The Seminar on “God entrusts the human being to woman” began on 10 October in the morning. It was organised by the Women Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and it was held in the Pius XI hall in the San Calisto building in Rome.
The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Rylko, spoke of how the Seminar marked the 25th anniversary of the apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem by Blessed John Paul II. The document uses scripture to formulate what is meant by “the feminine genius”. It is to be found in each woman, and especially in the Mother of the Lord. It is essential for the Church as well as for human society.
Cardinal Rylko pointed out that Mulieris Dignitatem contains anthropological insights that are probably more current now than they were 25 years ago.
The first talk was given by Mgr Livio Melina, president of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He said that insistence on women’s ordination was part of a clerical concept of the Church. Clericalism is a Church without women or children, and without listening, wonder, gratitude or service. These are the essential characteristics of the Church, the Spouse of Christ in a marian attitude of loving obedience.
The first speaker in the afternoon was Helen Alvaré from George Mason University. Her topic was “Changes in the image of women in history”. This was followed by a panel discussion on: “The many faces of today’s cultural crisis: new challenges and how they relate to the vocation of woman”. The speakers were Lucetta Scaraffia, Angela Aparisi,Ligaya Acosta, Franco Nembrini and Gabriella Gambino.