(ZENIT News / Rome, 02.08.2024).- There were three days dedicated by the Pope and his Council of Cardinals (something analogous to the state council in a country) at the beginning of the second month of 2024, specifically on February 5th, 6th, and 7th. Three topics were addressed: the role of women, synodal pathways (in October 2024, the second part of the synod on synodality will be held), and evangelization.
The morning of the first day was dedicated to the first topic – the role of women. But what became news was neither the meeting of the Pope and his Council of Cardinals nor the presence of two Catholic women who addressed the issue. Moreover, it wasn’t even the topic itself. What made headlines was the presence of an Anglican “bishop” woman.
It was the Press Office itself that highlighted the presence of the Anglican “bishop” woman on the Telegram channel where accredited journalists receive news. It was not mentioned why she was there or what she spoke about, but her participation was evident. It was the Anglican representative who revealed what she was doing there.
In statements to the Anglican News Service, Minister Jo Bailey Wells (Anglican “bishop”) said she was invited “to describe the Anglican path regarding the ordination of women, both in the Church of England and throughout the Anglican Communion.” The reverend mentioned that she was told it was “a historic moment” for her presence and the topic discussed. Regarding the atmosphere, she commented, “there was deep engagement and good discussion.” She concluded with words that oscillate between surprise and personal desire: “I am surprised by the interest of Catholics worldwide. I hope and pray that it will serve to allow more women to explore and fulfill the calling that God gives each of us.”
However, the Anglican “bishop’s” hope found a limit on Thursday, the 8th, by Pope Francis himself. In a speech to the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pope once again made it clear about the role of women in the Church that “it cannot be reduced to mere ministerial roles.” And he emphasized: “Women themselves have a very significant symbol in the Church as women, without reducing it to mere ministry.”
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