(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says there is still much to be done in order to give due recognition to women, both in society and in the Church.
Speaking on Wednesday during the General Audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope said that not only must the voice of women be listened to, but that it must also be given weight and authority.
Listen to the reprort by Linda Bordoni:
Continuing in his Catechesis on the family, Pope Francis focused on the great gift that God gave humanity when he created man and woman and on the Sacrament of marriage.
Reflecting on the complementarity between man and woman, Francis said that the Scripture tells us that “God created man in his own image… male and female he created them” and that man and woman bear the image and likeness of God not only as individuals, but also together.
He said that in God’s plan, sexual differentiation is not ordered to subordination, but to communion and procreation and he said that this reciprocity brings harmony and enrichment to the human family.
But, pointing out that it also presents a constant challenge and that modern culture has opened new scenarios, the Pope pointed out that there is much work to be done in order to give women their due recognition.
The very way in which Jesus considered women – the Pope said – shines a powerful light on a long road still to be tread, a road upon which we have only taken a few steps. This road – Francis said – “is to be travelled with creativity and audacity”.
The Pope also touched on issues that have come to the fore thanks to new freedoms and new perspectives opened up by contemporary culture.
Asking himself whether the so-called “gender” theory that aims to annul sexual differences may also be an expression of frustration and resignation due to our inability to confront a problem, the Pope said that: “removing the difference is the problem, not the solution”.
And inviting men and women to speak more to one another, and to respect and love each other, Pope Francis also urged intellectuals “not to abandon this theme as if it had become secondary within their commitment to build a more just and free society”.
Nowadays – the Pope concluded – as we sense the responsibility to do more in favour of women, recognizing the weight and authority of their voices in society and the Church, we must also ask ourselves to what extent society’s loss of faith in God is related to the crisis of the covenant between man and woman.
The challenge faced by the Church, and by all believers and families – he said - is to rediscover the beauty of God’s plan, the imprint of his image in that covenant.