Essays in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, urged the Catholic Church to allow women to preach from the pulpit at Mass, a role that has been reserved almost exclusively to the all-male clergy for centuries. Enzo Bianchi, leader of an ecumenical religious community in northern Italy, wrote, “Certainly for faithful lay people in general, but above all for women, this would constitute a fundamental change in their participation in church life.” He called such a move a “decisive path” for responding to widespread calls—including by Pope Francis—to find ways to give women a greater role in the church. In her column, Sister Catherine Aubin, a French Dominican who teaches theology at a pontifical university in Rome, noted that Jesus encouraged women to preach his message of salvation and that throughout church history there have been many extraordinary women evangelists. “Let us sincerely pose a question then,” Sister Aubin wrote. “Why can’t women also preach in front of everyone during the celebration of Mass?”
Let Women Preach?