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Germany

German Woman Picked for Vatican Commission

The Vatican for the first time on Monday appointed two women in its influential International Theological Commission, among them German Professor Barbara Hallensleben. The Vatican was at pains to explain that the appointment had nothing to do with International Women's Day on Monday, but rather with the excellent qualification of the candidates. The news was welcomed by those involved with the commission. "It's very positive and I'm very happy," Cardinal Georges Cottier, a former chairman of the commission told Reuters. "Women can bring their own sensibilities to certain problems where men possibly have different viewpoints," he said. Hallensleben said, "My first reaction was not that I'm the first woman to be appointed, but rather that I have a new responsibility for theological life in the Church." Hallensleben is joined by U.S. colleague Sara Butler from Chicago in the International Theological Commission.