The twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of John Paul II’s apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem is a wonderful opportunity to give new impetus to reflection on the issue of women in today’s world. The importance of the document is perhaps even more apparent today than twenty-five years ago. That is why the Pontifical Council for the Laity convened the Seminar in October 2013 on the theme “God entrusts human beings to women”, taken from paragraph 30 of Mulieris Dignitatem.
Now the volume containing the papers given during the seminar, previously only available in Italian, has been published in English and Spanish, in order to make this precious resource available to a wider audience. The programme was intended to enhance and develop the teaching of the Church that resulted from Mulieris Dignitatem twenty-five years after its publication. It was also to comment on its extraordinarily current as well as universal value, and its ability to meet the needs and questions now emerging more forcefully not only from women, but from all humanity. The publication that comes from all of this, in addition to notable theological and philosophical contributions, brings to light the core questions and contradictions of contemporary culture and also presents testimonies of the extraordinary lives of “ordinary” Christian women in the difficult context of modern relativism in all parts of the world.
The Proceedings are prefaced by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko and open with the Pope Francis’ allocution to the Seminar participants, whom he received in private audience. The Proceedings conclude with a unique contribution, offered as a meditation on the profound signification of this theme: Professor Franco Nembrini, a well-known Dante scholar, gives an enlightening and touching description of the portrayal and the role of women in Dante’s Divine Comedy.
God entrusts the human being to the woman, Seminar, 10-12 October 2013, Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2015, pp. 262 (€ 18,00).
Foreword, Stanisław Ryłko
Pope Francis’ address to the Seminar participants received in audience
“God entrusts human beings to women in a special way”: John Paul II’s great insight, Livio Melina
Changes in the “image” of woman in history: has the contemporary woman given up her role? Helen Alvaré
Women’s role in building a civilisation of love in the light of Church teaching, Jocelyne Khoueiry
II. PANEL DISCUSSIONS
II.1. The many faces of today’s cultural crisis: new challenges and how they relate to women’s calling
How should we appraise the sexual revolution? Lucetta Scaraffia
The crisis of identity in males and females in the context of gender ideology, Ángela Aparisi Miralles
Women and the culture of death: Abortion, contraception and end of life, Ligaya Acosta
Understanding the education emergency, Franco Nembrini
When the law is an ally of ethical subjectivism, Gabriella Gambino
II.2. Principles to be safeguarded in the humanum
Nature and human identity: concepts to be recovered? A pastoral perspective, Gilfredo Marengo
Sexual difference and the concept of person, Giorgia Salatiello
How can we advocate for the main ethical issues in a liquid society? Oana Gotia
II.3. Suggestions for a new civilisation of love
Speaking to young people and to those at a distance about the Christian vision of sexuality, Vicki Thorn
Mature male and female identities, Costanza Miriano
To rediscover the value of motherhood, Marisa Lucarini
Educate to live life as self-giving, Virginia Parodi
The legal protection of life and family, Jane Wathuta
Propositions for an effective presence in the world, Giorgia Salatiello
New ways of communication for the new evangelisation, Helen Alvaré
Some final considerations, Stanisław Ryłko
Women in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, Franco Nembrini