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Vatican: first laywoman appointed to Pontifical Council

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has appointed a woman as the new under secretary.

An Italian lay woman,  Flaminia Giovanelli will be the first woman to hold the position of under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Giovanelli’s appointment was confirmed in a communiqué signed by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson and Bishop Mario Toso SDB, respectively president and secretary of the same dicastery.

She will be the first woman to serve in third-ranking position in that pontifical council. An Australian lay woman, Rosemary Goldie, had served in the equivalent position at the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 1966 to 1976.

An Italian nun, Sister Enrica Rosanna, currently holds a similar post at the Congregation for Religious.

The new under secretary is a graduate in political science from the University of Rome and holds diplomas in library science and religious studies.

She began working in the then Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission in 1974 where she has since followed matters relating to development, poverty and work in the context of Church social doctrine.

She is an expert in the development and labour policies of the International Labour Organisation, the Council of Europe, the European Union, ECOSOC and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

"The appointment of Ms Giovanelli"  the text adds, “confirms the great trust the Church and the Holy Father Benedict XVI places in women. In his time, Venerable Pope John Paul II also underlined the need for a 'fuller and meaningful participation of women in the development of society.”

Source: VIS