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Vatican appoints woman to senior post

The Vatican has appointed a nun to the number three position in one of its departments, the highest position held by a woman within the Church's hierarchy.

Pope John Paul II appointed Italian Salesian Sr Enrica Rosanna, 65, to the post of under-secretary of the Congregation for Consecrated Life.

The department is responsible for Catholic religious orders and congregations around the world.

Sr Rosanna is currently professor at the Pontifical Faculty for Education "Auxilium" at Rome. She assists many Congregations and Orders preparing for General or Provincial chapters.

She participated in the Synod on Consecrated Life (1994) and the Synod of Bishops of Europe (2001). She is a consulter for the Congregation of Catholic Education (since 1994) and has been consulter for the Congregation for the Institute of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

"This is an opportune and necessary nomination," commented Fr Josť Maria Arnaiz, Secretary General of the Union of Superiors General. "It responds to the importance of the role of women and to the necessity that there be room for them in the important decision making processes of the Church and not only in the theological areas."

In March, the Pope appointed a US woman professor, Mary Ann Glendon, to head a Vatican academy, the first time a woman had chaired such an important post within the church.

Vatican Appoints Nun to Senior Post (Reuters 24/4/04)
Consecrated Life: First Time Sister-Sociologist Undersecretary of Vatican Congregation (Vidimus Dominum 26/4/04)

Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
Nun wins top spot (Herald-Sun 26/4/04)
Nun given high post in Church (Washington Times 24/4/04)
Woman Is Named Undersecretary of Vatican Congregation (Zenit 25/4/04)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS (Vatican Information Service 26/4/04)
Woman appointed to highest-ever Vatican post (Catholic World News 26/4/04)

27 Apr 2004