VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has always been a heavily male bureaucracy, and statistics released on the eve of International Women's Day now back that up.
As of last year, only 18 percent of Holy See employees were women, up from 17 percent four years ago.
In the separately administered Vatican City State — which runs the Vatican Museums, the Vatican supermarket, pharmacy and tax-free department store — there has been a more marked increase, according to statistics released Friday. In 2004, 13 percent of personnel were women, rising to 19 percent in 2014.
Francis has pledged to name more women to higher-ranking governance jobs in the Vatican, though he has ruled out naming a woman to head a congregation. Currently, only two women hold the rank of undersecretary.