WASHINGTON (August 7, 1997) -- Pope John Paul II's words on women are highlighted in The Genius of Women, an 80-page booklet published by the U.S. Catholic Conference.
The book includes papal talks from 1995, the year of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing.
"With global attention focused on women," the introduction notes, "Pope John Paul II took the opportunity to speak out on women's behalf" and "repeatedly affirmed women's gifts and leadership and praised the 'genius of women.'"
The talks were compiled by the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Women in Society and in the Church.
In compiling them, "the Committee hopes to make them more easily accessible to lay women and men, clergy and religious who seek to deepen their understanding of the changing role of women in the Church and in society," the introduction says.
The Committee also invites people "to read these statements thoughtfully, to reflect on them prayerfully, and to consider their practical application." It also urges dioceses to use the booklet as they prepare to celebrate the Third Millennium.
The compendium can be a helpful resource to dioceses, parishes, and lay movements and organizations. Parishes, for example, might use it with their pastoral councils, with post-RENEW or similar groups, or as part of their adult education programs. Dioceses could feature it in their continuing education for priests, while seminaries might use it as a reference work and for assigned reading in courses or workshops. The statements can provide a common ground for fruitful discussions about women and their participation in Church and society.
"One consistent theme unites these papal texts: they all invite committed action on behalf of women," the introduction notes. "This compendium strives to enable both the dialogue and the action to go forward. Reflecting on the Holy Father's words, we can indeed answer his challenge 'to move from words to deeds' as we stand on the threshold of the new millennium."
List price is $5.95. Publication number is 5-113. For information on ordering call USCC Publishing Services, toll-free 1-800-235-8722.