Pope Francis has appointed 7 new members to the Vatican’s council for the economy amongst which 6 of the new laypeople to the committee are women. The six female appointees are: Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, of Germany; Eva Castillo Sanz, of Spain; Leslie Jane Ferrar, of Great Britain; Marija Kolak, of Germany; María Concepción Osákar Garaicoechea, of Spain; and Ruth Maria Kelly, of Great Britain. Alberto Minali is the only layperson from Italy that was appointed.
The appointment of six women to the economic council comes just months after the pope appointed Francesca Di Giovanni as undersecretary for multilateral affairs in the Secretariat of State. Di Giovanni, an Italian lawyer, was the first woman to hold a management position in the Vatican’s most important office, BBC News reported.
In the past 10 years, both the overall number and the percentage of women working in the Vatican has grown, according to research published by Vatican News to mark World Women’s Day in 2020. Last year, 22% of Holy See and Vatican City employees were women, up from 17% in 2010. At the end of 2019, eight women, along with newly appointed Di Giovanni, were in positions of responsibility at the Holy See, while 10 years ago there were only three, according to Vatican News.
Under-secretary is the highest position women have reached so far, and Pope Francis has doubled the number of women under-secretaries, from two to four. “Pope Francis … has affirmed that the Catholic Church needs more women in leadership positions. In the Vatican and the Roman Curia, he is gradually preparing the ground,” Vatican News said in 2019.
This means that there are more senior female officials serving the Vatican than ever before and it is definitely Historic!