VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – When Pope Francis wanted to appoint a woman as deputy head of the Vatican press office in 2016, he quickly ran into opposition from the Catholic Church’s male-dominated hierarchy.
“I had to fight,” Francis said in a rare, two-hour interview with Reuters in his residence this month.
Asked why the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, then three years into his papacy, could not put a woman into a middle-ranking Vatican role without a fight, the pope smiled and replied: “Bosses cannot always do what they want.
“They have to convince. There is a verb, a word, that helps me very much in governing: ‘to persuade’. It is persuasion, slowly persuading, if you can manage to do it.”