Tonight, Tuesday March 13 at 7pm ET, Mary Rose Bacani and I host a Catholic Focus episode on gender and identity. We interview Pia de Solenni, a leading female theologian and winner of the 2001 Pontifical Academy Prize for her doctoral dissertation analyzing feminism in light of St. Thomas Aquinas. To the question “Can feminism be Christian?” she responds with a resounding yes.
The show airs at a fitting time. Last week the world recognized "International Women’s Day": twenty-hour hours dedicated to connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s representative at the United Nations, commemorated the occasion with a talk delivered to the UN General Assembly in New York. He said:
It seems, in fact, that oftentimes the ideas on the equality of rights between men and women have been marked by an antagonistic approach which exalts opposition between them. This approach juxtaposes woman against man and vice versa, while the identity and role of one is emphasized with the aim of merely diminishing that of the other. Success in the quest for equality and the empowerment of women can best be achieved when such antagonism gives way to mutual respect and recognition of the identity and the role of one towards the other.
There are many calls for “gender equality” and that is all good and well. But the search for a true equality should never force women to relinquish their identity and extraordinary gifts. That is precisely the topic of discussion between myself, Mary Rose Bacani, and our guest Pia de Solenni, on tonight's Catholic Focus.