Pope Francis names a woman number two for the first time

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis has appointed the Franciscan nun and political scientist Raffaella Petrini, 52, Secretary General of the Interior of the Vatican City State, and thus becomes the “number two”, the first time a woman holds this position.

Petrini, who until now was an official of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoplesos, was born in Rome on January 15, 1969 and belongs to the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist.

He has a degree in Political Science from the Free International University of Guido Carli, as well as a doctorate from the Pontifical University of San Tommaso d’Aquino, where he is currently Professor of Welfare Economics and Sociology of Economic Processes.

Visibility to women

Pope francis is giving visibility to the work of women in the Church and last August elected six as lay experts from the Council of the Economy.

One of them, Professor Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, was appointed vice-coordinator of this council in September.

Also in August, Francisco appointed several women scientists to be members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, among them Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier, founder and director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin and New Prize in Chemistry in 2020.

Too, Donna Theo Strickland, Professor of Optical Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo and awarded in 2018 with the Nobel Prize in Physics for having invented in 1985, together with Gérard Mourou, chirp laser pulse amplification, ultrashort optical pulses and high intensity laser used in millions of eye surgeries.


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