Pope Francis and women

Papa 2

Nuria Calduch-Benages, MN

The election of the new bishop of Rome surprised the whole world; however, Pope Francis continues to amaze us everyday. He does it through simple gestures unfamiliar to many of us, through a plain direct and insightful language and through a closeness to the people that all like, and some few dislike. For example, on the third of April, the pope reminded that the very first witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus were women: “The women were motivated by love and were able to accept this announcement with faith: they believed and passed it on straight away, they did not keep it to themselves but passed it on. They could not contain their joy in knowing that Jesus was alive, or the hope that filled their hearts. This should happen in our lives too.” This surprising fact, the Pope affirms: “makes us think about how women, in the Church and on the journey of faith, had and still have today a special role in opening the doors to the Lord, in following him and in communicating his Face, for the gaze of faith is always in need of the simple and profound gaze of love.”

His simple and passionate words enkindle in my heart the memory of his last two predecessors. John Paul II was a fervent promoter of the ‘femenine genius’. (Mulieris dignitatem, 1988). His great sensitivity made him consider not only the woman as a mother and spouse, but also as a daughter and sister, and even as as a working woman and as a consecrated woman. All and each one of them, without any exclusion: “I greet you all most cordially, women throughout the world!” (Letter to women, 1995). Benedict XVIth continued along this line. Who will not remember his last cycle of cathechesis Great women in the history of the Church? He described seventeen women who, overcoming the difficulties of their times, living the Gospel and faithfully serving the Church, show us that the loving sequel of Christ is the definition of Christian life.

Go ahead, Pope Francis, your predecessors prepared the way for you. An horizon filled with hope opens up before us now.

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