The Vatican has created an entire theology of womanhood without the input of a single woman! Searching the Vatican archives reveals a wide range of documents pertaining to women, some of which mention women tersely only in their capacity as workers needing protection (Rerum novarum, 1891) and others are fully dedicated to describing the status, role and mission of women in the family, society and the world (Mulieris dignitatem, 1988). Within the documents, as time passes, women become their own category of theological importance. This is due to the influence of feminism on the status and roles of women across the globe. Yet, there is vehement anti-feminism in the documents as well.
I searched the documents myself, curious as to what the Vatican had to say about womanhood and wrote a book on the topic published by Orbis in Febrary 2012 entitled, Women and the Vatican: An Explanation of Official Documents. I would like to lay out that theology now. Continue reading “The Roman Catholic Theology of Womanhood by Ivy Helman”