What is the Catholic view of women?


Full Question

I am a Muslim woman considering becoming a Christian. Can you tell me what is the Catholic view about women? In Islam "they" say that women are shown high regard, but in Islam men have the power regarding almost everything and women don't. Women are bound by too many rules and regulations that don't make sense to me, while men are off the hook. I know that Catholics show Mary very high regard and even call her the Mother of God. Can you tell me more about the Catholic view about women?

Answer

The Catholic view is that men and women are equal in the sight of God. In marriage, each is to sacrifice himself or herself for the other. They are to build a family together through cooperation with each other and mutual respect.

There are differences in the roles they naturally play. Women are more natural caregivers for children, and men more naturally work outside the home. Yet women can and do work outside the home and men do act as caregivers for  children (changing diapers, feeding babies their bottles, burping them, walking with them when they are crying at night-men do all these things, just as women do). Their roles tend to be focused in one area (caregiving for women and working outside the home for men), but one can fill in for the other whenever needed.

Where there is an absolute difference in the roles the two sexes can play is in the giving of life. By natural law, only women can give physical life by serving as mothers. By supernatural law, only men can give spiritual life to the faithful by serving as priests. Women have the privilege of being intimately associated in the giving of life through birth, and men have the privilege of being intimately associated in the giving of life through the priesthood.

Mary displayed the fullest extent of the maternal calling by becoming the Mother of Christ, who is God, while Christ displayed the fullest extent of the priestly calling by becoming our High Priest before his Father.