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President general of WUCWO: Catholic Church should invest in women

In January 2020, Pope Francis held this meeting in the Vatican with representatives of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations.

María Lía Zervino is the president general of this entity, which works to help families in need and to eliminate trafficking, violence and discrimination against women.

President General, WUCWO/UMOFC

“We seek to promote the dignity of women so we, alongside men, can be protagonists in the Church and the world, especially in evangelization and holistic human development. I think as Catholic women, we are the face of Jesus' tenderness for society.”

The WUCWO counts on the collaboration of about 100 organizations and nearly eight million Catholic women around the world. Apart from fighting violence, another important part of their mission is to promote a stronger female presence in the Church.

President General, WUCWO/UMOFC

“I think the structure of the Church deserves to be changed to counteract clericalism and machismo. However, any change must be founded on faith, not on politics nor quotas, but by looking at the different qualities, the different natures God has given woman and man. Then we will be able to count on qualified women so, as the pope says, they can be in decision-making positions.”

María Lía says she was particularly struck by the words of encouragement the pope offered during their meeting.

President General, WUCWO/UMOFC

“He told us, 'Take things into your hands, because it's women who keep the Church moving forward. Do as Mary Magdalene, something crazy. Nobody believed her, not even the apostles, and yet, she announced the resurrection of Jesus. Without craziness, there is no sanctity.'”

María Lía says the Church should invest in women instead of letting their potential go to waste. She certainly isn't one to worry about being called crazy for her work.

Claudia Torres