"Feminine Genius" Seen as Key to Upholding Human Rights

Cardinal Martino Comments at a Congress Held in Rome

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ROME, MARCH 18, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Church's magisterium has confirmed that "feminine genius" is essential to uphold the dignity of people and respect for human rights, says Cardinal Renato Martino.



At an international congress held today in Rome, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said "the dignity of woman reinforces the true dignity" of people "and this co-responsibility is measured by love."

The cardinal said, "The contribution made by the magisterium in the field of human rights has valued especially the specific feminine character, the genius of woman."

This spells the need "to integrate equality, complementarity and reciprocity, the fruit of battles for emancipation" with the dual unity of man and woman, Cardinal Martino added.

His proposal resounded in the congress on "Woman and Human Rights," organized by the Institute of Higher Studies on Woman of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

"The concept of reciprocity is based on the two polarities -- masculine and feminine -- two individuals with the same dignity, who do not reflect a static and officially approved equality," the cardinal said. "What is specific to woman is different from what is specific to man."

"This diversity in equality is enriching and indispensable for harmonious human coexistence," he added.

The Church condemns "any discrimination perpetrated in the name of race, ethnic group, sex, social condition or religion," Cardinal Martino concluded.