Pope Francis has appointed two Italian women as under-secretaries in the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life.
PUBLISHED ONFeb 2018
The women are Professor Gabriella Gambino and Dr. Linda Ghisoni who have already collaborated with the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 2013 to 2016. They now become the third ranking officials in the department and are further evidence of Pope Francis’ determination to assign important positions in the Roman Curia to women, writes Gerard O’Connell in America, the website of the Jesuits in North America.
Professor Gambino, 49, married and mother of five children, was a professor of bioethics at the time of her appointment. Dr. Linda Ghisoni, 52, married and mother of two daughters, was a judge at the marriage tribunal, professor of canon law and law.
In an interview with the new head of the Vatican Dicastery of the Laity, Family and Life, Bishop Kevin Farrell from Dallas, Texas, emphasized that “the laity have a vocation to fulfill in the church.” Adds the bishop, “Like Pope Francis, I am a firm believer that the future of the church depends on them. I have always felt the need to promote laity within the church, and within its organization. I am a firm believer that the future of the church depends on the laity.”
In that interview, he stressed the fact that the dicastery’s new statute calls for qualified lay people to hold most of the key posts. The secretary – the number two position – could be given to a lay person, he said.