Letter to Women is a pastoral letter written by Pope John Paul II to all women, and deals with the rights and dignity of women, the many challenges that women in the modern era have had to face, and ways in which the cause of woman could be forwarded in the world. Written June 29, 1995, the letter drafted in anticipation of the Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995, hosted by the United Nations in Beijing. This letter was an affirmation to the continuing thought of Pope John Paul II on the importance of women in the Church, and the special roles in which only they can contribute in the realms of the family, the Church, and the world. In his pontificate which lasted longer than 26 years, he continuously upheld the dignity and honor of women, and this letter was a significant contribution to his corpus of works on the importance of women within the Church.
In the letter the Pope "speaks ‘directly to the hearts and minds’ of each and asks them to reflect with him on themselves and their cultural, social and ecclesial responsibility that flows from their being women.”
The letter begins with Pope John Paul II giving thanks to the United Nations for sponsoring such an important event, and continues by giving thanks to God for the gift of woman, and for each individual woman. He continues the letter by then giving thanks to all women for their various accomplishments and work, and follows with an apology lamenting the fact that members within the Church have not always recognized the importance of women and their contributions throughout history. He also strongly condemns the history of sexual violence against women, and the failure of many societies and cultures which have failed to fully integrate women socially, politically, and economically.
Seeking to effect a change in this condition of women, Pope John Paul II makes an appeal to all states, nations, and institutional organizations to improve and better the situation and condition of work and life for women throughout the world.Pope John Paul II would lend his support to the movements of women in forwarding improvement in their lives, and called for women’s equality to be standard throughout the world. The Pope would also raise a concern regarding a trend of society in denigrating motherhood, and of penalizing women who would seek to have children.
The concept of "uni-duality" in the Letter refers to the fact that God confides to the unity of the two, man and woman, not just the task of procreation, but the very construction of history. This Letter, more than any other writings, emphasises the importance of the contribution of women in professional work and world governance.
[T]here is an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic State...This is a matter of justice but also of necessity. Women will increasingly play a part in the solution of the serious problems of the future: leisure time, the quality of life, migration, social services, euthanasia, drugs, health care, the ecology, etc. In all these areas a greater presence of women in society will prove most valuable, for it will help to manifest the contradictions present when society is organized solely according to the criteria of efficiency and productivity, and it will force systems to be redesigned in a way which favours the processes of humanization which mark the "civilization of love".
The Pope is careful to note a distinction between women's roles in professional work and world governance as compared to specific ministries,
...[O]ne can also appreciate that the presence of a certain diversity of roles is in no way prejudicial to women, provided that this diversity is not the result of an arbitrary imposition, but is rather an expression of what is specific to being male and female. This issue also has a particular application within the Church. If Christ-by his free and sovereign choice, clearly attested to by the Gospel and by the Church's constant Tradition-entrusted only to men the task of being an "icon" of his countenance as "shepherd" and "bridegroom" of the Church through the exercise of the ministerial priesthood, this in no way detracts from the role of women, or for that matter from the role of the other members of the Church who are not ordained to the sacred ministry, since all share equally in the dignity proper to the "common priesthood" based on Baptism.
Pope John Paul II upholds the great honor of women as being the only ones who could ever bear life, and continues the themes from the from his 1988 encyclical, Mulieris Dignitatem, particularly that of the feminine geniusThis "feminine genius" includes qualities such as that of receptivity, emphasis on the person, empathy, protection of life, and sanctity and modesty, among others. Each of these qualities serves to strengthen and enliven the feminine character, and should serve to be inspirational and uplifting, and should in no way be hidden or repressed. It is precisely the “feminine genius” that the Pope calls on to defend the right and dignity of women today, and sees the feminine genius as the answer to the “culture of death” inherent in society’s penchant for abortion, euthanasia and war. Pope John Paul II exalted Mary, as the Mother of God, as a prime example of the feminine genius, and encouraged all men and women to look to her as an inspiration for their own lives.
He ends his letter with the hope that the United Nations conference in Beijing would “...bring out the full truth about women.”He hopes that the conference will emphasize the gift of "the genius of woman" not only in regards to great, accomplished female leaders but the ordinary women who have contributed so much in the spirit of service. He attributes this to the ability of women, more so than men, to be able to acknowledge the human person and to help them regardless of ideology or politics.
New feminism is a form of Christian feminism that not only emphasizes the integral complementarity of women and men, rather than the superiority of men over women or women over men, but also advocates for respecting persons from conception to natural death.
Roy Bourgeois is an American activist, a laicized Roman Catholic priest, and the founder of the human rights group School of the Americas Watch. He is the 1994 recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award and the 2011 recipient of the American Peace Award and also has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Catholic social teaching, commonly abbreviated as CST, is a Catholic doctrine on matters of human dignity and the common good in society. The ideas address oppression, the role of the state, subsidiarity, social organization, concern for social justice, and issues of wealth distribution. Its foundations are widely considered to have been laid by Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical letter Rerum novarum, which advocated economic distributism. Its roots can be traced to the writings of Catholic theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine of Hippo. It is also derived from the concepts present in the Bible and the cultures of the ancient Near East.
Evangelium vitae translated in English to "The Gospel of Life", is a papal encyclical promulgated on 25 March 1995 by Pope John Paul II. It deals with issues pertaining to the sanctity of human life, including murder, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment, reaffirming the Church's stances on said issues in a way generally considered consistent with previous Church teachings.
