.- During a special Mass in honor of Our Lady of the Choir, Bishop Juan Maria Uriarte of San Sebastian, Spain, called for a rediscovery of the vocation to motherhood and consecrated virginity for women. Celebrating Mass at the Cathedral of Santa Maria in San Sebastian, the bishop noted the importance of women in society and their complementarity with man. “It is said, and rightly so, that Europe must breathe with both lungs: West and East. It is not less true to say that the life of our society must breathe in all aspects with its two lungs: male and female.”
Bishop Uriarte said the Church not only defends a woman’s decision to have a career, but also her call to motherhood and consecrated virginity. Motherhood, he noted, “transforms woman and brings the best out of her: generosity, self-denial, commitment, motives for living and struggling.” Thus “the low esteem shown to motherhood is a psychological mutilation of the feminine soul.”
Regarding consecrated virginity, Bishop Uriarte said it is something “different from the single life. When it is lived adequately it impregnates the entire feminine sensibility and opens it to God, and it is a source of tenderness and service for all those who are especially in need.” Nevertheless, he lamented, “vocational or consecrated virginity is so unappreciated in society and among young women.”
While he noted that the rights of women in society and the workplace “are being recognized,” he pointed out as well that in many ways male chauvinism is still present. Nevertheless, the bishop said, flagrant expressions of scorn towards women are today overall recognized as wrong.
Bishop Uriarte also pointed to the situation of many domestic employees who do not receive adequate and just pay, of many widows who are given unsatisfactory pensions, and that the opportunities given to women to balance their roles as mothers and as members of the workforce are “in practice insufficient.”