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Pope notes a “privilege only of women”


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 03/08/23

Pope Francis leads a round of applause for all women -- "they deserve it!" -- and prays a special blessing for them.

Pope Francis noted the March 8 International Women’s Day at the end of the general audience which fell on the day as it’s a Wednesday this year.

On this day, “I think of all women,” he said.

I thank them for their commitment to building a more humane society, through their ability to grasp reality with a creative gaze and tender heart. This is a privilege only of women!

A special blessing for all the women in the Square. And a round of applause to the women! They deserve it!

Women in this pontificate

From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has often made statements to both promote and defend women.

He started 2020 decrying the consumerism that profits from objecting women. He emphasized that women’s bodies must be respected since “every form of violence inflicted upon a woman is a blasphemy against God, who was born of a woman.”

He said that we can judge our “degree of humanity by how we treat a woman’s body.”

In 2021, one of his monthly prayer intentions was for women who suffer abuse:

He spoke out against the violence that millions of women suffer daily: “psychological violence, verbal violence, physical violence, sexual violence.” 

For Pope Francis, these abuses are “acts of cowardice and a degradation of all humanity.” He asks prayer for the victims, “that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded by all.”

The Pope has also pointed out the unique advantages that women bring to a working group. In 2022, he appointed three women to the Vatican panel that assists in naming bishops.

He also speaks often of the Church’s Marian, feminine identity — “where the church sees a mirror of herself because she is a woman and a spouse.” 

Pope Francis underlined that this Marian principle is just as or more important as the Petrine one because the Church is “more than a ministry, it is the whole people of God.”

Pope FrancisWomen
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