Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Role of women in spotlight

  • Print

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican's spokesman went to his news briefing Friday bearing flowers for female journalists to mark International Women's Day. "On behalf of all of us men, congratulations and happy Women's Day!" said a beaming Rev. Federico Lombardi.

The heartfelt gesture came a day after an awkward acknowledgement: The upcoming election of the pope will be an all-male affair -- except for the women who cook for, clean up after and serve the 115 cardinals who will pick the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, half of them women.

Related Items

Lombardi's admission came when a reporter noted one of the video clips the Vatican had provided of preparations in the Sistine Chapel featured a woman at a sewing machine, making the skirting for the tables at which cardinals will sit. Aside from the seamstress, the reporter inquired, how many women are involved in the conclave process?

Lombardi said the total number wouldn't be known until all Vatican personnel involved in the conclave take their oath of secrecy. But he noted several women work at the Vatican's Santa Marta hotel, where the cardinals will eat and sleep during the conclave.

For many observers, Lombardi's comment was a tacit acknowledgment of what many consider women's second-class status in the church, despite the fact they take a leading role in staffing Catholic schools and hospitals.

"It is fine to sew and be a seamstress, but women have much to contribute to the political... health and well-being of the people on the planet," said Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a member of the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement.

Members of the movement, as well as other dissident groups calling for greater participation of women in leadership positions in the church, have descended on Rome during the papal election.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 9, 2013 A19

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Doug Speirs trains for role in Nutcracker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you watch The Interview?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google