Increased participation of women in decision-making within the Church is a continuing process that still needs time, according to Cardinal Kevin Farrell.
Speaking during a question-and-answer session in Rome after the presentation of the book A Pope Francis Lexicon, Cardinal Farrell said that a greater role for women in the Church “is going to take more than just issuing a decree”.
“It’s a question of changing a culture, and I believe that will take time, but I think that Pope Francis – more than anybody – has tried and continues to try and continues to bring about that change each and every day,” he said.
The book features a collection of essays edited by Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service and Joshua McElwee the Vatican correspondent for National Catholic Reporter.
Responding to a question regarding an essay written by Tina Beattie, a theologian, in which she noted the exclusion of women “from many offices of Catholic teaching”, Cardinal Farrell said the Pope would not totally agree that “he has not tried and is not bringing women into positions of authority in the Church”.
Some dicasteries once led by cardinals are now led by bishops and priests and pave the way for more participation by laity, especially women, in Church decisions, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, who also spoke at the conference.
“Every day, more and more, the presence of the laity is taking place,” the cardinal said. “It’s a process of changing the culture, but I can assure (you) it’s taking place.”