You most likely didn’t read it in the secular papers or see it on CNN or CBS, but a recent statement concerning the status of women given by Archbishop Celestino Migliore is well worth your time. It reminds us of some timeless truths regarding what is needed for true progress for women of all ages, versus what happens when we not only accept but push the world’s perverted idea of “progress” or “equality.”

Sermon on the MountArchbishop Migliore serves as the Holy See’s permanent observer at the United Nations offices in New York.  On March 8th he addressed the United Nations 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.  The talk was part of a 15 year review of the Beijing conference on women conducted in 1995. The same conference, by the way, which prompted the late John Paul the Second to issue another document that you should add to your reading list; the 1995 Papal Letter to Women.  The archbishop, following in JP II’s footsteps, didn’t waste any time or any words in pointing out the obvious; the ideology of gender equality is hurting not helping women.

“Achieving equality between women and men in education, employment, legal protection, and social and political rights is considered in the context of gender equality.  Yet the evidence shows that the handling of this concept, as hinted in the Cairo and Beijing conferences, and subsequently developed in various international circles, is proving increasingly ideologically driven, and actually delays the true advancement of women,”  Migliore stated.  

The “evidence” according to the archbishop can be seen in the great harm still being done to women around the globe including the statistics that show how girls and women are the most impacted when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, sexual exploitation including sex trafficking, physical violence, illiteracy, and poverty, not to mention the fall out from abortion, contraception, and sexual promiscuity.  Migliore goes on to connect the many problems still impacting the female global population to this ideology that is centered on what I consider to be some of the biggest oxymorons in our language and culture today; “gender equality” as well as “reproductive health”

“Almost no outcome document of international Conferences and Committees, or Resolution fails to attempt to link the achievement of personal, social, economic, and political rights to a notion of sexual and reproductive health and rights which is violent to unborn human life and is detrimental to the integral needs of women and men within society.  While at the same time only seldom are women’s political, economic, and social rights mentioned as an inescapable clause and commitment.”

I’ve learned through my own journey back to Rome, that there is good reason for what the Church teaches.  As Pope Benedict explained during a June, 2006 message entitled “The Joy of Faith and the Education of New Generations”, God is not some big kill joy in the sky trying to squash all of our fun.  It’s quite the opposite. 

“Faith and Christian ethics do not wish to suffocate love but to make it healthy, strong, and really free.  This is precisely the meaning of the Ten Commandments, which are not a series of ‘no’s’ but a big ‘yes” to love and to life.”

We are designed a certain way and when we go against that design or against the natural law we can get into all sorts of trouble physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  If the cultural agendas are so great, then why are women especially still suffering so much? This is a simple and direct question that needs to be raised repeatedly not only in the halls of the United Nations, or in Papal documents and addresses, but in our homes, parishes, and communities.


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