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Dignity & Vocation of Women

"The Church gives thanks for each and every woman," says Pope John Paul II in an apostolic letter on women titled "Mulieris Dignitatem." it is described as a letter on the dignity and vocation of women on the occasion of the Marian Year. Released September 30th at the Vatican, the letter is dated 15 August 1988. It represents the pope's response to a recommendation of the 1987 world Synod of Bishops for further study of the anthropological and theological bases needed to solve problems connected with the meaning and dignity of being a woman or a man. Says the pope, "Both man and woman are human beings to an equal degree, both are created in God's image." The pope explores the attitude of Jesus toward women in the Gospels. "It is universally admitted...that in the eyes of his contemporaries Christ became a promoter of women's true dignity and of the vocation corresponding" to it, the pope writes. Some of his themes include the exploitation of women, marriage, motherhood, the value of religious consecration, virginity, women who suffer, distinct feminine gifts and women's ordination.