Pope Francis appointed new members to the Vatican’s Council for the Economy on Thursday, and in addition to several cardinals, he also added seven new laypeople to the committee. Six of them are women.
This historic move means there are more senior female officials serving the Vatican than ever before.
The six female appointees are: Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, of Germany; Eva Castillo Sanz, of Spain; Leslie Jane Ferrar, of Great Britain; Marija Kolak, of Germany; María Concepción Osákar Garaicoechea, of Spain; and Ruth Maria Kelly, of Great Britain. Alberto Minali is the only layperson from Italy that was appointed. The new appointees all have finance backgrounds.
The pope created the Council for the Economy in 2014 “to supervise the economic management” and “administrative and financial activities” of Vatican institutions, according to Vatican News.
The total members who seat on the council is fifteen — eight of whom are cardinals and bishops, “so as to reflect the universality of the Church.” “The other seven are experts of various nationalities, with financial expertise and recognized professional credentials,” according to Vatican News.