There is too much male chauvinism in the Roman Catholic Church and society as a whole, according to Pope Francis, who claimed on Sunday that the women he has chosen to lead the Vatican have demonstrated they are better managers than males.
The pope made his remarks at an in-flight press conference while flying back to Rome after a four-day visit to Bahrain.
Every time a woman is given a position of authority at the Vatican, he noted, “things go better.”
Francis was asked about the women at the forefront of protests in Iran, but he did not answer the question, pivoting to the topic of the role of women in general.
Speaking of women he has appointed to managerial roles, he mentioned Sister Raffaella Petrini, the deputy governor of Vatican City, who is effectively the most powerful woman in the Vatican, in charge of some 2,000 employees.
“Things have changed for the better,” he said, referring to the management skills of Petrini, who was appointed last year.
He also cited the impact of five women he appointed to a department that oversees Vatican finances.
“This is a revolution because women know how the find the right way to go forward,” he said.
Francis condemned male chauvinism, acknowledging there was still too much of it around the world, including in his native Argentina.
“Women are a gift. God did not create man and then give him a puppy dog to play with. He created man and woman,” he said. “A society that is not capable of (allowing women to have greater roles) does not move forward.”
Francis has also appointed women as deputy foreign minister, director of the Vatican Museums, deputy head of the Vatican Press Office, as well as four women as councillors to the Synod of Bishops, which prepares major meetings.