VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is calling for a renewal of the commitment to respect the dignity and vocation of all women everywhere.
The Pope stated this today, on the occasion of International Women's Day, in an audience after praying the midday Angelus in St. Peter's Square.
"Today's date," he affirmed, "invites us to reflect on the condition of women and to renew our commitment, that always and everywhere every woman can live and fully manifest her particular abilities, obtaining complete respect for her dignity."
He recalled Pope John Paul II's letter, "Mulieris Dignitatem" as well as various expressions of the magisterium in upholding this value for the dignity of women.
The Pontiff noted, "Of more worth than the documents themselves is the testimony of the saints," particularly "that of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: humble daughter of Albania."
She became, he said, "by God's grace, an example of charity in the service of human promotion to all the world."
The Holy Father pointed out: "How many other women work in a hidden way every day for the good of humanity and for the Kingdom of God!
"Today I pledge my prayer for all women, that they be evermore respected in their dignity and valued in their positive possibilities."