In a February 24 interview with Stephanie Stahlhofen, of KNA, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, prefect of the Pontifical Council on Culture, was asked what options he sees for women in the church, in the future.
I think a diaconate for women would be possible. But of course it has to be discussed, the historical tradition is very complex. In general, I think, constantly fixing on the women’s priesthood is clerical. Why do not we start talking about other, very important functions of women in the church? For example, the leadership of a parish, from a structural point of view. Or the field of catechesis, volunteering, finance, architectural planning, design. Why not [put these things] into the hands of women? There could also be a stronger presence of women in the Vatican authorities, even at higher levels.
Cardinal Ravasi has established an all-female advisory council for the work of Pontifical Council on Culture. It consists of 35 women from all walks of life and includes members from a variety of religious traditions. They review everything the Council does, offer critical advice, and help to select participants in the various meetings the council holds. The interview discussed this initiative, which is currently unique in the Vatican. The Cardinal hopes it can offer a model to other Pontifical Councils.
You can read the whole interview at katholisch.de, the internet portal of the Catholic Church in Germany.