Kitchen Catechism: Eye on The Pope

Vatican Prepares World Congress on Woman

Women from all over the world will gather in Rome Feb. 7-9, 2008 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter on the dignity of women.

It will be a congress, titled "Woman and Man, the Fullness of What Is Human," Rocío Figueroa, organizer of the event and the director of the pontifical council's section on women, announced, "The purpose is to gather a wide array of women to reflect on the letter "Mulieris Dignitatem," published Aug. 15, 1988."

"We want women to come from all the five continents," she said. "There will be a delegate from each Episcopal conference and there will be representatives and leaders of Catholic associations that promote the woman in the Church and various movements and new communities. "There will also be academic women who reflect on the theme of the woman as theologians, philosophers and psychologists."

Participation in the congress is by invitation only, and about 250 people will be invited.

Speakers for the congress have not yet been announced, but Figueroa said, "Topics for the various talks will focus on themes such as John Paul II's letter on women, Mary and the women of the Gospel, the Christian vision of women and feminine anthropology."

"The conference will also address the situation of women in various situations and cultures. Talks will be given on promoting the dignity of women in Asia, the role of women in faith education in Africa, the dignity of women in a technological and consumerist society such as the United States, and the integral formation of women in Latin America."

Figueroa explained, "One of the objectives will be to study in-depth the new cultural paradigms such as the reduction of women to objects of consumption, the ideology of gender and the rejection of motherhood and family, as well as women in the world of work."

She added, "The celebration of the letter on the dignity of woman is to mark a milestone in the Church: It is the first time that a pontifical document speaks specifically on the theme of the woman."

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"Nothing should
frighten or grieve you.
Let not your heart be troubled. Am I, your Mother,
not here with you?"

"Nothing should
frighten or grieve you.
Let not your heart be troubled. Am I, your Mother,
not here with you?"

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