Vatican Congress to Mark "Mulieris Dignitatem" at 20

Laity-Council to Host Reflection on Women

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By Miriam Díez i Bosch



ROME, JAN. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A Vatican congress commemorating the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter on the dignity of women aims to promote an authentic promotion of femininity.

Rocío Figueroa, director of the section on women for the Pontifical Council of the Laity, affirmed this to ZENIT. The congress, marking the 20th anniversary of "Mulieris Dignitatem," is titled "Woman and Man, the 'Humanum' in Its Entirety" and is scheduled for Feb. 7-9 in Rome.

Figueroa said the authentic promotion of the woman will come through "understanding the feminine beginning with an anthropology that recovers the value of the person and highlights the relationality between feminine and masculine."

The congress will consider themes raging from the history of women in the Church, beginning with Christ's interactions with women, to gender ideology, to the importance of marriage, family and motherhood. Participants will have an audience with Benedict XVI on Feb. 9.

The congress will analyze "the contributions particular women have given the Church and the world,” as well as “the contribution of Christianity in the advancement of woman,” added Figueroa.

The theological and anthropological contribution which John Paul II made in "Mulieris Dignitatem" will be developed in two conferences. The first is dedicated to the story of creation and the relationship between person, nature and culture. The second seeks to delve into the relationship between man and woman, titled “Woman and Man, Created Each for the Other."

Janne Haaland Matlary, former minister of foreign relations in Norway and professor at the University of Oslo, will reflect on women in the workplace.

Helen Alvare, a professor at the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, will consider the reduction of femininity to an object of consumerism.

Figuero affirmed the congress is just the "beginning of future initiatives which the Pontifical Council for the Laity desires to promote. We are sure that from the workshops and these intense days of reflection, ideas will sprout up, initiatives that respond to the demands of women in different places. And why not think that in the future, a congress with virtual participation."