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FEATURE: Presentation of 'Revolutionary' Vatican's Women's Consultation Group

Women of All Types and Backgrounds Will Offer Vatican Dicastery Unprecedented Insight

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The “Women’s Consultation Group,” a permanent body within the Pontifical Council for Culture, has been created and is ready to offer in an unprecedented way the unique contributions of women.
The group of 37, with the exception of a few who couldn’t escape work, was presented during a “meeting point” held in the Holy See Press Office on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 11 a.m.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, was speaking along with Consuelo Corradi, coordinator of the Women’s Consultation Group and vice rector for research and international relations at the LUMSA University of Rome, and the Iranian theologian Shahrazad Houshmand, member of the Consultation Group.
A further twenty women, also members of the Consultation Group, were also present. On the same occasion, the monographic issue of the dicastery’s journal, “Culture and Faith”, edited by the Women’s Consultation Group, was presented.
ZENIT had the chance to speak with Cardinal Ravasi and those present, including many women who, despite being very diverse from one another, agree that having this entity as a resource will help to ensure that women’s voices and points of view don’t fall on deaf ears, but rather are appreciated and acknowledged.
Iranian theologia Shahrazad Houshmand told ZENIT how this is revolutionary, because never before did the Vatican have a group of this nature, which is consulted  for their unique insights, especially for upcoming events.
She also clarified that “we are not feminists,” and how they look forward to having a dialogue with male colleagues and priests, in order to learn from one another. She stressed that if they were removed from the reality of the men and others, it wouldn’t be right nor effective.
Consuelo Corradi, the group’s coordinator, stressed how this initiative is not at all about bringing “something ideological,” but women “in their concrete realties.”
This diversity, she suggested, particularly in terms of vocation, career, background, etc, will offer possibilities to better touch the world’s Catholics, through the unique insight of women.
The monographic issue of the dicastery’s journal, “Culture and Faith,” edited by group, was also presented.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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