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The Church needs more female theologians, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis (AP)

Pope Francis has said he is pleased that five of the 30 members of the International Theological Commission are women.

But he said that the body that advises the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as the Church in general, need more women theologians.

“They are the strawberries on the cake, but there is need for more,” the Pope said as he met the members, who were named to a five-year term in July.

Two women served on the commission for the past 10 years. In July the Pope named five new female members, coming from the United States, Canada, Australia, Slovenia and Austria.

“The greater presence of women – although they are not many – is a call to reflect on the role women can and must have in the field of theology,” the Pope told the commission.

Quoting his 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis said: “‘The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess.’ I am pleased to see how many women are offering new contributions to theological reflection.”

The women theologians, he said, “can reveal, to the benefit of everyone, certain unexplored aspects of the unfathomable mystery of Christ”.