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20160504T1104 3117 CNS PAROLIN WOMEN MAGAZINE 800Women look at a new monthly women's insert called "Women-Church-World" in the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper during a news conference at the Vatican in this May 30, 2012, file photo. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – A new Vatican magazine will give attention to women's voices, something that often has been missing in the church despite women's important role in announcing the Gospel, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

"If we do not listen attentively to the voice of women in the great decisive moments in the life of the church, we would lose" the crucial contribution of the feminine genius in the church, Cardinal Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said at an event May 3 launching the magazine format.

Women-Church-World, which began as a monthly insert in the Vatican newspaper, will now feature two new sections: one "focusing on art with women's sensitivity and power of expression," and the other on the Bible, according to L'Osservatore Romano's website.

"The renovation comes in response to many women's need to share, reflect and make their voices heard," the newspaper said.

The new format and new sections were introduced to the press by Cardinal Parolin; Lucetta Scaraffia, the magazine's coordinator; Elisa Zamboni, a columnist from the Italian ecumenical Community of Bose; and Giovanni Maria Vian, editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper.

Cardinal Parolin said the new magazine serves not only to make the presence of women in the church known, but to "pave the way to a new and positive habit" of listening to women.

Women-Church-World, he added, hopes to "implement the male and female synergy that so often has been invoked in official documents but not always put into practice."

"Today, therefore, it is necessary to explore together – men and women, lay and consecrated – the interpretation of sacred texts and draw ideas to reshape and expand the role and service – not the servitude – of women in the church," the cardinal said.

The front cover of the magazine's May issue features an icon of the Visitation, an image that Ms. Scaraffia said defines the publication's mission.

Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth, Ms. Scaraffia wrote in the magazine's first editorial, is not just a moment of solidarity between women but a manifestation that both are "able to see the true and profound meaning of the events they are going through, to discern the divine even when it is still hidden."

"The Visitation therefore is the icon of our project: women who bring to light, to the knowledge of the world, what other women have to say or have said and written in the past; what they do or have done," Ms. Scaraffia said.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.