A Vatican official told the Synod of Bishops earlier this month the Catholic Church needs to do a better job of integrating female leaders into ecclesiastical life.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, made the admission during his address Oct. 18, according to The Catholic Register.
“The participation of authoritative women in the discussion has shown us that it is possible and necessary to accelerate the processes of struggle against the ‘machista’ culture in clericalism,” he said, “to develop respect for women and the recognition of their charisms as well as their equal integration in the life of society and the church.”
Ouellet agreed with a working document that read, in part, that there is sometimes “an ecclesial inability to recognize, welcome and foster the creativity of ‘feminine genius.’”
This topic was discussed at length during the March plenary meeting of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The Catholic leaders agreed it is time for a “new season of recognition and promotion of women not only in Latin America, but also in the world.”
“There’s a lot to do; it’s urgent,” Ouellet, who also serves as the commission’s president, said. “We wondered if a universal synod on this issue would be opportune. Such a perspective seems to me to be fundamental today to meet the concerns of young people.”
It is not immediately clear yet what actions might be taken in the future to address this topic.