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Pope Francis waves to the crowds as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his weekly audience on Jan. 22, 2014, in Vatican City. / Franco Origlia, Getty Images

Speaking to an Italian women's organization Saturday, Pope Francis expressed a desire for women to become more involved in the Roman Catholic Church.

Recalling the "indispensable role" of women in society, Francis said he has been pleased to see women sharing pastoral responsibilities with priests and families, adding that he wants women to take on a role that is "more capillary and incisive" in the church.

In the address, Francis praised women for their "gifts of delicacy," including a "special sensitivity and tenderness." He also spoke of women in the workplace, noting their role should be expanded there as well.

"This is important, for without these attitudes, without these contributions of the woman, the human vocation would not be realized," Francis said.

The pope was addressing the Centro Italiano Femminile (Italian Women's Centre), a non-profit women's association based on Christian values.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Pope calls for expanding women's role in church

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