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Vatican official defends different gender roles

The new president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity has said the Church's insistence on the differences between men and women is not discriminatory, but a recognition of the uniqueness of each person.

Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko (pictured), named president of the council in October, hosted seminar last week titled Men and Women: Diversity and Reciprocal Complementarity.

"The culture of our time is questioning what it means to be human" and is doing so in a way "that goes so far as to contort the understanding of sexual identity and relations between the sexes."

Pretending that there are no differences between men and women or that those differences are totally imposed by society "has repercussions for the future of humankind," he said.

The Council invited 50 men and women, mainly from Europe, to the Vatican to discuss changing cultural notions of male and female identity and roles and to look at ways to promote church teaching on the subject.

Vatican official defends different roles for men, women (Catholic News Service 2/2/04)

Pontifical Council for the Laity
Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko (

4 Feb 2004