The teachings of Pope John Paul II are contained in a number of documents. It has been said that these teachings will have a long-lasting influence on the Church.
Ordinatio sacerdotalis is an apostolic letter issued by Pope John Paul II on 22 May 1994 in which he discussed the Catholic Church's position requiring "the reservation of priestly ordination to men alone" and wrote that "the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women". While the document states that it was written so "that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance", it has been contested by some Catholics, as to both the substance and in the authoritative nature of its teaching.
Christian feminism is a school of Christian theology which seeks to advance and understand the equality of men and women morally, socially, spiritually, and in leadership from a Christian perspective. Christian feminists argue that contributions by women, and an acknowledgment of women's value, are necessary for a complete understanding of Christianity. Christian feminists believe that God does not discriminate on the basis of biologically-determined characteristics such as sex and race, but created all humans to exist in harmony and equality, regardless of race or gender. Christian feminists generally advocate for anti-essentialism as a part of their belief system, acknowledging that gender identities do not mandate a certain set of personality traits. Their major issues include the ordination of women, biblical equality in marriage, recognition of equal spiritual and moral abilities, abortion rights, integration of gender neutral pronouns within readings of the Bible, and the search for a feminine or gender-transcendent divine. Christian feminists often draw on the teachings of other religions and ideologies in addition to biblical evidence, and other Christian based texts throughout history that advocate for women's rights.
Christian egalitarianism, also known as biblical equality or evangelical feminism, is egalitarianism based in Christianity. Christian egalitarians believe that the Bible mandates gender equality, which implies equal authority and responsibility for the family and the ability for women to exercise spiritual authority as clergy. In contrast to complementarianists and Christian patriarchists, proponents argue that Bible verses cited to justify differentiation in gender roles are misunderstood, and support "mutual submission" of all people to each other in relationships and human institutions as a form of respect without necessarily requiring a hierarchy in authority.
The roles of women in Christianity have varied since its founding. Women have played an important role in Christianity especially in marriage and in formal ministry positions within certain Christian denominations, churches, and parachurch organizations.
Post Vatican II history of the Catholic Church includes the recent history of the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
The Pope John Paul II bibliography contains a list of works by Pope John Paul II, and works about his life and theology. Pope John Paul II reigned as pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City for 26 years and six months. Works written and published prior to his election to the papacy are attributed to Karol Wojtyła. Additional resources can be found on the Vatican website.
Mulieris may refer to :
Mulieris dignitatem is an apostolic letter by Pope John Paul II on the dignity of women, published on 15 August 1988, and written in conjunction with the 1987-88 Marian Year.
In the liturgical traditions of the Catholic Church, the term ordination refers to the means by which a person is included in one of the orders of bishops, priests or deacons. The teaching of the Catholic Church on ordination, as expressed in the Code of Canon Law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the apostolic letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis, is that only a Catholic male validly receives ordination, and "that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." In other words, the male priesthood is not considered by the church a matter of policy but an unalterable requirement of God. As with priests and bishops, the church ordains only men as deacons. The church does not ordain anyone who has undergone sex reassignment surgery and may sanction or require therapy for priests who are transsexual, contending that these are an indicator of mental instability.
Women in Church history have played a variety of roles in the life of Christianity - notably as contemplatives, health care givers, educationalists and missionaries. Until recent times, women were generally excluded from episcopal and clerical positions within the certain Christian churches; however, great numbers of women have been influential in the life of the church, from contemporaries of Jesus to subsequent saints, theologians, doctors of the church, missionaries, abbesses, nuns, mystics, founders of religious institutes, military leaders, monarchs and martyrs.
The Roman Catholic Church in the 20th century had to respond to the challenge of increasing secularization of Western society and persecution resulting from great social unrest and revolutions in several countries. It instituted many reforms, particularly in the 1970s under the Vatican II Council, in order to modernize practices and positions. In this period, Catholic missionaries in the Far East worked to improve education and health care, while evangelizing peoples and attracting numerous followers in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.
In the history of the Catholic Church, women have played a variety of roles and the church has affected societal attitudes to women worldwide in significant ways. Influential Catholic women have included theologians, abbesses, monarchs, missionaries, mystics, martyrs, scientists, nurses, hospital administrators, educationalists, religious sisters, Doctors of the Church, and canonised saints. Women constitute the majority of members of consecrated life in the Catholic Church: in 2010, there were around 721,935 professed women religious. Motherhood and family are given an exalted status in Catholicism, with The Blessed Virgin Mary holding a special place of veneration.
Neofeminism describes an emerging view of women as becoming empowered through the celebration of attributes perceived to be conventionally feminine, that is, it glorifies a womanly essence over claims to equality with men. It is a term that has come into use in the early 21st century to refer to a popular culture trend, what critics see as a type of "lipstick feminism" that confines women to stereotypical roles, while it erodes cultural freedoms women gained through the second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s in particular.
Sister Mary Prudence Allen is an American philosopher who converted to Catholicism and joined the Religious Sisters of Mercy. In 2014 she was appointed to the International Theological Commission for a five year term by Pope Francis. Her areas of specialization include the history of philosophy, philosophical anthropology, philosophy of woman, existentialism, and personalism. Areas of competence include metaphysics, philosophy of God, epistemology and logic.