We read in the Gospel that women were the first witnesses to the Resurrection. Women have always led with vision, courage and a commitment to renewing the church when structures and institutions stray from the path of justice.
I believe that empowering Catholic women is about affirming the image of God in everyone. When women are not represented in leadership positions, our church suffers. At a time when the church is confronting a crisis of credibility because of clergy sexual abuse and cover up, the voices of Catholic women are more critical than ever to bring transparency, healing and renewal.
Pope Francis, you have spoken eloquently about a culture of exclusion. I prayerfully encourage you to take an important step toward inclusion and justice by affirming a role for women deacons and appointing more Catholic women to key positions at the Vatican.