Support Cardinal Ander Arborelius' Idea of a College of Women to Advise Pope Francis

In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis said, “We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church.” And, last year, Francis called the wage gap between men and women a “pure scandal.” 

On June 28, 2017 a new voice of hope emerged.  Newly appointed Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm suggested in an interview with Joshua McElwee of National Catholic Reporter that Pope Francis should consider appointing a College of Women to advise him on women's roles in the Church.

He stated, "It's very important to find a broader way of involving women at various levels in the church.”

He also recognized that "The role of women is very, very important in society, in economics, but in the church sometimes we are a bit behind."   He added, "We have a College of Cardinals, but we could have a college of women who could give advice to the pope."

We know from statistics by CARA sociologist Patricia Wittberg, S.C., Ph.D. that an analysis of the General Social Surveys (GSS) from 2002 - 2012 shows that the likelihood of exiting Catholicism altogether is now greater among young adult Catholic women than it is among Catholic men of that age.

In short, women are leaving the church as never before, in part, because when they look at the landscape of their professional lives knowing they can reach the highest level of leadership in any sector or industry, they also recognize the use of their enormous talents and gifts will be limited in the Church.

It is critical that we ensure there are meaningful roles and positions of leadership for women at every level of the Church and that women are a vital part of the Church’s decision making. 

According to Kerry Robinson, Ambassador for the Leadership Round Table and a member of the advisory board for Voices of Faith, "If we care deeply about the Catholic Church and fail to recognize the full gifts and talents of women and fail to invite them to lend those gifts and talents in service to the faith community, we are squandering an enormous asset."

We need to see more women at all levels of Church leadership and, in order to make this idea a reality, we are asking Catholics to reach out to Catholic leaders, especially our cardinals, to respectfully ask them to consider, discuss and to ask Pope Francis to implement this important idea.

You can download a template of a sample letter here.

Thank you for all you do to build the church for the future.