Women as mothers
Online Congress January - September
concerning the Dignity
and Vocation of Women,
Encyclical Letter by Pope John Paul II (30 September
The woman's motherhood in the period between the baby's conception and birth is a biophysiological and psychological process which is better understood in our days than in the past and is the subject of many detailed studies. Scientific analysis fully confirms that the very physical constitution of women is naturally disposed to motherhood - conception, pregnancy and giving birth - which is a consequence of the marriage union with the man. At the same time, this also corresponds to the psychophysical structure of women. What the different branches of science have to say on this subject is important and useful, provided that it is not limited to an exclusively biophysiological interpretation of women and motherhood. (Mulieris Dignitatem § 18)
We just print some excerpts here. It is worth reading the whole text.
Paragraphs in Mulieris Dignitatem
Our reflection turns to the Biblical exemplar of the "woman" in the Proto- Evangelium. The "woman," as mother and first teacher of the human being (education being the spiritual dimension of parenthood), has a specific precedence over the man. Although motherhood, especially in the biophysical sense, depends upon the man, it places an essential "mark" on the whole personal growth process of new children. Motherhood in the biophysical sense appears to be passive: The formation process of a new life "takes place" in her, in her body, which is nevertheless profoundly involved in that process. At the same time, motherhood in its personal-ethical sense expresses a very important creativity on the part of the woman, upon whom the very humanity of the new human being mainly depends. In this sense too the woman's motherhood presents a special call and a special challenge to the man and to his fatherhood. (Mulieris Dignitatem § 19)
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