Maria Lia Zervino, an Argentine who is president of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations, greets Pope Francis June 11, 2022, during a meeting in the library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. The Vatican announced July 13 that the pope had named Zervino to be a member of the Dicastery for Bishops. CNS photo/Vatican Media

Pope Francis names three women to office that helps him choose bishops

  • July 13, 2022

VATICAN CITY -- Ten days after saying he would name two women to the group that helps him choose bishops, Pope Francis appointed three women to the office.

The Vatican announced July 13 that the pope had named 14 new members of the Dicastery for Bishops.

For the first time ever, the members include women: Sister Raffaella Petrini, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, who is secretary-general of the office governing Vatican City State; French Salesian Sister Yvonne Reungoat, former superior general of the order; and Maria Lia Zervino, an Argentine who is president of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations.

The dicastery is led by Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet and is responsible for helping the pope choose bishops for Latin-rite dioceses outside of the church's mission territories. Members meet twice a month to review dossiers submitted by Vatican nuncios about potential candidates and to vote on the names they recommend to the pope.

Before Pope Francis' reform of the Roman Curia took effect in June, members of the dicastery were only cardinals and a few bishops.

The other new members of the dicastery include: Cardinals Anders Arborelius of Stockholm; Jose F. Advincula of Manila, Philippines; José Tolentino de Mendonca, Vatican archivist; and Mario Grech, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops.

Pope Francis also named as members several bishops who will become cardinals in August: Cardinals-designate Arthur Roche, prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Lazarus You Heung-sik, prefect of the Dicastery for Clergy; Jean-Marc Aveline of Marseille, France; and Oscar Cantoni of Como, Italy.

The other new members are: Archbishop Drazen Kutlesa of Split-Makarska, Croatia; Bishop Paul Tighe, secretary of the former Pontifical Council for Culture; and Benedictine Abbot Donato Ogliari, abbot of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome and apostolic administrator of the Abbey of Montecassino, Italy.

The new members join existing members, including U.S. Cardinals Blase J. Cupich of Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey.

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