Eliminating any difference between sexes 'is not right,' pope says

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — While societies must find a way to overcome the subjugation of
women, pretending there are no differences between men and women or even using
technology to change a person’s sex is not the answer, Pope Francis said.

science “to radically eliminate any difference between the sexes, and, as
a result, the covenant between man and woman, is not right,” the pope said
Oct. 5, opening the Pontifical Academy for Life’s general assembly.

biological and psychological manipulation of sexual difference, which
biomedical technology now presents as a simple matter of personal choice —
which it is not — risks eliminating the source of energy that nourishes the
covenant between man and woman and makes it creative and fruitful,” the
pope said.

Francis offered several reflections for the academy’s consideration of humanity’s
relationship with technology, particularly in a culture he described as egocentric
and “obsessively centered on the sovereignty of man — as a species and as
individuals — in relation to all of reality.”

approach is not harmless: It forms a person who is always looking at himself in
the mirror, who can’t look others, or the world, in the eye,” the pope
said. “This approach has negative consequences for all one’s affections and
relationships in life.”

real scientific and technological progress should “inspire more humane
policies,” the pope said that men, women and children today suffer
“with bitterness and sorrow from the false promises of technocratic

are essential, he said, noting that God entrusted “creation and history to
the covenant between man and woman,” which is seen especially in marriage
and the transmission of new life.

But the
partnership between men and women goes beyond individual families, he said.
“It is an invitation to become responsible for the world, in culture and
politics, in the world of work and in the economy, and in the church as well.”

Meeting new
challenges “is not simply about equal opportunity or mutual recognition,”
he said. “Man and woman are called on not only to speak about love, but to
speak to each other, with love, about what they must do to ensure that our
lives together can be lived in the light of God’s love for every creature.

to each other, ally with each other, because neither man nor woman can shoulder
this responsibility without the other,” he said.

And, in a
culture where some people consider the transmission of new life “a
degradation of woman or a threat to societal well-being,” he said, the
church is called to affirm new life “as a gift.”

life gives us new life,” he said, it “makes us richer.”

for children and the elderly is also crucial, the pope said, because there are
“areas of the soul and of human sensitivity that demand to be heard and
acknowledged, guarded and appreciated, by individuals and by the community.”

Francis thanked the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life for their
commitment to defending the “responsible accompaniment of human life from
conception and throughout its years to its natural end” and engaging in
dialogue with people and scholars with different views to “bring a more
authentic wisdom about life to the attention of all peoples.”

and fruitful dialogue can and must be established with the many who are seeking
the true meaning of life,” the pope said.

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Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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