By John Efosa
Pope Francis has, for the first time ever, appointed three women as members of the Catholic dicastery for bishops.
They are, Raffaella Petrini, a Nun and Secretary-Geeneral of the Governorate of the Vatican City State; Yvonne Reungoat, a Nun and former Superior-General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; and Maria Lia Zervino, President of the World Union of Catholic Women Organisations.
The three women were among 14 other people appointed to the Dicastery for Bishops and the appointment lasts for five years
This is the first time women would be appointed into the Dicastery.
The other 11 appointed on Wednesday are Cardinals, Bishops and Priests.
Members of the Dicastery assist in the selection of Bishops for Dioceses, and they also conduct analyses on position papers regarding opinions on candidates.
In an interview with Reuters earlier in July, the Pope said he wanted to give women more senior and influential positions in the Holy See.
“This way, things are opening up a bit,” he said.
This follows months after Petrini was appointed as the first female Secretary-General of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
The Secretary-General is the “second-ranking position in the Government of the Vatican City State”.