Skip to comments.Woman appointed rector of a Pontifical University for the first time ever
Posted on 07/05/2014 9:56:12 AM PDT by NYer
She was the first woman to obtain a permanent position as a professor at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University Antonianum, the Roman university run by the Order of Friars Minor; she was the first woman to be appointed a dean, which is equivalent to the position of department head and now that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is Pope, she is the first woman to become a rector of a pontifical university in the Eternal City. The Vatican congregation for Catholic Education headed by cardinal Zenon Grocholewski for the period 2014-2017 - has nominated Franciscan Sr. Mary Melone, an expert on St. Anthony of Padua, to lead the pontifical university.
Sr. Mary (birth name Maria Domenica) Melone was born in La Spezia in 1964. After finishing school with a specialization in classics, she joined the Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Angelina where she took her temporary vows in 1986 and then professed her perpetual vows in 1991. In 1992 she graduated with a degree in teaching and philosophy from the Libera università Maria santissima assunta (LUMSA) with a thesis on Corporeity and intersubjectivity in Gabriel Marcel. She then studied theology at the Pontifical University Antonianum, where she had studied from 1983 to 1987, obtaining a degree in 1996 and then a PhD with a thesis on The Holy Spirit in Riccardo di San Vittores De Trinitate published in 2001. She was Extraordinaty Professor at the Faculty of Trinitarian and Pneumatological Theology from 2002 to 2008 and head of the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences Redemptor Hominis. In 2011 she was elected (by a male college) dean of Theology. She is currently president of the Italian society for theological research (SIRT). She has published articles and essays in various collections and magazines Antonianum, Doctor Seraphicus, Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie, Italia francescana, Quaderni di spiritualità francescana, Ricerche teologiche, Studi francescani, Theotokos and has edited Ricardo di San Vittores works for the Edizioni Paoline publishing house (La preparazione dellanima alla contemplazione: Beniamino Minore Preparing the soul for contemplation: Benjamin Minor) and St. Anthony of Padua (Camminare nella luce: sermoni scelti per lanno liturgico Walking in the Light: A selection of sermons for the liturgical year).
The academic community wishes the new Rector Magnificent, Professor Mary Melone, a fruitful work at the Pontifical University Antonianum and extends its gratitude to Professor Martin Carbajo Nuñez for the great work he did as acting Rector Magnificent, a message from the university offices in Via Merulana (Rome) reads.
I dont give much importance to these kinds of labels, female theology, Sr. Melone said in an interview with LOsservatore Romano, published on the occasion of her election as dean of Theology. Above all, I dont like comparisons although I recognize that in the past there may have been a reason for making comparisons. Maybe there is one today as well, I dont know. More space definitely needs to be given to women. The reference to female theology does not really fit with my vision of things: all that exists is theology. Theology as research, as a focus on mystery, as a reflection on this mystery. But precisely because this requires different sensitivities. A womans approach to mystery, the way in which she reflects on this mystery which offers itself and reveals itself, is certainly different from that of a man. But they do not contrast. I believe in theology and I believe that theology created by a woman is typical of a woman. It is different but without the element of laying claim to it. Otherwise it almost seems as though I am manipulating theology, when it is instead a field that requires honesty from the person who places him/herself before the mystery. As far as the role of women in the Church is concerned, a reflection on this cannot be commensurate to the Churchs age as this reflects a development of thought that has gone on for hundreds of years, she went on to say in the 2011 interview. However, in my opinion a new space does exist and it is real. I also think it is irreversible, meaning that it is not a concession but a sign of the times from which there is no return. It is no pretense. I believe this depends a great deal on us women too. It is us who should get the ball rolling. Women cannot measure how much space they have in the Church in comparison to men: we have a space of our own, which is neither smaller nor greater than the space men occupy. It is our space. Thinking that we have to achieve what men have, will not get us anywhere. Of course, although the steps we take may be real, this does not mean the job is complete. A great deal more can be done but there is change, you can see it, feel it. I think that (my case aside) the election of a woman in a pontifical university is also proof this. The body who elected me was made up entirely of men! So doesnt the Church need gender quotas? No, it doesnt need quotas, it needs collaboration. And collaboration needs to grow!
I think sr mary started out as bro mark.
"Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression."" 1 Tim 2:11-14
How PC, and unfortunate.
Huh? She just looks like a regular sister, to me - no make up, no hair do, a veil...but I guess you’re so unused to seeing people like that (which is what they all were like, once upon a time) that you feel compelled to make some silly remark about her.
She'd be the first woman rector no matter who was Pope.
Aimhigh (you too, Blessed), I believe this Scripture refers to the conduct of the Liturgy --- at least, it's located smack in the middle of an instruction on the conduct of official public prayer --- and arguably to a woman's position in the the Church (hierarchy). Since the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is defined by the Sacrament of Holy Orders, this is still maintained to this day. Only men are recipients of this Sacrament.
It cannot mean "under all circumstances" (i.e. in politics, in school, on academic faculties, etc.) because women have always to some extent participated as laypeople (non-priests) in roles of both teaching (e.g. deaconesses, prioresses, abbesses) and ruling (the monastics just mentioned, as well as secular authorities: Queens, countesses and the rest.)
So your objection is, I think, not centered correctly. St. Paul is not talking about academic appointments. He is talking about roles in the hierarchy.
The context shifts in verse 11. Verse 12 forward don’t say a word about prayer. It speaks about teaching and having authority, not prayer. Teaching is a part of academics. Teaching theology in a seminary would definitely apply to this passage.
I must disagree. This has nothing to do with women holding academic teaching positions. If all the teachers were to be priests, that would be different. But in fact seminaries, universities theology faculties and the like, are staffed by both clerics and laity, and both men and women.
The Catholic Church has designated three women from the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and one woman of the modern era, as Doctors (teachers) of the Church: St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of Lisieux.
They were not part of the Magisterium in the hierarchical sense (they were not clerics) but were publicly honored as great teachers in their capacities as theologians, mystics, prophetesses and counselors.
"I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, says the Lord."
You speak to what your church allows. I speak about what the scripture allows.
Scripture doesn’t allow female university professors?
I think you got it mixed up with Boko Haram.