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Pope John Paul II called 'the greatest feminist of all'

A speaker at a Sydney conference at the weekend described the Pope as the "greatest feminist of all" because of his "fearless and consistent defence of women against the modern trend to turn them into sexual or reproductive objects".

Mrs Virginia Monagle, who was speaking at the Magdalene Foundation's Dignity of Women Day on Sunday at Merrylands in western Sydney, conceded the gains of feminism while lamenting the trend of some feminists to denigrate motherhood.

She referred in particular to the Pope's letter Mulieris Dignitatem, suggesting: "The Holy Father calls women to rediscover within themselves their uniqueness which is intrinsically linked with their maternal nature, and to bring this to others."

Mrs Monagle said: "Every woman - including those who are not biological mothers - is called to develop her maternal qualiities for the enrichment of humanity."

70 women attended the event, which focused on the quest for personal holiness. Magdalene Foundation National Coordinator said all the participants felt uplifted in their faith and united with other Catholic Women.

- Magdalene Foundation