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Cardinal Sandri calls for greater role for women in Church, priestly formation

March 04, 2013

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, who is often mentioned as papabile in news reports, is calling for a greater role for women in the life of the Church and in priestly formation.

“The role of women in the world has increased and this is something the Church has to ask itself about,” said the prelate, whom Pope Benedict appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches in 2007. “They must have a much more important role in the life of the Church ... so that they can contribute to Church life in so many areas which are now, in part, open only to men,” including higher offices in the Roman Curia, “here they can make a very important contribution because of their qualifications.”

“But they must also be co-participants in the dialogue and the analysis of the life of the Church and in (other) areas, even in the formation of priests, where they can play a very, very important role,” he added.

Cardinal Sandri, who served as the sostituto, or deputy secretary of state, between 2000 and 2007, added that the next Pope should be “someone who is at least walking towards sanctity through a life of humility, work, prayer and witness to the Gospel,” have “a certain vigor,” possess “a great ability to communicate,” and be “one who knows how to govern.”

“The problem is finding the four qualities together,” he said. “Sometimes someone has an excess of one quality and less of others ... for me, the most important thing is that he be a man of faith who is not afraid.”

“The Church is ready for a black pope, but maybe the world is not,” Cardinal Sandri added. “We are open to anyone as long he is the best prepared, the best qualified, to face a time that is so difficult for the Church and the world.”


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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Mar. 04, 2013 7:47 PM ET USA

    So just exactly what does the Cardinal mean by wanting "a greater role for women in the life of the Church and priestly formation"?