THEME 4: THE EQUAL DIGNITY OF MAN AND WOMAN IN THEIR SELF-GIVING

1. Opening song/hymn

2. The Lord's Prayer

3. Scripture Reading: Genesis 2: 21-24

"So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, 'This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."

4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church:

The moral criterion for the authenticity of conjugal and family relationships consists in fostering the dignity and vocation of the individual persons, who achieve their fullness by sincere self-giving.

Above all it is important to underline the equal dignity and responsibility of women with men. This equality is realized in a unique manner in that reciprocal self-giving by each one to the other and by both to the children which is proper to marriage and the family. What human reason intuitively perceives and acknowledges is fully revealed by the word of God. The history of salvation, in fact, is a continuous and luminous testimony to the dignity of women.

In creating the human race "male and female" (Genesis 1: 27), God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity, endowing them with the inalienable rights and responsibilities proper to the human person.

The true advancement of women requires that clear recognition be given to the value of their maternal and family role, by comparison with other public roles and all other professions. No program of equal rights between women and men is valid unless it takes this fact fully into account. There is no doubt that the equal dignity and responsibility of men and women fully justifies women's access to public functions.

(This is why it is necessary to discover) the original and irreplaceable meaning of work in the home and in rearing children. Society must be structured in such a way that wives and mothers are not in practice compelled to work outside the home...

The Christian message about the dignity of women is contradicted by that persistent mentality which considers the human being not as a person but as a thing, as an object of trade, at the service of selfish interest and mere pleasure: The first victims of this mentality are women. (cf. Gaudium et Spes, Familiaris Consortio, Mulieris Dignitatem)

5. The Bishop's Reflection

6. Dialogue:

What is the primary criterion of family relationships and the importance or dignity of the person?

Why isn't work in the home seen as deserving esteem and social recognition? What are the social costs of women working outside the home?

Does valid consent presuppose and require the equal dignity of man and woman with regard to marriage?

7. Commitments

8. Psalm 8

"O Lord, our God, how wonderful is your name in all the earth!"

9. Hail Mary....Queen of the Family: Pray for us.

10. Prayer for the Family

11. Final song/hymn

   

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