(photo credit: REUTERS)
Pope Francis lamented the woes of gender inequality and referred to the gender pay gap as “pure scandal” while making remarks on marriage and the family.
"As Christians we must become more demanding, for example, by supporting the right of equal pay for equal work, why should it be taken for granted that women must earn less than men? The disparity is pure scandal," Francis said on Wednesday during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday.
The papal leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics has been known for his liberal leaning policies regarding social issues-- taking non-traditional stances on issues ranging from diplomatic relations
to birth control
. This time, the Pope took the time to address family dissolution, equality in marriage and inequality in the workplace.
“The witness of the social dignity of marriage shall become persuasive, precisely by this way: the way of witness that attracts.” Francis said. “For this reason, as Christians, we must become more demanding in this regard: for example, [by] supporting with decision the right to equal retribution for equal work.”
Although Francis‘ remarks represent a more progressive papal attitude, he made sure to make reference to the more traditional Catholic view of the family, in which gender roles are clearly defined.
“At the same time,” said Pope Francis, “we must recognize the maternity of women and the paternity of men as a perennially valid treasure, for the benefit of children.”
He also went on to praise the hospitality of the Christian family, before lamenting on the decrease of marriage in any societies today and the increase in divorce rates. He expressed concern that these “broken marriage bonds affect the young most of all,” and create a culture in which marriage appears to be a temporary institution. Yet he continues to emphasize the importance of the institution.
“Perhaps there is a fear of failure which prevents men and women from trusting in Christ’s promise of grace in marriage and in the family.” Nevertheless, “In truth we know that almost every man and woman desires a secure and lasting relationship, a stable marriage and a happy family.”sign up to our newsletter