Q: What role is left for women in the Church if they cannot be priests?
Ferrara: It is not a matter of a role "being left for women" but of women embracing their proper role. There has always been plenty for women to do in the Catholic Church.
Remember, the ordination of women in Protestant communities is a recent development. Before then, women had almost no role to play in those denominations. Protestant churches are starkly masculine.
As a Lutheran, I had no female models of holiness to turn to for comfort and guidance. Though many Protestant denominations ordain women, they do not recognize the importance of the feminine -- mother Church embodied in Mary -- in God's plan for salvation.
I do not see why many Catholics discount the importance of the women religious in the life of the Church as if they were second-class citizens. They are our spiritual mothers.
Protestants have never recognized such a role for women. Moreover, there are also all sorts of lay apostolates, orders and associations women can join.