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
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
Should, next to pointing out womens role as
mothers, not equal stress be placed on womens role as
partners living in a loving relationship?
Is there not an implicit assumption that marriage aims almost
exclusively at the production of children, leading to Romes absolute
refusal to countenance the use of contraceptives (Humanae Vitae,
By extolling virginity as the only praiseworthy
alternative to motherhood, does the Pope not undervalue the importance of sex,
and the legitimate enjoyment of sex, in marriage? Read, e.g.
Enjoyment of Sex.
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