BY Daniel Harkins | April 29 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Pope calls for equal pay, radical equality between the sexes

The Holy Father told pilgrims in St Peter’s Square at his general audience that there must be more equal opportunities in the workplace, and spoke out against chauvinism

Pope Francis has called for equal pay for equal work, saying that Christian seeds of radical equality between men and women must bring new fruits.

Speaking during his general audience in front of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, the Holy Father said that as Christians we must become more demanding in supporting the ‘right to equal retribution for equal work.’

“Disparity is a pure scandal,’ he added. “At the same time we must recognise the maternity of women and the paternity of men as a perennially valid treasure, for the benefit of children.”

“Why is it expected that women must earn less than men?” the National Catholic Reporter reports the Pope as adding in Italian. ““No! [they have] the same right. The disparity is a pure scandal.”

Addressing the fact that fewer young people are getting married, the Pope said that the economic crisis and women’s growing independence are not to blame.

“This argument is not valid,” he said. “It’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s based on chauvinism, a way to dominate women. We risk making the same mistake as Adam. When God asks him, ‘Why did you eat the fruit?’ He answers, ‘She gave it to me. It was her fault.’ Poor women, we have to defend them, ok?”

The Pope’s comments were part of his continuing general audience catechesis on marriage and the family.

“The most effective witness to the blessing of marriage is the good life of Christian spouses and their families,” he said. “The consecration of their love by God is the font of their peace and fidelity. To make these blessings more evident to the world, the equality enjoyed by the spouses must produce new fruit—equal opportunities in the workplace; a new valuing of motherhood and fatherhood; and a greater appreciation for the openness of families to those most in need.

“Let us not be afraid to invite Jesus and Mary to the marriage feast, for Christian spouses marry not only for themselves but for the good of the community and for all of society.”


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