Sister Enrica Rosanna, first female under-secretary of a Roman congregation
It is the first time in the history of the Church, that a woman has been appointed under-secretary to a Vatican congregation, with powers of jurisdiction. The congregations are presided over by a cardinal prefect, the secretary is a bishop and the under-secretary has, up to now, always been a cleric.
A sociologist in religion and a specialist in education, this Italian religious was president of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences, from 1989 to 1998. A member of different commissions of the Italian Bishops Conference, she has also been invited by John Paul II to take part, as a listener, at several Vatican synods, the last of which, was on the function of the bishop, in 2001.
Already, in March of last year, John Paul II appointed the American Mary Ann Glandon, professor of law at Harvard University, as the head of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences. Another woman, Letizia Pani Ermini, was appointed head of the Roman Pontifical Academy of Archaeology in 2003. Furthermore, the International Theological Commission received two women theologians in March 2004.