Benedict XVI appoints first woman under-secretary for Justice and Peace Council


The Vatican announced on Thursday the appointment of Ms. Flaminia Giovanelli, “the first woman to hold the position of under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.”

Giovenelli will be working alongside Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson and Bishop Mario Toso S.D.B., who are president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace respectively. The Council is a part of the Roman Curia and was established for the international promotion of justice, peace and human rights based on the teachings of the Church.

The new under-secretary graduated from the University of Rome where she studied political science and later obtained diplomas in library science and religious studies.

In 1974, Ms. Giovanelli began working in the then-Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission and has continued to study issues relating to development, poverty and work in the context of the Church's social doctrine. Ms. Giovenelli also has experience with the development and labor policies of the International Labor Organization, the Council of Europe, the European Union, ECOSOC and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

“The appointment of Ms. Giovanelli,” said a Vatican communiqué, “confirms the great trust the Church and the Holy Father Benedict XVI place in women. In his time, Venerable Pope John Paul II also underlined the need for a 'fuller and meaningful participation of women in the development of society.'”

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