A new Vatican document has denounced plastic surgery, calling it "aggressive" and saying it threatens "the feminine identity, showing a refusal of the body." The same document also lumps in abortion with female genital mutilation and rape as things that harm women, just in case you were worried the Vatican was actually becoming socially progressive.
Inés San Martín, a Vatican correspondent for the Catholic website Crux, reports that the new document was prepared for the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture by "a panel of female consultants." The Pontifical Council for Culture will be having a special assembly devoted to women's issues on February 4-7, titled, "Women's Cultures: Equality and Difference." Led by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravisi, it'll focus on "generativity, rights, poor and invisible women, women's spirituality, equality and reciprocity, power and service, insights and vision, biology, women in the Church." That sounds like it could be... not terrible? In preparation, Ravisi has begun shouting out to ladies on Twitter:
Crux notes that the report prepared for the Council specifically calls out plastic surgery as an issue for women, saying that it can ""amputate the expressive possibilities of the human face, which are so connected to empathic abilities," and "can be aggressive toward the feminine identity, showing a refusal of the body." Other issues cited, according to Crux: "abortion, infanticide, genital mutilation, crimes of honor, forced marriages, trafficking of women, sexual molestation, and rape," which the document calls "some of the deepest injuries inflicted daily on the soul of the world, on the bodies of women and of girls, who become silent and invisible victims." The Council also specifically plans to discuss domestic violence.
The document also notes that women don't play an equal role in the Church—you don't say—noting, "If, as Pope Francis says, women have a central role in Christianity, this role must find a counterpart also in the ordinary life of the Church."
Some of that is very nice and certainly long overdue. But why do we have the nagging feeling that all this discussion is just going to result in more scut work for Catholic women?
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