Vatican newspaper targets female readers

For the first time in its 150-year history, the Vatican’s newspaper is publishing a special section for women.

L’Osservatore Romano‘s new monthly supplement, “Women, Church, World,” will be edited by women, aiming to “provid[e] information on the female condition, without ignoring hot topics like procreation, access to culture and women’s rights,” Lucetta Scaraffia, an editorial writer for the paper, told AFP.

The newspaper’s first female journalist was hired in 2008, according to the Guardian.

In an interview with non-profit news agency Zenit, Scaraffia asserted the supplement will break stereotypes of Catholic women — inside and outside the church. Moreover, the editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, said the new section will try to promote a keener understanding of the “under-appreciated treasure” of women in the church.
Giulia Gaelotti, a writer at the newspaper, also stated that “the dialogue between women and the Church is not new today. It’s a dialogue that has been undervalued, that’s why we’ve created this project, this monthly supplement to make this dialogue clear. This encounter is one that continues to enrich both women and the Church.
Vian said Pope Benedict supports the supplement, which he said would hire non-Catholic contributors, according to Guardian.
The first issue, which was printed on May 31 includes Maria Voce, president of the Focolari Movement, an appreciation of the Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi and an essay on Joan of Arc.

While it seems a bold move for the Vatican newspaper to target female readers, Scaraffia said that “some will not be pleased.” GetReligionexpressed its doubt by questioning the effectiveness of the change.

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