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Religious sisters as Chaplains?

A step forward on a path that may one day lead to consecrated religious sisters serving as military chaplains: six religious sisters have participated in a training course for seminarians of the Military Ordinariate recently held at the Domenico Bastianini della Maddalena NCOMilitary Navy School. The presence of the sisters in the course - said Don Santo Battaglia, Secretary of Archbishop Santo Marcianò, the Military Ordinary for Italy - “does not mean that the religious sisters will assume the title of chaplain, since today the spiritual assistance of military personnel on mission is delegated only to priests. But it may be that one day this conversation is reopened and modified”. Recently Archbishop Marcianò, who chaired the seminar, did not rule out that consecrated religious Sisters and may in future be called to offer spiritual assistance in the armed forces. "The presence of women has its own special value and unique characteristics and should be increasingly better appreciated by expanding opportunities for the presence of women in the Church and in society, as even Pope Francis has pointed out in the Encyclical Evangelii gaudium. The Pope is inviting us to develop a pastoral plan that is careful to tread new paths of evangelization. This is why, in order to provide better spiritual care to military men and women, we cannot but encourage - along with the essential figure of the priest - the presence of women religious who, as in any Christian community, can bring with them the richness of their charisms, their expertise, and the value of their femininity and motherhood”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Oct. 15, 2019

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