Pope: Women Are Not Inferior to Men, Nor Replicas, But Reciprocal

At Weekly General Audience, Says ‘To Find a Woman, Man Must First Dream Her, Then Find Her’

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When society devalues the alliance between men and women, “It’s a loss for everybody,” Pope Francis said, noting that marriage and family must be reaffirmed.

The Holy Father made this statement speaking to the thousands in a sunny St. Peter’s Square during his weekly General Audience, while continuing his catechesis on the family.

This week, the Pontiff discussed the second chapter of Genesis, where the Lord having created the heavens and the earth, creates ‘the culmination of creation: man. Then, sensing something was not right and incomplete, God tried to fill this void, wanting to create ‘a suitable partner’ for him.

“The woman is not a replica of man,” but comes directly from the creative act of God, the Pope stressed.

“When God finally presents woman, man is elated and recognizes that creature, and only that creature, is part of him; ‘Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.'” 

“Finally, there is a reflection, a reciprocity,” Francis said.

He underscored the complementarity and reciprocity of man and woman, adding that woman is never subordinate or to be considered lesser.

“The image of the “rib” does not express inferiority or subordination, but, on the contrary, that man and woman are the same substance and are complementary.”

“To find a woman, man first must dream her and then find her,” the Argentine Pope said.

The Pontiff condemned misogynist societies and treating women like commodities.

God’s trust in man and woman, the Pope said, was generous, direct and full, but then evil introduces suspicion, disbelief, and distrust into their minds, which would turn into a vicious cycle. 

“Sin creates mistrust and division between the man and the woman,” Francis said, noting this is worsened by abuse, subjugation, seduction and arrogance as well as by other factors that are even more dramatic and violent.

“History bears the traces,” he said. “Consider, for example, to the excesses of negative patriarchal cultures” and “hostility toward and distrust of women.”

“The protection of this alliance between man and women–even if sinners and wounded, confused and humiliated, distrusted and uncertain–is for us believers a challenging and thrilling vocation,” the Pontiff said.

He noted how the same was true of Adam and Eve, and how despite their betrayal, God welcomed and clothed them, ‘an image of tenderness toward the sinning couple that leaves us with our mouths open,” and of “fatherly protection of the human couple.”

“The same God,” Francis stressed, “cares and protects his masterpiece.”


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/general-audience-on-man-and-woman-as-companions

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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