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Nun appointed to Vatican voting position says ‘patriarchal mindset is changing’

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A French nun who became the first woman named to a voting position in the Vatican said Wednesday that the “patriarchal mindset is changing.”

Nathalie Becquart, 52, also described her appointment as a “brave signal and prophetic decision” by the pope, The Associated Press reports.

“What I hope is that this will be seen also in the field, in the dioceses, in the parishes,” she added at a news conference. “I hope this act will encourage other bishops, priests, religious authorities, and that all this will include women more and more.“

Pope Francis appointed Becquart as the first female co-undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops on Saturday. As co-undersecretary, she will be responsible for major meetings between world bishops. Her appointment is also notable as she is relatively young by Vatican standards to have a senior role.

Francis has appointed several women to higher-ranking positions within the Vatican. He recently appointed Italian magistrate Catia Summaria as the first female promoter of justice in the Vatican’s Court of Appeals.

The pope has also appointed women to high-ranking positions overseeing the Vatican’s finances, museums and press office.

“A door has been opened. We will see what other steps could be taken in the future,” the synod’s secretary-general, Cardinal Mario Grech, said to the Vatican’s in-house media at the time of Becquart’s appointment.

As the AP notes, women have long complained about their status in the Catholic Church. Though Francis has upheld the church’s stance on barring female priests, he has established a commission to study the role women had in the early history of the church in response to calls that they be allowed to become priests.

Tags Nathalie Becquart. Pope Francis Pope Francis Vatican

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