ROME – Following the abrupt resignation of the head of the Vatican’s women’s magazine in late March, the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano announced a new coordinator and editorial board that will run the publication starting with its May edition.

“I am pleased about this appointment,” said Rita Pinci, the new head of the Vatican’s women’s magazine Donne Chiesa Mondo (Women, Church, World) in a statement released April 30.

“It is something I was not expecting, and at first I was surprised by the proposal of L’Osservatore Romano’s Editor-in-chief, Andrea Monda. Both because he thought of me, and for the complete freedom that he has assured to me and the Editorial Board,” she added.

The former director and founder of the magazine, Lucetta Scaraffia, had said her resignation was a consequence of “a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization,” in an editorial released April 1 and accused the Vatican of discrediting her publication and putting it “under the direct control of men.”

The choice of Pinci, a feminist and first woman to become the vice-director of major Italian daily Il Messaggero, as a coordinator for the magazine suggests that the Vatican hasn’t thrown in the towel on providing a platform for outspoken women.

During her university years, Pinci “began to share certain fundamental themes of the women’s movement,” she said.

“I think the Church needs the gaze and voice of women who represent more than half of the faithful,” Pinci said in the statement, while adding that she is not “a theologian, a Church historian, an expert on Vatican issues.”

“I am a journalist. I am a believer,” she said.

The journalist said that she has always read Donne Chiesa Mondo with interest and sees her appointment as an important opportunity. Pinci also worked as the director of glossy Specchio, sold with Il Messaggero and worked for Huffington Post Italy. She currently works for the Italian Catholic television channel Tv2000.

Not only has the personnel of the Vatican women’s magazine changed, but also its organization.

Pinci will act not as director, but as a coordinator alongside a multi-lingual and inter-religious editorial board in “a collegial manner and in the spirit of sharing the diverse talents and skills of the women who will participate in it,” she said.

The editorial board is formed by:

— Francesca Bugliani Knox: Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London and Honorary Research Fellow at the London-based University of Roehampton. She specializes in literature and works as a lawyer in marriage causes in diocesan ecclesiastical tribunals;

— Elena Buia Rutt: A poet and translator working with Italy’s public television;

— Yvonne Dohna Schlobitten: Professor of aesthetics, philosophy and Christian art at the Pontifical Gregorian University;

— Chiara Giaccardi; Sociology professor at the Cattolica University of Milan, Italy;

— Shahrzad Houshmand Zadeh: Professor of Islamic studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University;

— Amy-Jill Levine: A Jewish writer and academic from the United States who teaches New Testament studies at Vanderbilt University;

— Marta Rodríguez Díaz: Director of the Institute of Superior Studies on Women at Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum;

— Giorgia Salatiello: Philosophy professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University specializing in the relationships between philosophy and theology;

— Carola Susani: Italian writer of novels for adults and children;

— Giulia Galeotti: Head of the cultural pages of L’Osservatore Romano;

— Silvia Guidi: Journalist at L’Osservatore Romano;

— Valeria Pendenza: Employee at L’Osservatore Romano;

— Silvina Pérez: Journalist and director of the Spanish edition of L’Osservatore Romano.

The announcement occurred as the Vatican’s Communication dicastery has undergone significant changes in the past few months, as the ongoing reform of the multi-faceted organization continues.

On April 30, the Prefect of the Communication dicastery, Paolo Ruffini, announced that L’Osservatore Romano will be changing headquarters by 2020.

The newspaper’s editorial board will move from its longtime headquarters within the Vatican Walls to the Palazzo Pio, which is close to Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. The Palazzo Pio has long served as the headquarters of Vatican Radio, and now houses the central administration of the Dicastery for Communication.