Pope Francis today (January 25, 2014) lauded women for their sensitivity toward society's weak and "gifts" like intuition, insisting they take on greater responsibilities in the Catholic church, as well as in professional and public spheres, the Yahoo News website reports.
Francis was full of praise about female talent and untapped potential in a speech at the Vatican to an Italian women's group. But the pope gave no sign that the Vatican glass ceiling against ordaining women for the priesthood might see some cracks during his papacy.
From day one of his papacy in March, Francis has been trying to make the Catholic church more welcoming, but it forbids women from becoming priests, arguing among other things, that Jesus and His apostles were all men.
Also, Francis made it clear last November -- in an extensive document laying out his priorities as head of the 1.2-billion-member Catholic church -- that the ban against women's ordination would stand.