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Cardinal Kasper: women should have far greater role in Curia

March 04, 2014

In an interview with Avvenire, the daily newspaper owned by the Italian bishops’ conference, Cardinal Walter Kasper said that women should be involved in the preparation for the Synod of Bishops on the family and have a much greater role in the Roman Curia.

“Without women, the family simply does not exist,” he said. “It is senseless to talk about the family without listening to them.”

Citing the example of Mary Ann Glendon, the Harvard law professor who serves as President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Cardinal Kasper proposed that women could serve in the Curia in positions not tied to the jurisdiction associated with the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Stating that bishops should be shepherds of dioceses, Cardinal Kasper questioned the practice of having bishops serve as the secretaries of curial congregations.

“Many perform the functions of bureaucrats, and that is not good,” he said. “The bishop is a shepherd.”

While Cardinal Kasper said that officials of the Congregations of Bishops and the Clergy should be men, the non-ordained faithful, including women, should have a far greater involvement in other congregations and pontifical councils.

Cardinal Kasper, who also decried careerism in the Curia, served as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 2001 to 2010. At Pope Francis’s invitation, he addressed the consistory of cardinals on the topic of the family on February 20.


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  • Posted by: tmsharel5764 - Mar. 04, 2014 11:31 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Kasper, we don't need women in the Curia; we need men who do not try to make Jesus say yes as in, "Yes you can divorce and remarry and go to Communion," when He said NO!

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Mar. 04, 2014 8:06 PM ET USA

    Yes indeed women should be heard but there is a huge pastoral problem with men deserting the Church and with husbands and fathers and very few churchmen are talking about it. The world's agenda should not be agenda and unfortunately I often get the impression that the world's agenda is too much with us.