The Institute of Higher Studies on Women of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum. on September 23, 2019, launched the Diploma Women and the Church. The Rector, Father Jose E. Oyarzun, LC, opened the morning, explaining the value of the inter-disciplinary and inter-cultural nature of the initiative, in line with the guidelines of Veritatis Gaudium. In fact, faculty is made up of 44 Professors from 12 Universities and other ecclesial realities; while the students come from different countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Malta, Mexico, and Spain. Anita Cadavid, Directress of the Institute of Higher Studies on Women stressed the goal to promote collaboration and alliance between men and women in the Church and in culture.
His Excellency, Monsignor Gianrico Ruzza, Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, held the Lectio Inaguralis, in which he presented the ecclesial context of the course, and which makes its “urgency and prophecy” understood. In his address, His Excellency reflected on the question of women, although it isn’t new in the Church, as an opportunity of renewal and conversion. Although he recognized the many signs of hope, he affirmed that the way is still long, pointing out three ambits that require attention and commitment: 1) Respect of the rights and dignity of women; 2) Promotion of women’s contribution within the Church; 3) Reflection on the Church beginning from the feminine categories.
To conclude, Marta Rodriguez, Coordinator of the Diploma’s Scientific Committee, presented the program and the approach with which it was thought out. She explained that the inspiring idea came from Pope Francis, when, in referring to the question of women, often affirms that it “is about activating processes.” To make a contribution to the activation of these processes, the Diploma was thought out as a “laboratory of ideas,” a true Cenacle that, as Marta Rodriguez explained, “is capable of putting together freedom and obedience, parrhesia and prudence, fidelity and prophecy, urgency and patience, protection of the deposit of the faith and audacity to overcome cultural conditionings and start on the way of conversion.”