VATICAN CITY (CNS): While insisting women cannot be ordained priests, Pope Benedict XVI said it is right to discuss how women can be more involved in Church decision-making.
Meeting on March 2 with the priests of the Diocese of Rome, Pope Benedict spent two hours listening to their concerns and responding to the questions posed by 15 of them.
The following day, the Vatican released a summary of the priests’ questions and a transcript of the Pope’s remarks covering women in the Church, youth, family life and a variety of other topics.
Fr Marco Valentini asked the Pope why the Church does not recognise that women’s experience, wisdom and points of view would complement those of the men in decision-making positions.
Pope Benedict said, “Everyone certainly has had this experience” that Fr Valentini described of being assisted by women in growing in the faith.
“The Church owes a great debt of thanks to women,” the Pope said.
The contribution of women, he said, “always has been a determining factor without which the Church could not live”.