Pope Urges Concrete Gestures to Honor Women's "Genius"

Calls for a "Change of Mentality" to Overcome Contradictions

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 29, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI pointed out the contradiction that often exists between the theoretical exaltation of women's "genius" and the discrimination they face in daily life.



That prompted the Pope to call for a "change of mentality" in this regard, when he met today with a group of Mexican bishops on their "ad limina" visit to Rome.

"In Mexico, where so many times the 'genius' of woman is manifested, which ensures a fine sensitivity for the human being in the family," the Holy Father said, "in ecclesial communities, in social assistance and in other areas of civic life at times there is the paradox of a theoretical exaltation and practical or discriminatory depreciation of the same" genius.

Benedict XVI mentioned as the basis of his proposal Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter "Mulieris Dignitatem," in which the latter stated that the unilateral progress that humanity is experiencing today "can also lead to a gradual loss of sensitivity for man, that is, for what is essentially human."

"In this sense," John Paul II continued in No. 30 of the apostolic letter, "our time in particular awaits the manifestation of that 'genius' which belongs to women, and which can ensure sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance: because they are human! -- and because 'the greatest of these is love.'"

Benedict XVI gave as an example the "delicacy and respect" that Jesus showed toward women and proposed as a challenge for our time a "change of mentality, so that they will be treated with full dignity in all environments, and that their irreplaceable mission to be mothers and first teachers of their children will be protected."