Mexican archbishop calls for defense of dignity of women


Archbishop Jose Luis Chavez Botello of Antequera-Oaxaca has called for the defense of the dignity of women who suffer from marginalization, the lack of opportunities and violence.

The archbishop made his remarks in a statement to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Association for the Protection of Oaxaca Young Women, a group that supports women from Indigenous and rural communities who come to the city to work and study.

Archbishop Chavez said that we must “open our eyes, set aside our pride and begin to act with social responsibility” to help women “who are in a vulnerable situation.”

The archbishop attributed the difficulties being faced by women as the result of “grave social errors that we have been making for decades in the fields of education, the family and policy with regards to women. In many women’s faces sadly we see injustice, abuse, and the sex trade, the havoc of drug addiction and some involved already in organized crime.”

Archbishop Chavez noted that women by nature are receptive and welcoming and easily perceive spiritual realities, which they experience with greater awareness.  “Religious truths, when embraced by women in their hearts, take on an extraordinary resonance. They experience these realities in their interior and they make them felt by others,” he wrote.

He also underscored that motherhood in its deepest sense is a manifestation of women’s vocation to love, which she lives out by “giving of herself, to the point of forgetting herself, as an offering to others.”  “It is impossible that all of these gifts have been given to women by God for no purpose,” the archbishop stated.

Men and women enjoy a fundamental equality and the same rights based on their human dignity, he noted, but  “this equality does not erase the biological and psychological differences that stem from being male or female.”

To distort or obscure these differences would be a true catastrophe for personal identity and for society and the family.  “Men and women are complementary,” he said, “and therefore all superiority and competition must be eradicated.”

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