Challenges Facing Women: May Prayer Intention of Pope Francis
We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: Respect for Women. 'That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed'.
Text of Pope's reflection:
Women have, in Pope Francis’ words, an “irreplaceable role.” Speaking to the Pontifical Council for Culture, he said: “I encourage the contribution of so many women who work within the family, in the areas of teaching the faith, pastoral work, schooling, but also in social, cultural, and economic structures. You women know how to embody the tender face of God, his mercy, which is translated into a willingness to give time rather than to occupy space, to welcome rather than to exclude.”
Throughout the world, unfortunately, women are not only excluded but under attack. The pope went on: “The many forms of slavery, of prostitution, of mutilation of the female body, require us to set to work to defeat these forms of degradation which reduce it to purely an object to be sold on the various markets. I would like to call attention, in this context, to the plight of so many poor women, forced to live in dangerous conditions, exploited, relegated to the margins of society, and rendered victims of a throwaway culture.”
Perhaps the most common degradation of women is pornography, which the U.S. bishops have said “is so pervasive in sectors of our society that it is difficult to avoid, challenging to remove, and has negative effects that go beyond any one person’s actions.”
Forthcoming Prayer Intention:
Pope Francis' remaining prayer intentions for 2016 will include: greater respect for indigenous peoples; helping sports contribute to peace; encouraging journalists to respect truth and be more ethical; greater support for countries that take in refugees; and an end to the use of child soldiers.