Women’s key interfaith dialogue role

Women’s work and dignity is often threatened by violence and hatred which tears families and societies apart, Pope Francis said on Friday.

He was addressing members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue at their annual plenary assembly.

Understanding women’s essential role is fundamental to understanding how to find and keep to “the path of humanity toward peace and fraternity; a path which is not at all obvious and clear, but marked by difficulty and obstacles,” Francis said.

During the meeting, council members considered the theme: “the role of women in educating in universal fraternity.”

Francis said in his view women’s role in promoting interfaith dialogue is essential.

Women are naturally capable of building relationships and fraternity, and “transform the human family”, he noted.

He said this makes them necessary everywhere in society.

“Today more than ever it’s necessary that women are present,” Francis said.

“Woman, possessing special characteristics, can offer an important contribution to dialogue with her ability to listen, to welcome and to generously open herself to others.”

He also pointed out women do and should contribute to religious and theological discussions at the highest levels, alongside their male counterparts.

Francis said unfortunately the female educator in universal fraternity “is blurred and often unrecognized due to many evils that afflict this world and which, in particular, affect women in their dignity and in their role”.

In this respect he noted women and children are the most frequent victims of present-day “blind violence”.

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News category: World.