Sunday 25 February 2018

A feminine touch in the Vatican

• I attended the various liturgies and events in Rome associated with the election of Pope Benedict and watched on television those associated with the election of Pope Francis.

In both instances I was struck by the fact that not a single woman was involved in any of them. That is, if I exclude the four nuns exiting the Sistine Chapel with the other lesser beings who were told to exit before the doors were sealed – I presume that these were there to serve the cardinals their supper. A vast cohort of soberly suited men; not a single woman.

Even if they can't be priests, surely they can be trusted with organisational tasks? Almost every army, police force and security body in the world has female members – why no female members of the Swiss Guard, or of the Vatican police, or of the security detail?

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