With Theologian Janine Hourcade
Much can be said about the teachings of John Paul II on woman.
should be full of gratitude for this. He has proclaimed the dignity of
faith in the "genius of woman," in official
texts and also in private.
ROME, MARCH 4, 2004
(Zenit.org). The time has come for a "new feminism" that recognizes women's genius, as
John Paul II proposes, says one of the best-known French women theologians.
has just written a book on The Eternal Feminine: Mystical Women ("L'Eternel
Féminin. Femmes Mystiques," published by Carmel), with an introduction
by Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
books include Is the Church Misogynist? (1990) and Women Priests?
On March 8, the
United Nations invites us to observe the World Day of Woman. What Christian
meaning can be given to this event?
every Christian, simple citizen or political leader, must show love and
attention to women: to those who are by their side as wives, mothers,
sisters, citizens or under their administration; and to those who are more
removed by space or race.
Above all, the
Christian must live this duty as Jesus, who showed so much consideration and
kindness to women.
You have just
published a book on woman. What idea do you wish to transmit?
begins with a reflection on the "eternal feminine," an expression fathered
by Goethe, who said: "The eternal feminine attracts us to the highest."
In the light of the
eternal feminine, exceptional women who have marked the history of the
Church, from St. Genevieve to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, represent
expressions of fulfilled femininity.
Their femininity has
not hindered them from carrying out political, social, ecclesial and
spiritual roles of the first order.
They are for us a
masterly lesson that shows that woman has no need to be a priest to have
hierarchical power, to carry out an important role in the Church and in the
world. Therefore, battles and resentments in this sense are vain.
John Paul II has
just celebrated his twenty-five years of pontificate. What has impressed you most
about this Pope in his teachings on woman and his gestures toward them?
be said about the teachings of John Paul II on woman. Every woman should be
full of gratitude for this. He has proclaimed the dignity of woman,
limitless faith in the "genius of woman," in official texts and also in
The first time he
used this expression was in the presence of Maria Antonietta Macciochi,
university professor and European deputy influenced by Marxism and feminism.
How can we women of the twenty-first century not be seduced by the challenge he
gives us: a new feminism, removed from a deadly militancy and from servile
submission to the patriarch?
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