Friday, July 30, 2004

Pope hits out at feminist radicals

ROME (AFP) - Pope John Paul II has fired a shot across the bows of radical feminism in a letter to Roman Catholic bishops to be published by the Vatican on Saturday.

In a letter to bishops "on the collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the world" the Vatican blames feminism for seeking to eliminate the biological differences between man and woman.

It says radical feminism's view of equality "has in reality inspired ideologies which for example call into question the family, in its natural two-parent structure of mother and father, and to make homosexuality and heterosexuality virtually equivalent..."

In the document, "On the collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the World," the Catholic Church said it was responding to "certain currents of thought which are often at variance with the authentic advancement of women".

It said it wanted to "correct the perspective which views men as enemies to be overcome..."

The 37-page document, signed by the Church's powerful doctrinal enforcer Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and approved by the pope, calls on governments to recognize "a just valuing of the work of women within the family".

Women who work at home should not be "stigmatized by society or penalized financially," the document says.

But it adds that women who work outside the home should "not have to choose between relinquishing their family life or enduring continual stress, with negative consequences for one's own equilibrium and the harmony of the family".

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