A former papal representative to Great Britain has pleaded with Pope Francis to allow women to be ordained to the priesthood.

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Archbishop Pablo Puente issued the appeal Sunday at a Mass in Colindres, in the Spanish region of Cantabria.

Cantabrian regional president Miguel Ángel Revilla revealed on Twitter that in the middle of the Mass Puente “grabbed the microphone” and said he would post a letter Monday asking Pope Francis for women priests

“Tomorrow a harsh letter will go out to His Holiness the Pope asking with urgency that women be ordained priests”, Puente said, according to Revilla.

“We cannot tolerate this blatant discrimination against women by the Church”, added the retired Vatican diplomat, papal representative to Great Britain from 1997 to 2004.

“I began to applaud and so did a good part of the thousand attendees at the Mass”, Revilla said, adding that after the ceremony he sought Puente out in the sacristy to embrace him.

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Like Revilla and the other attendees at the Mass, millions of Catholic faithful around the world are anxious for Pope Francis to lift the Church’s veto on women priests.

Earlier this month, grassroots Spanish Catholics appealed to Francis to name a woman as Spain’s new nuncio.

“We women have been doing a lot of good and quiet work in the Church for a long time, proving with our deeds that we are good managers and good theologians and that we’re deeply committed to the efficient management of pastoral work”, these faithful said.

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. Lecturer in ethics at Loyola University Maryland, Alcalá de Henares (Spain) campus. Religion journalist with 4 years experience.