Genius of Women

There are two ever-present dangers, two diametric opposites that undermine woman and her vocation. The first is reducing motherhood to a social role, to a task, however noble, but one which places a woman with her potential aside, not fully valuing her in the building up of the community. This happens in the civil realm as well as in the ecclesial one. And as a reaction to this, there's the other danger, in an opposite sense, of promoting a type of emancipation that, to occupy the spaces taken from men, abandons women of the precious traits that characterize them. And here I'd like to underscore that woman has a particular sensibility for the "things of God," above all in helping us to understand mercy, tenderness, and the love God has for us. I like thinking, too, that the church is not "il chiesa" [masculine], but "la chiesa." The church is woman, is mother, and this is beautiful. You must think and more deeply reflect on this.

Mulieris dignitatem places itself in this context, and offers a profound, organic reflection within a solid anthropological base illumined by Revelation. Yet from here we must return to the task of deepening and of promoting, for which I have hoped for so long. Even in the church it's important to ask ourselves: what presence does woman have? I suffer – to tell you the truth – when I see in the church or some ecclesial organizations that the role of service – which all of us have and should have – that the woman's role of service slips into a role of servitude [Orig.: "servidumbre" – espa├▒ol]. I don't know how you say this in Italian [Ed.: servit├╣]. You understand me? Servizio. When I see women doing things of servitude, it shows that they don't grasp what a woman should do. What presence does woman have in the church? Can it be better valued? It's a reality that I hold much in my heart and for this I wanted to meet you – and break the rules, because this kind of meeting wasn't planned – and to bless you and your work. Thank you, let's carry this forward together! May Mary Most Holy, a great woman, Mother of Jesus and all the children of God, accompany us. Grazie.

from Whispers

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