Six women who have well-established backgrounds in finance were appointed by Pope Francis to oversee the Vatican's finances, making them the most senior women ever to serve there.
With Thursday's appointment, the Council seats six women who are Great Britain's former Labour Party minister Ruth Kelly, Leslie Jane Ferrar, Germany's Charlotte, Kreuter-Kirchhof and Dr. Marija Kolak, Spain's Eva Castillo Sanz, and María Concepción Osákar Garaicoechea.
The Vatican's Council for the Economy seats 15 members was previously occupied by all male members in which they review budgets and balance sheets of all of the offices of the Holy See which is the central administration of the Catholic Church in Rome, the papel diplomatic network abroad, and the sovereign Vatican City state in Italy.
Pope Francis is known as the most progressive pope compared to his predecessors especially with his recent determination to make more progressive advancements. A few months ago, Pope Francis also appointed a female Italian lawyer, Francesca Di Giovanni, as undersecretary for multilateral affairs in the Secretariat of State. In addition, back in 2017, a female Italian art historian Barbara Jatta became director of the Vatican Museums, one of the world's preeminent art collections.
"Pope Francis...has affirmed that the Catholic Church needs more women in leadership positions. In the Vatican and the Roman Curia, he is gradually preparing the ground," Vatican News said in 2019.
In 2010, only 17% of Holy See and Vatican City employees were women but it grew to 22% in 2019.
"We must move forward without fear to include women in advisory positions, also in governance. The place of women in the church is not just as functionaries...Women's advice is very important," Pope Francis told Vatican officials last November.