John Paul II as a Pioneer of Woman's Human Rights
Interview With German Theologian Jutta Burggraf
PAMPLONA, Spain, APRIL 7, 2005 (Zenit) - Jutta Burggraf, professor of theology at the University of Navarre and specialist on woman and the Church, analyzes in this interview the "feminine genius" that John Paul II so admired.
Burggraf is co-author of the book "Il Ruolo della Donna nella Chiesa e nel Mondo" (The Role of Woman in the Church and in the World), published by L'Osservatore Romano, as well as other books.
Q: The Pope coined the expression "feminine genius." What did he mean?
Burggraf: John Paul II spoke willingly of the feminine "genius," of the "charism" or "vocation" of woman, and he did so not only in official texts. In a private interview, he assured an Italian woman politician: "I believe in the genius of women. Even in the darkest periods that genius is found, which is the leaven of human progress and history."
The feminine genius at times was of help to John Paul II and at others a stimulus and incentive. For example, it was not a high ecclesiastical dignitary or a top state official who suggested to him to establish a home for disabled elderly people in one of the Vatican gardens. It was a woman: Teresa of Calcutta, and he listened to her.
In spite of his great admiration for mothers worldwide, when speaking of woman's "genius" Pope Wojtyla was not referring to physical maternity. The fact that a woman can be a mother does not mean that all women must be mothers, or that they will find their happiness in maternity.
The feminine "genius" is found rather in a spiritual dimension, and it is a specific basic attitude, which corresponds to woman's physical structure and is fomented by it. Just as during pregnancy, woman experiences a unique closeness to the new being, so also her nature favors spontaneous contacts with those around her.
God has entrusted the human being in a special way to woman. In this sense, all women are called, in some way, to be "mothers." What does it mean if not to break anonymity, to listen to others, to take to heart their concerns, to be in solidarity with them?
Normally, for a simple woman it is not difficult to transmit security and to create an atmosphere in which those around her can feel well.
Q: Despite the Pope's efforts to promote woman, this pontificate has been accused of not fully recognizing the rights of women in the Church. What are these criticisms about and why do you think they are not correct?
Burggraf: The criticisms refer to priestly ordination, to which women do not have access by an ineffable divine will. But this is not a feminine question that can be posed in the realm of natural rights. It is a strictly theological question that I can only consider in the light of faith.
John Paul II undoubtedly did not consider women "unfit" for the priesthood. But even though he was Pope, he could not change the essence of this sacrament. The Lord could have called women to the priesthood, but he did not, though in his treatment of women he often acted against the customs of Israel.
He chose a woman, Mary, among all men; but he did not confer the ministerial priesthood on women, but only on men.
The Apostles followed his example, and the Church must preserve, also today, this way of proceeding. This is not stagnation, but a manifestation of fidelity.
Q: Would you say that John Paul II was the pope who paid most attention to woman?
Burggraf: John Paul II has been recognized, with good reason, as a "pioneer" of woman's human rights. He acknowledged openly that the Church began very late to unveil her treasures.
Far from any romantic enthusiasm, John Paul II was on the side of those who "rely" on social justice and politics. He stressed the need to be free from prejudices and clichés, from shackling traditions and ways of living that had become excessively strict.
At the same time he warned against a liberation that would be detached from ethical values and interpersonal bonds. Woman's "liberation" must not become a cheap equalization with man.
Something much more valuable and effective, but also more difficult, must be pursued: woman's acceptance of her difference, of her singularity as woman. The objective of emancipation is to be removed from manipulation, from being regarded as a product, and to be an original. It is precisely this resistance against erroneous tendencies that is the touchstone of one's freedom.
A genuine promotion is not about woman's liberation from her own way of being, but about helping her to be herself. Therefore, it also includes a reappraisal of maternity, marriage and the family.
If today the social pressure of the past is being combated which excluded women from many professions, why then is there so much fear to go against the present pressure, far more subtle, that deceives women, attempting to convince them that it is only outside the family that they can find fulfillment?
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Pope, Human, Rights, Woman, Feminine, Genius, Abortion, Burggraf, Marriage
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Friday, May 26, 2017
- First Lady Melania Trump is a practicing Catholic
- St. Philip Neri: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 26, 2017
- JESUS IS ALWAYS BY OUR SIDE: Pope Francis reminds all that even in ...
- Daily Reading for Saturday, May 27th, 2017 HD Video
- Catholic priest and his worshipers taken hostage by ISIS-aligned ...
- First Daughter, Ivanka Trump holds groundbreaking meeting with human ...
- mother theresa
- st james
- st joan of arc
- advent prayers
- St Joseph
- ten commandments
- Pope Francis
- saint agnes
- St Anthony
- 10 commandments
- mary magdalene
- Patron saints
- st bernadette
- pope francis
- St. John
- holy spirit
- morning prayer
- Saint Elizabeth
- St. Augustine
- Saint Anne
- st agnes
- Pope Francis and Donald Trump have monumental first meeting HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, May 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, May 25th, 2017 HD
- Bomb explodes during Ariana Grande concert full of young fans HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.