Pope Francis names first woman to senior Vatican diplomatic post

Pope Francis names first woman to senior Vatican diplomatic post
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Pope FrancisPope FrancisThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders steamrolls to South Carolina primary, Super Tuesday Pope warns of 'inequitable solutions' after release of Trump Mideast peace plan Pope declines proposal for married priests MORE on Wednesday named the first woman to hold a high-ranking position in the Secretariat of State, the Vatican’s diplomatic wing. 

Francesca Di Giovanni, 66, is currently employed by the Secretariat of State as as undersecretary for the Section for Relations with States, according to the Vatican’s news service.

The Roman Catholic Church allows only men to be ordained as priests and has typically shied away from placing women in high positions. 

Di Giovanni is a specialist in international law and human rights and has worked at the Secretariat of State since 1993. The Vatican, a sovereign city-state surrounded by Rome, has diplomatic relations with more than a hundred countries.

“The Holy Father has made an unprecedented decision, certainly, which, beyond myself personally, represents an indication of an attention towards women,” Di Giovanni told Vatican media. “But the responsibility is connected to the job, rather than to the fact of being a woman.”