Vatican City, May 3, 2016 / 10:48 am
In his May prayer video Pope Francis issued a global petition that women in all countries would be respected and valued, asking rhetorically if the mere recognition of their role is enough, or if more can be done.
“The contribution of women in all areas of human activity is undeniable, beginning with the family. But only to recognize it – is that enough?” the Pope asked in the video, published May 3.
“We have done little for women who are in very difficult situations: despised, marginalized, and even reduced to slavery,” he said, stressing that “we must condemn sexual violence against women and remove the barriers that prevent their full integration into social, political and economic life.”
The Pope speaks in Spanish as images of women working in various fields, including science, teaching, and medicine flash across the screen. However, women in desperate, marginalized circumstances also appear next to phrases such as “I do my job as well as a man,” “I will never be a slave,” “no gender violence,” and “enough of discrimination at work.”
A final image of a woman writing on a chalkboard appears next to the phrase “men and women are children of God,” as Francis asks viewers to join in his heartfelt petition “that in all countries of the world women may be honored and respected and valued for their essential contribution to society.”
Pope Francis’ prayer video was the latest in a new series of short clips dedicated to his monthly prayer intentions, called “The Pope Video.”
An initiative of the Jesuit-run global prayer network Apostleship of Prayer, the videos are filmed in collaboration with the Vatican Television Center and mark the first time the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions have been featured on video.
Since the late 1800s the organization has also received a monthly, universal intention from the Pope. In 1929 an additional missionary intention was added by the Holy Father, aimed at the faithful in particular.