CARDINAL MARTINO'S ADDRESS AT CONGRESS ON WOMEN
Cardinal Martino begins this message with a prayer for women "that Christian women will choose to be, with all their being, the interpreters and leaders of this Christianity of yes". Many women understand that to talk about feminism, it requires them to engage in a very personal discussion. They must ask the question who am I and why is being a woman so important. To say yes to God, women must recognize they are important as they are made to be relational from every aspect of their being. This being the case, they can be great instruments to help to add a structure to society that ensures it is civil, as they can strive to ensure the dignity of the person in all that they do. The Cardinal lays out some very important principles in his address that must be considered integral parts of the New Feminism.
Pluralism is fully admissible and also obligatory, when it is an expression of the good and of the multiplicity of itineraries that can be undertaken to carry it out, or also when it expresses the complexity of the questions on which a definitive vision cannot be given. However, when principles of the natural moral law or the very dignity of any human being are at stake, there can be no compromise. There are non-negotiable questions that do not allow for abolition and democracy cannot be a commitment with a downward tendency, because in this case the common good would be transformed in the lesser common evil (my emphasis).
One of the non-negotiable ideas is the importance of life. Remembering that God is the author of life, women must lead society worldwide from that of a culture of death to a culture of life. We must work towards solutions to encourage socio-economic situations that expect the good, and not allow for a certain amount of evil as a societal accepted tolerance. An example: abstinence preserves God's plan for life and will keep the family healthy instead of the usual message of if you can't be abstinent, then use a condom.
As the present economic/financial crisis demonstrates, in the center of the same is manifested a dangerous deficit of moral and religious values and, hence, of an integral formation. …The natural law does not exist on one hand and the new law on the other. To think of things this way means to accept that the world can function without God. If God's salvation does not affect all planes, in the end it is expelled from them all. This does not mean that the latter must invade them, but that its light guarantees their own autonomy and liberty, placing them in the truth.
Women must not accept the notion that "I am personally opposed, but will not impose my religion…." because this lack of moral courage causes harm to the society. When the good of the natural law is not asserted, it is often felt most at the level of the family, especially woman and children. Society does breakdown. The economic meltdown in the end means people will be deprived of livelihoods and the ability to shelter and feed their families can be greatly compromised. There is no such thing as a victimless crime, even when the society refuses to acknowledge it. The crime has been committed. Like science points out: defy the laws of gravity and you crash, obey the laws and you fly. We must strive for the integral formation of moral and religious values Cardinal Martino refers to, along with our other educational endeavors, for both ourselves and those we are to teach. This is the good leavening that must be constantly reintroduced into the society.
Society needs rules that conform to human nature, but it also needs fraternal relations, of genuine fraternal love. The old feminism was based on egocentric individualism and, often, egoistic. The new feminism must be interlaced with love for life, the family and others; a feminism governed by charity, the queen of virtues.
Women can be the most excellent examples of the fact that God is love. As the Cardinal pointed out and CCWF constantly reminds woman, John Paul II wanted people to remember that God is truth and love. He saw that women are so important in this aspect of evangelization. Yes, the Cardinal is right, but let us take one more step: authentic feminism being governed by charity is crowned by charity.
God bless you.
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