Anglican Communion official meets Pope Francis to discuss the role of women in the church

Posted Feb 9, 2024

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Rt. Rev. Jo Bailey Wells, the Anglican Communion’s deputy secretary general and bishop for episcopal ministry, attended a meeting with Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals on Feb. 5 at the Vatican in Rome.

Two other women also were invited to address the meeting: Linda Pocher, a Salesian sister and professor at the Pontifical Auxilium; and Giuliva Di Beradino, a consecrated sister and teacher from the Diocese of Verona in Italy.

According to the Vatican Press Office, Pope Francis and the cardinals are continuing to deepen “their reflection, begun last December, on the role of women in the church.” This meeting was part of a series of four seminars, during which they are seeking to listen to diverse voices and issues on the subject.

Wells said, “Many have suggested this was an historic moment. Certainly, I was honored to be invited to describe the Anglican journey in regard to the ordination of women, both in the Church of England and across the [Anglican] Communion. There was deep engagement and some good discussion. And in the aftermath, I am just amazed at the interest from Catholics all around the world. I hope and pray it will serve to enable more women to explore and fulfill the calling God gives to each one of us.”