Pope says feminine holiness crucial for church
"Feminine holiness is indispensable in the life of the Church," Pope John Paul II said on Tuesday in his message to the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO) meeting in Rome.
WUCWO gathered 800 women to reflect upon their 'prophetic mission'. The organisation coordinates the work of 95 affiliate groups in 56 countries. It is represented in Australia by the Catholic Women's League.
In his message, the Holy Father said that the 20th century was important in giving many women freedom of movement, decision-making and self-expression. But in some areas it's still necessary to defend women against shameful violence including sex tourism and mass sterilisation.
He also said the dominant culture "advertises and imposes models of life that are contrary to woman's most intimate nature." In this connection, John Paul II mentioned abortion, the direct consequence of a mentality that exalts personal egoism to the detriment of respect for others, especially the most defenceless.
The Holy Father entrusted a specific mission to Catholic women: "to give increasing material and moral support to women in difficulty, victims of poverty and violence."