08/16/2004, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Mgr. Cruz speaking on Ratzinger's letter: men and women are complementary creatures

Manila (AsiaNews) – In an interview with the Manila Bulletin Mgr. Oscar Cruz, Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, expressed his support for the  "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the world", recently released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Responding indirectly to criticism voiced by Filipino feminists, Bishop Cruz said: "Cardinal Ratzinger's letter is a whole document and it will be unfair only to get one or two citations and then dwell on that."

"Men and women are complementary in constitution, biological functions and character traits," he added. "There are things that women have that men do not possess and vice-versa, as complementary creatures one without the other will not work."

The bishop said that the title of the letter itself calls for collaboration between men and women. He stressed that "only equals collaborate. There is no collaboration between someone rational and someone irrational. The entire document rests on the notion of true equality between men and women. And while machismo is a problem there is also one with its other extreme, namely feminism."

Many feminist leaders in the Philippines condemned the Vatican document. For example, Congresswoman Ana Theresita Hontiveros-Baraquel censured the document for "its culpable marginalisation of feminism." Some Christian groups also voiced their opposition to Ratzinger's letter. Mary John Manalansan, a feminist nun, urged people to "simply ignore it". (SE)

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