Anglican Female Bishop Praises Francis For Inviting Her To Address Women’s Ordinations

An Anglican woman bishop who addressed Pope Francis and his advisory Council of Cardinals says she believes the pontiff took a “risk” in extending her an invitation to speak to the group and hopes that the Catholic Church will continue to explore the topic of women’s leadership with “courage.”

“I’m aware — not least from various reactions in the aftermath — that to many such an opportunity feels rare, if not historic. I’m thankful for the privilege, and equally want to honor the risk Pope Francis surely took in welcoming it,” Bishop Jo Bailey Wells, deputy secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, said in an email interview with the National Catholic Reporter following her visit to Rome.

Wells was one of three women who on Feb. 5 met with the pope and what is often referred to as his “C9” group of nine cardinals that meets quarterly in Rome to advise Francis on church governance.

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