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Pope’s April prayer intention: The respect of women


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/03/24

Pope Francis notes that genital mutilation is still practiced in a number of countries.

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for April is that every culture will come to respect the dignity of women.

In The Pope Video for April, which he has entrusted to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, the Holy Father insists on the steps today’s society needs to take, and asks Christians to join him in prayer “that the dignity and worth of women be recognized in every culture, and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world.”

His message exposes the huge gap that exists between declared principles and actual practice many places of the world.

The Pope himself provides concrete examples, citing “discriminatory laws” currently in force: mandatory dress codes, impediments to ongoing education, denial of assistance for job opportunities. And he recalls that “in many countries, genital mutilation is still practiced.”

Thus, he states that “governments need to commit to eliminate” this discrimination and “work toward guaranteeing women’s human rights.”

He asks us all to respect women, who unfortunately continue to be treated “like something to get rid of,” and who are often victims of violence and abuse in many parts of the world, even in countries claiming to be more advanced. “And if we don’t [respect women],” the Pope adds, “our society will not progress.”

Man and women, equal in dignity

Respect for the dignity of every person is a central tenet of Christianity since the life of each person is sacred, having been created in God’s image (see Genesis 1:26-27).

From the beginning, creation manifests unity and difference, bestowing on women and men a shared nature, calling, and destiny, and two distinct experiences of being human.


Pope FrancisPope VideoWomen
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