The Women’s Consultation Group at the Pontifical Council for Culture has prepared the video, which features an attractive woman who, with a shake of her blonde curls, invites women to submit a photo or a one-minute video of their “vision” for their role as women.
Critics have called the video “suggestive”–criticizing the sexy model’s false eyelashes and sultry poses. One website calls the video a “degrading infomercial on modern women.” A commenter over at the Fisheaters Forums asks,
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. What are they doing, and why? If they were serious, why is it at this time of year? And who IS this woman??
Another site which is often critical of Pope Francis (I didn’t link here) infers from the brief video that the Holy Father is making an “opening” for women priests–although I can’t see that anywhere in the video, which I’ve posted below.
Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid wonders on Twitter:
Apparently, the #LifeofWomen video introduces the 2015 Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture, which will be held February 4-7, 2015 in Rome. This year’s theme, chosen by Cardinal Ravasi, is “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference.” Access to the Plenary Assembly will be limited to the members and consultors of the Pontifical Council; but there will be a Public Opening Event in Rome’s “Teatro Argentina.” (It is this “Opening” to which the video refers, not the feared “opening” for women priests, as some have alleged.)
The 2015 Plenary Assembly will address the following key areas: generativity, rights, poor and invisible women, women’s spirituality, equality and reciprocity, power and service, insights and vision, biology, and women in the Church. According to the website of the Pontifical Council for Culture, the meeting will consist of four sessions which will address:
1) Between equality and difference: the quest for an equilibrium
2) “Generativity” as a symbolic code
3) The female body: between culture and biology
4) Women and religion: flight or new forms of participation in the life of the Church?
Ladies, your assignment–should you choose to accept it–is to send a photo or video message by January 4 to the Pontifical Council. If your submission is chosen, it may become part of the presentation at the Public Opening in February. The Pontifical Council explains:
Please note carefully, you are asked to send a link to your material posted online. Once it has been viewed by one of a circle of women supporters helping the Dicastery, if your material is chosen, you will receive the email address of our technicians to whom you should send the material in the highest definition possible.
Following is the full text of the #LifeofWomen video. The video itself follows.
At the Pontifical Council for Culture, in the Vatican, they have taken inspiration from Pope Francis’ openness and are reflecting on women’s cultures and the place for women in societies today, between equality and difference.
At what point are we today, as women?
I am sure you have asked yourself many times, who you are, what you do, what you think about your being a woman, your strengths, your difficulties, your body, and your spiritual life. If you want to, you can share your vision.
Why not tell it with a one-minute film, or in a photo. Put your work online with the hashtag #LifeofWomen, and send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org
It could be chosen to be part of the opening event of a great meeting of cardinals and bishops in Rome in February 2015 and as part of a crowd-sourced film on YouTube.
You have until 4 January to send in your materials.
You are important!
UPDATE: Since this was posted early today, the English language version has been removed by the Vatican. Here for your information is a brief Italian version.