In his address to the public a few days after Easter, Pope Francis noted that "women were the first witnesses" to the Resurrection.
"This tells us that God does not choose according to human criteria," he added.
He explained the church's overlooking the significance of these women for many centuries by noting that women were not considered reliable witnesses in first-century Judea.
Women theologians were pleased that Pope Francis admitted to human error in the church not recognizing women's early important role.
This is "a decidedly new element compared to the previous papacy," noted Marinella Perroni of the Association of Italian Women Theologians.
How far will the Pope go?
Does his record of caring about justice include women?
It's up to Catholic women to speak up and keep demanding change. Do your part by visiting the website of the Women's Ordination Conference.