Renewing the membership of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, a body of scholars that engages in research for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Francis added two more women experts.

With the addition of Benedicte Lemmelijn, an Old Testament scholar from Belgium, and Maria Armida Nicolaci, a New Testament scholar from Italy, five women are now part of the 20-member commission.

The Vatican announced Jan. 25 the nine new members Pope Francis appointed, and the commission posted the names of the 11 members who were appointed to another term.

Pope Francis appointed the first women to the commission in 2014 and renewed their appointments. They are: Bruna Costacurta, an Old Testament scholar who taught at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University; Spanish Sister Nuria Calduch-Benages, a member of the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, who specializes in Old Testament Wisdom literature and teaches at the Gregorian; and Mary Healy, a professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.