Vatican hits sour note with women, but progress may come / Associated Press

A new Vatican outreach initiative to listen to women hit a sour note before it even got off the ground: The sexy blonde on its Internet promo video came under such ridicule that it was quickly taken down.

“But the program is going ahead, and an inaugural meeting this week will study women’s issues in ways that are utterly new for the Holy See.

“No, there is no talk of ordaining women priests.

“But the working paper for the Pontifical Council of Culture’s plenary assembly on ‘Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference’ speaks about opening the church’s doors to women so they can offer their skills ‘in full collaboration and integration’ with men.”

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Also of interest from the Vatican Information Service today —

Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) – A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture on the theme “Women’s Cultures: between equality and difference,” which will be held in Rome from 4 to 7 February. The speakers were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Anna Maria Tarantola, president of RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana); Monica Maggioni, director of RAI News; and Nancy Brilli, actor.

The Assembly will be divided into four sessions in which the following themes will be considered: “Between equality and difference: the quest for equilibrium,” “Generativity as a symbolic code,” “The female body: between culture and biology” and “Women and religion: flight or new forms of participation in the life of the Church?” The Congress will be attended only by members and consultors of the Pontifical Council by pontifical appointment, with the exception of the session on Wednesday 4 February, when there will be a moment of public participation at the Teatro Argentina in Rome. For a period of 50 minutes there will be a series of videos, brief interviews, readings and images, and live music. Entry will be free, subject to capacity.

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