- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Report finds 'systemic failures' by C of E over allegations of abuse by former dean
- Middle East must keep its Christians, says Vatican calling for scrutiny of Islamists' funding
- Nichols says synod is opening pathways for divorced and remarried
- Francis to visit Istanbul's Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque as concerns over treatment of Christians resurface
- Synod final document is a setback for Francis' reforms – for now Elena Curti in Rome
- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
The Church in the World
Maria Voce, president of the worldwide Focolare Movement, has suggested the establishment of a mixed commission of men and women to help advise the Pope, similar to his C8 Council of Cardinals, Robert Mickens writes.
“I am not thinking of an F8 [“Fem Eight”], but a sort of eight where both men and women are represented … a body of that type would thrill me,” she said in an interview in the November issue of the Catholic magazine Città Nuova.
The 76-year-old civil and canon lawyer, and Focolare president since 2008, did not suggest that women become priests or cardinals. But she argued that they could have a voice in the election of the Bishop of Rome by participating in meetings that the cardinals hold immediately before a conclave.
Lucetta Scaraffia, a regular editorialist for L’Osservatore Romano, endorsed the views in a front-page article in the paper’s 11-12 November edition. She said that Ms Voce was “certainly the most eminent woman in the Catholic world as president of its most widespread movement”. Focolare boasts some two million adherents in 182 countries. Ms Scaraffia said that its president was an “authoritative and moderate figure” and, because of this, she was poised to show that the “just requests for a true recognition of the feminine presence in the Church” were “not only coming from radical groups in favour of women’s ordination”.