POPE BENEDICT xvi has praised the contribution of women in the shaping and direction of the Church through the centuries.
Highlighting the fidelity and responsibility of women in the early Christian community, Pope Benedict XVI said the Church could not have grown and developed as it has without the contribution of women.
As he included a series of sermons on the Apostles and early Church leaders, the Pontiff told his audience he wanted to focus on "the many female figures who played an effective and precious role in spreading the Gospel".
"Their witness cannot be forgotten,he said: "The history of Christianity would have had a very different development if it had not been for the generous support of many women." The Pope avoided questions of the ordination of women to the diaconate or the priesthood.