Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day and Women, part tres

Catching up with my good friend Rocco, over at Whispers this morning, he has an excellent post on how Pope Benedict XVI was not just making empty gestures with his words about women at yesterday's General Audience. Even before becoming pope, Joseph Ratzinger, for many years, has had close women collaborators. He takes seriously the need for women to play a more instrumental role in the Church, which means nothing less than allowing competent women (of which there are many in the Church) to serve in positions and influence. He is certainly bright enough to know that in order to accomplish his goal of re-evangelizing Western Europe, which is perhaps the main reason for him choosing the Papal name Benedict, the status of women in the Church has to increase. Anyway, to cite just one example from the piece, which is entitled, "Anything Other Than Secondary": All the Pope's Women :
"At the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the cardinal-prefect elevated through the ranks the Belgian theologian Marie Hendrickx. In a Curia whose heights are overwhelmingly dominated by clerics, Hendrickx is currently the highest-ranking laywoman in any dicastery and the second-ranking layperson overall, after Dr Angelo Scelzo, the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. However, though Scelzo enjoys "superior" status as the his office's #3 official, given the purview and prestige of the CDF -- to say nothing of her personal ties to her boss of two decades -- the case could well be made that Hendrickx, who wrote a celebrated 2001 piece in L'Osservatore Romano protesting animal cruelty, is the most influential layperson in the Curial bureaucracy."

The post also contains a complete translation of the entire catechesis given by the Holy Father at yesterday's audience.

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