Bay Area nuns hope for increased role for women in church

March 19, 2013 8:43:39 PM PDT
Like many Bay Area Catholics, the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose watched with great interest as Pope Francis presided over the inaugural mass. For many of them, what Pope Francis brings to the church and the world was clear.

"It is my hope that the Pope takes an active stance in preserving our beautiful world and our beautiful universe," Sister Mary Menegatti said.

Pope Francis also appeared to be a man of the people, especially those who can't take care of themselves. Perhaps less clear is how the pope will lead the church out of the painful chapters of the past -- namely the sex scandals that have rocked the priesthood.

"It's a good thing that it's come out and it's being dealt with, but it's not the only issue in the church, it's not the only issue among the people of God," Sister Annunciata Auletta said.

One area the sisters would like to see the new Pope tackle is greater leadership roles for women in the church.

"I would have liked to have seen more women involved in the mass today but they weren't," Sister Rose Marie Hennessy asid.

"I think women need to be recognized as intelligent, committed ministers of the church," Sister Rose Marie Hennessy said.

For some sisters, the initial signs are hopeful, but they need more time to see for themselves what kind of pope the former cardinal from Argentina will be.

"Yeah, come back in three months," Sister Imelda Marie Dibble said.


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