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Equal dignity of men and women in creation. Online Congress January - September 2008 concerning 'the Dignity and Vocation of Women', 'Mulieris Dignitatem'

Equal dignity of men and women in creation

Online Congress January - September 2008
concerning 'the Dignity and Vocation of Women',
'Mulieris Dignitatem'
Encyclical Letter by Pope John Paul II (30 September 1988)
TOPIC ONE

“By reflecting on the whole account found in Genesis 2:18-25 and by interpreting it in light of the truth about the image and likeness of God (cf. Genesis 1:26-27), we can understand even more fully what constitutes the personal character of the human being, thanks to which both man and woman are like God. For every individual is made in the image of God, insofar as he or she is a rational and free creature capable of knowing God and loving him. Moreover, we read that man cannot exist "alone" (Cf. Genesis 2:18); he can exist only as a "unity of the two" and therefore in relation to another human person. It is a question here of a mutual relationship, man to woman and woman to man. Being a person in the image and likeness of God thus also involves existing in a relationship, in relation to the other "I." this is a prelude to the definitive self-revelation of the triune God: a living unity in the communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (Mulieris Dignitatem § 7)

We just print some excerpts here. It is worth reading the whole text.

Paragraphs in Mulieris Dignitatem

  1. A Sign of the Times
  2. The Marian Year
  3. Union With God
  4. Theotokos
  5. "To Serve Means to Reign"
  6. The Book of Genesis
  7. Person - Communion - Gift
  8. The Anthropomorphism of Biblical Language
  9. The "Beginning" and the Sin
  10. "He Shall Rule Over You"

“ ‘He shall rule over you.’ This "domination" indicates the disturbance and loss of the stability of that fundamental equality which the man and the woman possess in the "unity of the two:" And this is especially to the disadvantage of the woman, whereas only the equality resulting from their dignity as persons can give to their mutual relationship the character of an authentic "communio personarum." While the violation of this equality, which is both a gift and right deriving from God the Creator, involves and element to the disadvantage of the woman, at the same time it also diminishes the true dignity of man. Here we touch upon an extremely sensitive point in the dimension of that "ethos" which was originally inscribed by the Creator in the very creation of both of them in his own image and likeness.” (Mulieris Dignitatem § 10)


Equality of Women

Christ and Women

Women as Mothers

Bride and Groom

Women and Eucharist

Women and Love



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The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

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