Challenges for Women In Church and Society

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, speaks as Monica Maggioni and Anna Maria Tarantola look on during a press conference at the Vatican Feb. 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Violence against women, cultural pressures regarding women’s physical appearance, attitudes that subjugate women or that ignore male-female differences and the growing alienation of women from the church in some parts of the world are themes the Pontifical Council for Culture is set to explore during its plenary assembly on Feb. 4 to 7 at the Vatican. The assembly’s statement, “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference,” looked at the continuing quest to find balance in promoting women’s equality while valuing the differences between women and men; the concrete and symbolic aspects of women’s potential for motherhood; cultural attitudes toward women’s bodies; and women and religion, including questions about their participation in church decision-making. In the section on women and the church, the document described “multifaceted discomfort” with images of women that are no longer relevant and with a Christian community that seems to value their input even less than the world of business and commerce does. Many women, it said, “have reached places of prestige within society and the workplace but have no corresponding decisional role nor responsibility within ecclesial communities.”

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Luis Gutierrez
3 years 8 months ago
The church is "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic" but not necessarily "male-apostolic." Time to ordain some nuns!

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