Pope Francis and the Role of Women in the Church

Pope Francis and the Role of Women in the Church October 12, 2013

Pope Francis made a few comments today on one of my favorite topics: The role of women in the Church.

I think this is an area that needs a little work. My primary concern is the worldwide plague of violence against and exploitation of women. This evil is so endemic that we take it as a given. I have been praying for years that the pope — whoever the pope might be — would address this with the force and uncompromising moral clarity that it deserves.

The Holy Father did not address violence against women today, but he had a lot of other great comments, just the same.

From Catholic News Agency:

.- Pope Francis met with experts on women’s issues today in Rome, affirming that the Church must continue to work for a more profound understanding of women and their roles.

“Also in the Church it is important to ask ourselves: what presence does woman have? Can it be valued more?” the Pope asked.

He met with experts who had participated in a seminar marking the 25th anniversary of Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic letter, “On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.” The two-day seminar was sponsored by the Pontifical Council of the Laity.

Pope Francis said the presence of women in the Church is “a reality that is very much on my heart.” He said he wanted to meet the seminar participants “and bless you and your task.”

He noted that John Paul II’s apostolic letter teaches that “God entrusts man, the human being, to woman in a special way.”

“What does this ‘special entrustment’ mean?” asked Pope Francis.

“I think it is evident that my predecessor refers to motherhood,” he explained. “And this is not simply a biological fact, but it involves a wealth of implications both for woman herself, for her way of being, and for her relationships, for a way of extending respect for human life and for life in general.”

The Pope then warned of two ever-present dangers, “two extreme opposites that degrade woman and her vocation.”

“The first is to reduce motherhood to a social role, to a task, however noble, but in fact sets apart woman with her potential, not fully valuing her in the construction of the community,” he noted.

The second peril is that of “promoting a type of emancipation that, in order to occupy the space stolen by the masculine, abandons the feminine with its priceless elements.”

He said women can help provide better insight into the nature of God.

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

3 responses to “Pope Francis and the Role of Women in the Church”

  1. It isn’t metaphorical. The Catholic Church teaches that men and women have different natures. These natures are equal and complementary, and began when Adam was divided to create Eve. As humans, we are made whole by our complement (our spouse) in marriage. This is why the Catholic Church regards marriage as a sacrament and an institution created by God. Marriage exists to make us whole again.

    I suppose there is some vagueness about exactly how male and female natures differ. One thing the Church has been clear about is that the male nature is uniquely suited for the priesthood. Pope Francis, in his recent speech, mentions the apostolic letter Dignitatis Mulieris, which was written by Pope John Paul II. Both popes discussed the “feminine genius” and its vital role in our culture, society and, yes, church.

  2. I am tired of all these liberals trying to change the church. The Roman Catholic Church invented WOMEN’s Rights. That’s right I said it, The Roman Catholic Church invented WOMEN’s Rights. We were around 70 years prior to women even having a voice in the early 1840s . The nuns (who wore habits and didn’t bitch) were running hospitals, schools, triages, etc. We invented Women’s Rights!!!!!They had twice the power in the Roman Catholic fold than they had in the rest of the world. There are 1610 women saints and there are 1426 men saints-tell me we are chauvanists. Can men have babies-hell no not God’s design—–same with priest some things aren’t meant to be . i can’t own a Curves. it is what it is. We invented Women’s Rights!!!!!!!