POPE Francis has declared October’s universal prayer intentions were that women be given greater leadership roles in the Church.
In a video released at the start of the month, Pope Francis highlighted how women needed to be given greater roles “in areas of responsibility in the Church” because they “tend to be left aside”.
It was not the first time Pope Francis had called for greater women leadership such as in Evangelii Gaudium, when he said how the Church must demand the “legitimate rights of women be respected”.
This call was based on the “firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity”.
This is the text of October’s prayer intentions: “No one has been baptised a priest or a bishop. We have all been baptised as lay people.
“Lay people are protagonists of the Church.
“Today, it is especially necessary to create broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church.
“And we must emphasise the feminine lay presence because women tend to be left aside.
“We must promote the integration of women, especially where important decisions are made.
“We pray that by the virtue of baptism, the laity, especially women, may participate more in areas of responsibility in the Church, without falling into forms of clericalism that diminish the lay charism.”
Women made up the largest group of Catholics in Australia, according to 2016 data out of the National Centre for Pastoral Research.