Theologian Beate Gilles, 50, will succeed Hans Langendörfer on July 1st as a high-ranking official charged with implementing decisions taken by the
“This is a strong sign that the bishops are acting on their agreement to promote women into leadership positions,” said Georg Bätzing, president of the bishops' conference.
(article continues below)
See also on The Local:
Langendörfer is retiring after 24 years in the role.
The council of 68 bishops are meeting via video conference this week in a virtual spring council overshadowed by a scandal over the controversial cardinal of Cologne Rainer Maria Woelki.
Woelki, a powerful archbishop, has blocked the publication of a report about alleged sexual abuse of minors by members of his diocese, the largest in Germany.
His decision has prompted a furious reaction from victims and growing criticism from outside and inside the church.