"As in the family, so too in government. Laws do not only exist to secure public order; they exist to guard the social order as well. Our laws should reflect our customs and norms-not some noxious ideology, but our values. Over the last century, we've strayed far from the values that made this country strong. But there is one simple way to put us back on the right track: repeal the Nineteenth Amendment," he wrote.
Invoking Pope St. John Paul II's Letter to Women, the bishops of Maryland said "we must remain vigilant" in ensuring that women continue to be treated with acceptance and respect in the Church, home and workplace.
"…there is an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic State," the bishops said, quoting Letter to Women.
Much also remains to be done "to prevent discrimination against those who have chosen to be wives and mothers," they said, quoting John Paul II again.
The bishops also noted that Pope Francis has spoken in support for women's rights on numerous occasions, including his 2019 apostolic exhortation Christus vivit.
Pope Francis said in that text that the Church must acknowledge times in its own history when women were treated unfairly.
"[A] living Church can react by being attentive to the legitimate claims of those women who seek greater justice and equality. A living Church can look back on history and acknowledge a fair share of male authoritarianism, domination, various forms of enslavement, abuse and sexist violence," Francis said.
In their statement, the bishops also noted their appreciation "for women in our own (arch)dioceses, parishes, schools, and Catholic ministries for the witness and encouragement they provide to young people as women of faith, intelligence and leadership. We hold up, as well, all women who provide their children and our society a loving witness to the beauty of family life."
The bishops also expressed their gratitude for all women who had impacted their lives, especially the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose "enduring example of womanhood that Mary provides is a guiding light for all women; it is the ultimate example of unconditional love, sacrifice, strength, grace, and perseverance."
"It is our desire that the next 100 years of our nation's history will serve as a time of continued progress that never fails to recognize the God-given dignity of all women," the bishops said.
"The voices and contributions of women are needed now more than ever as we seek to build a culture that recognizes that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and those rights must be protected and preserved."
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"We pray that all people of good will will join us in celebrating this momentous anniversary for women in the United States and may God's grace continue to bless all women as they seek to live out their vocations."