VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis added his voice Wednesday to the feminist anthem of equal pay for equal work, saying it’s “pure scandal” that women earn less than men for doing the same job.
Francis also lambasted the attitude of those who blame the crisis in families on women getting out of the house to work. He said such attitudes are a form of “machismo” that shows how men “want to dominate women.”
Francis made the comments during his Wednesday general audience, which he has been devoting to different aspects of family life before a big meeting on family issues in October.
Francis said the “radical equality” that Christianity proposes between husband and wife must bear new fruit.
“We should support with decisiveness the right to equal pay for equal work,” he said. “Why is it a given that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is pure scandal.”
Francis has spoken out frequently about how the Catholic Church in general must give greater value to the “feminine genius,” and has called for women to take on greater decision-making roles in the church, though he has ruled out women’s ordination or having women head Vatican congregations.
Only about 18 percent of Holy See employees are women, up from 17 percent four years ago. Currently, only two women hold the rank of undersecretary in a Vatican department.
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