those places at the margins, those situations where those who have set up camp are found and where the hopeless remnants of humanity live.”

“It is a matter of not settling for comfort and the customary ways of evangelization and witnessing to charity,” the pope said, but rather “opening the doors of our hearts and our communities to everyone, because the Gospel is not reserved to a select few.”


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