Women religious listen as Pope Francis addresses members of the International Union of Superiors General at the Vatican May 8.

CNS PHOTO | L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Women religious listen as Pope Francis addresses members of the International Union of Superiors General at the Vatican May 8.

May 20, 2013

Pope Francis told 800 superiors of women’s orders from around the world that the Catholic Church needs religious women and that religious women need to be in harmony with the faith and teachings of the Church.

“What would the Church be without you?” the pope told the women May 8.

“It would be missing maternity, affection, tenderness and a mother’s intuition.”

Religious superiors, Pope Francis said, need to ensure their members are educated in the doctrine of the Church, “in love for the Church and in an ecclesial spirit.”