Aparecida 453-455: Offenses Against Women

453. We regret that countless women of every condition are not valued in their dignity, are often alone and abandoned, and do not receive sufficient acknowledgement for their dedicated sacrifice and even heroic generosity in the care and education of their children and in passing on the faith in the family. Nor is their indispensable and peculiar participation in constructing a more humane social life and in building up the Church adequately promoted. At the same time, the urgently needed upholding of their dignity and participation may be distorted by ideological currents, marked by the cultural imprint of consumer and spectacle driven societies that are capable of subjecting women to new slaveries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, a chauvinist mindset that ignores the newness of Christianity, in which “the equal dignity and responsibility of women relative to men” (Pope Benedict XVI, Introductory Address 5) is recognized and proclaimed, must be overcome.

Pope Francis just spoke on this a few days ago. The truth is that many cultures have bias against women–not just American Latinos. The deeper the chauvinism, the greater the loss in addressing the opportunities and problems of the modern world. Of course, the abuse of women is its own deep and sorrowful shadow on nearly every human culture.

Women of minority or oppressed groups are particularly sinned against:

454. At this time in Latin America and the Caribbean, the so often silenced cry of women who are subjected to many forms of exclusion and violence in all their forms and at all stages of their lives must be heard. Among them, poor, indigenous and Afro-American women have endured double marginalization. All women must be able to participate fully in ecclesial, family, cultural, social, and economic life, with the creation of spaces and structures to foster greater inclusion.

A dose of reality:

455. Women generally constitute the majority in our communities; they are the primary ones passing on the faith and assisting official church leaders, who should serve them, appreciate them, and respect them.

Whether attributed to culture, biology, or other factors, it is undeniable that the deeper the commitment to discipleship and service, the greater percentage of women will be found.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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