VATICAN – Pope Francis has appointed Sr Dr Dominica Dipio, a professor of literature at Makerere University, a member of the Vatican-based Pontifical Council for Culture.
The Pontifical Council for Culture is a dicastery of the Roman Curia charged with fostering the relationship of the Catholic Church with different cultures. Pope John Paul II founded it on 20 May 1982.
Sr. Dr Dipio, who is also the head of the Department of Literature at Makerere University, belongs to the Missionary Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church. The congregation on Monday, November 18, expressed joy at Sr Dipio’s appointment.
“The Missionary Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church, Lira Uganda are humbled that their Sister Dominic has been entrusted with such responsibility by the Holy Father. May the Holy Spirit guide the team appointed,” reads the message from the congregation that is based in Lira.
Sr. Dipio thanked the Holy Father for the appointment.
“When the news of the Holy Father’s appointment of four of us, women, as consultors to the Pontifical Council for Culture became public, I felt truly humbled and honoured at the same time,” Sr Dipio is quoted by ACI Africa as saying on Monday, November 18.
Three other women have been appointed to the same Council, namely, the Loreto Sr. Patricia Murray, Sr. Mariella Mascitelli of the Sisters of the Divine Master (P.D.D.M), and the French lay, Ms. Maud de Beauchesne-Cassanet.
From Africa, Pope Francis also appointed Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi of Lesotho’s Maseru Archdiocese as one of the members of the same Roman Curia dicastery that has the responsibility of fostering the relationship of the Church with different cultures across the globe. Others appointed as consultors include Msgr. Tamas Toth who is the secretary of the Hungarian Episcopal Conference, Dominican Fr. Eric Salobir, Fr. Paolo Bennati, a Third Order Regular Franciscan, Professor Roberto Battiston, Professor Stefano Paleari, and Dr. Daniele Pasquini, national President of Italian Sports Centre.
While both the members and consultors of the Council are appointed for a five-year term, their responsibilities vary. The members attend meetings of the Council and represent it in key events and rely on the consultors who study key issues and use their knowledge and expertise in research to advise the Council.
The Pontifical Council for Culture traces its roots back to the Second Vatican Council when the Council fathers through their Pastoral Constitution ‘Gaudium et spes’ stressed the need for the Church to place itself before the various cultures arising in the modern world.
Sr Dr Dipio holds a BA in Education and an MA in Literature, both at the Makerere University in Uganda. In 2002 she obtained a PhD on women in African cinema at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), where she also lectured on Introduction to Film Criticism and African Cinema.