VATICAN CITY — Jan 31, 2015
By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press
A new Vatican outreach initiative to listen to women hit a sour note before it even got off the ground: The sexy blonde on its Internet promo video came under such ridicule that it was quickly taken down.
But the program is going ahead, and an inaugural meeting this week will study women’s issues in ways that are utterly new for the Holy See.
No, there is no talk of ordaining women priests.
But the working paper for the Pontifical Council of Culture’s plenary assembly on “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference” speaks about opening the church’s doors to women so they can offer their skills “in full collaboration and integration” with men.
It denounces plastic surgery as a form of “aggression” against the female body “like a burqa made of flesh.” And it acknowledges that the church has for centuries offered women “ideological and ancestral left-overs.”
This is dangerous territory for the all-male Catholic Church hierarchy, as even Pope Francis has faced criticism for being a bit tone deaf as far as women are concerned.
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