MANILA: Pope Francis said on Sunday men should listen to women’s ideas more and not be male chauvinists.
The Argentine pope made impromptu remarks during a youth rally at a co-ed Catholic university in the Philippine capital, Manila, after he noted that four of the five people who addressed him on stage were male.
“There is only a small representation of females here, too little,” he said, bringing laughter from the crowd. “Women have much to tell us in today’s society. At times we men are too ‘machista’,” he said, using the Spanish term for male chauvinists.
“(We) don’t allow room for women but women are capable of seeing things with a different angle from us, with a different eye. Women are able to pose questions that we men are not able to understand,” he said to more applause.–Reuters/AFP
He noted that it was a 12-year-old girl, not any of the four men, who had posed the toughest question, asking why God allowed children to be abandoned..
He ended that part of his impromptu remarks with a joke: “So, when the next pope comes to Manila, let’s please have more women among you.”
Francis has said that, while the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women priests is definitive, he wants to appoint more nuns and other women to senior positions in the Vatican.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis made a triumphant entrance for a mass with millions in the Philippines on Sunday aboard a “popemobile” styled after the nation’s iconic, flamboyant and much-loved “jeepney” minibus.
The pontiff, standing in the elevated open body of the uniquely Filipino version of his popemobile, travelled through the streets of the capital Manila for the main event of his five-day visit.
Wearing a think plastic yellow poncho over his vestments, the 78-year-old pontiff smiled and waved to hundreds of thousands who had lined the route to the venue for the mass.
The rectangular vehicle with distinctive giant grille repeatedly stopped so he could reach into the cheering masses and pick up babies to kiss and bless them.
The pope rode the jeepney popemobile to Rizal Park where millions had gathered to hear him celebrate mass, in one of the world’s biggest papal gatherings.
The jeepneys are regarded by many Filipinos as a symbol of national ingenuity. Locals created them from surplus US military jeeps after American forces left at the end of World War II.
The bodies of the jeeps were extended, seats were added and a fixed roof put in place. The vehicles were then painted with colourful and Catholic designs.
They proved to be strong vehicles with decades-long lifespans, and can be seen ferrying people through city streets and animals on mountain roads.
However the diesel-powered vehicles are also one the nation’s chief air pollution culprits.
Francis’s jeepney was an all-white popemobile. It had no doors, after the pope told local organisers he did not want a bulletproof vehicle so he could reach out and touch his followers.