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Nun sees broad role for women's commission

The newly-elected deputy chair of the bishops' Commission for Australian Catholic Women has outlined a wide-ranging brief that emphasises creating opportunities for ongoing dialogue between men and women in the Church, rather than exclusively revisiting issues such as the ordination of women.

Sr Sonia Wagner, sgs, told The Catholic Weekly that the Commission established by the Bishops' Conference was most concerned about "how men and women might better collaborate to meet the urgent pastoral need and also to do that by utilising some of the gifts and qualities of women that we haven't used to this point".

"They're not just the bishops' issues - they're whole Church issues," she said. "I'm keen to network with people - move it through to action. It's time for action."

The commission chair, Geraldine Hawkes, praised the election of Sr Sonia to the position of deputy chair, which took place at the second meeting of the commission on 20 April.

She said: "Sonia brings a long involvement in the research project on the participation of women in the Catholic Church in Australia as well as many years in leadership and pastoral ministry across Australia and overseas."

The Commission is currently developing its vision, mission and action plans, and is expected to name its executive officer in the near future.

Catholic Weekly