Pope Francis meeting with the Council of Cardinals 

By Christopher Wells

Dec 7 2023

Meeting this week in the Vatican, Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals agreed on the need to listen to the “the feminine aspect” of the Church, especially at the local level, “so that processes of reflection and decision making can benefit from the irreplaceable contribution of women.”

The full Council of Cardinals was present at the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican for its most recent session, which focused primarily on the topic of “the feminine role in the Church.”

The conversation benefitted from the insights of theologians Sr Linda Pocher, Dr Lucia Vantini, and Fr Luca Castiglioni, all of whom hold teaching positions in Italian institutes of higher learning.

At the conclusion of the session, “the Council agreed on the need to listen, also and above all in individual Christian communities, to the feminine aspect of the Church, so that the processes of reflection and decision-making can benefit from the irreplaceable contribution of women,” according to a statement from the Holy See Press Office.

The statement noted that the Cardinal advisors also spent time examining the current world situation based on their various regions of origin, while focusing particularly on “the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the serious situation in the Holy Land,” as well as the work of COP28, which is currently taking place in Dubai.

Council member Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who also serves as President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, gave a presentation on the organization assemblies of Episcopal Conferences, with the various hypotheses being discussed and evaluated by the Council members.

Finally, the Press Office Statement indicated that the Cardinal Advisers discussed the first session of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “and to continue the reflection on the implementation of the spirit, principles, and criteria of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate evangelium” in local diocesan curias.

The Council of Cardinal Advisers is expected to hold its next session in February 2024. – Vatican News