Saturday, July 31, 2004

New Vatican Document

LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE COLLABORATION OF MEN AND WOMENIN THE CHURCH AND IN THE WORLD

Released Today. Among other issues, presents a Biblical basis for the separation of the sexes.

First those that result from the Fall:

Original sin changes the way in which the man and the woman receive and

live the Word of God as well as their relationship with the Creator. Immediately

after having given them the gift of the garden, God gives them a positive

command (cf. Gn 2:16), followed by a negative one (cf. Gn 2:17), in which

the essential difference between God and humanity is implicitly expressed.

Following enticement by the serpent, the man and the woman deny this

difference. As a consequence, the way in which they live their sexual

difference is also upset. In this way, the Genesis account establishes a

relationship of cause and effect between the two differences: when humanity

considers God its enemy, the relationship between man and woman becomes

distorted. When this relationship is damaged, their access to the face of

God risks being compromised in turn.



God's decisive words to the woman after the first sin express the kind

of relationship which has now been introduced between man and woman: “your

desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gn 3:16). It will

be a relationship in which love will frequently be debased into pure

self-seeking, in a relationship which ignores and kills love and replaces it

with the yoke of domination of one sex over the other. Indeed the story of

humanity is continuously marked by this situation, which recalls the three-fold

concupiscence mentioned by Saint John: the concupiscence of the flesh, the

concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life (cf. 1 Jn 2:16). In this tragic

situation, the equality, respect and love that are required in the relationship

of man and woman according to God's original plan, are lost.

Then from the New Testament and how Christ overcomes this Fall for those who believe in Him:

“For all of you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ... there

is neither male nor female”, writes Saint Paul to the Galatians (3:27-28). The

Apostle Paul does not say that the distinction between man and woman, which in

other places is referred to the plan of God, has been erased. He means rather

that in Christ the rivalry, enmity and violence which disfigured the

relationship between men and women can be overcome and have been overcome. In

this sense, the distinction between man and woman is reaffirmed more than ever;

indeed, it is present in biblical revelation up to the very end. In the final

hour of present history, the Book of Revelation of Saint John, speaking of “a

new heaven and a new earth” (Rev 21:1), presents the vision of a feminine

Jerusalem “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:2). Revelation

concludes with the words of the Bride and the Spirit who beseech the coming of

the Bridegroom, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev22:20).



Purpose of the document as stated in the Introduction is to spark conversation. I think it will certianly do that.

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