Francis’ Denunciation

Apr 5, 2024 | Blog Articles

For the April prayer intention, Pope Francis calls for an end to discrimination against women.

An Asian woman with tears in her eyes, one behind a grate with a sad look on her face, a group of rape victims driven out of their villages, a line of teenage girls awaiting genital mutilation: the Video accompanying Francis’ prayer intention opens with strong images in line with the Pope’s heartfelt denunciation. Who recalls the great distance between statements of principle (“In words we all agree that men and women have equal dignity as persons”) and the reality of the facts (“in practice this does not happen”).

So many times before, in his monthly prayer intentions, Francis has asked the Church to pray for women. This time he puts the emphasis on the recognition of their dignity and wealth-the word recognize is no accident, because it does not indicate a concession on the part of states, but an awareness of a reality that already exists in itself-and denounces “the discrimination of which they are victims in various parts of the world.”

It is the Pope himself who gives examples, citing discriminatory laws currently in force: on the obligation to dress in a certain way, on prohibitions to continue studies, on the denial of subsidies to open a business. He asks governments to eliminate these discriminations and to work to ensure that women’s fundamental rights are guaranteed; he asks all of us to respect women, who unfortunately are still treated “as waste material” in many parts of the world and who very often-even in countries that call themselves more advanced-are victims of violence and abuse. 

Andrea Sarubbi

Coordinator of The Pope’s Video


The Pope’s Official Prayer Network

We pray that religious women and men, and seminarians grow in their own vocations through their human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation, leading them to be credible witnesses to the Gospel.