Benedict XVI Affirms Witness of Catholic Women

Notes Centenary of World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations

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JERUSALEM, OCT. 7, 2010 ( Benedict XVI is acknowledging the contribution of Catholic women who witness to their faith in the life of the Church.

The Pope stated this in a message sent through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to members of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations.

The union is currently celebrating 100 years with an assembly in Jerusalem, which began Monday at the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem.

The Pontiff expressed «thanks for the many blessings that have been bestowed on the Church through the witness of faithful Catholic women living and working in the world, transforming it from within, and proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed.»

He acknowledged that during «its 100 years of history, the members of World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations have contributed to the Church’s mission at local, national and international levels, enriching the Church with the fruits of feminine holiness» («Mulieris Dignitatem,» 31).

The Holy Father invoked a «fresh outpouring of the Spirit’s gifts upon [the organization] so that it may continue to foster the unique contribution of women to the life and mission of the Church, both in the public sphere and in the home.»

The world union is comprised of almost 100 Catholic women’s organizations representing more than five million women active in more than 60 countries which are recognized by their national episcopal conferences. The Pontifical Council for the Laity has erected the organization as a public international association of the faithful.

Its aim is to promote the presence, participation and co-responsibility of Catholic women in Church and society in order to enable them to fulfil their mission of faith and to work for human development and peace in the world.

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