Catholic Integral Complementarity

Brothers and sisters, the recent discussions of the Trinity and of complementarianism have revealed among other things the theological and historical shallowness of much that passes for state-of-the-art theology and social thought in Protestant circles. We really must do better. This week I’m sharing two guest posts that model depth of thought and positive engagement that surmount the stereotypical evangelical method with a deeper, more holistic approach to personhood. 
 
We first heard from a Reformed woman on singles and the church. Today I am going to share a Roman Catholic perspective on women and the church, asking the reader to take notice of the depth of thought and positive engagement with her church's teaching that Catholics typically use in engaging issues of personhood, specifically as they relate to issues of gender difference, marriage, singleness etc.  We post it here not because we agree with all that she says -- we do not do so, particularly her theology on Mary --, but rather to set before Protestant readers what can and should be done in engaging the pressing issues of our day in these areas.
 
 
Catholic Integral Complementarity
by Luma Simms
 
 
Note: Dear reader,  In light of the recent discussion on complementarity, the Nicene understanding of the Trinity, and the Eternal Subordination of the Son, I write here a simple description of Catholic integral complementarity. This is not a theological treatise with philosophical and theological proofs. Nor should this essay be taken as an aim at proselytizing the reader. I write it in good will, as your sister in Christ and as a Catholic convert from Protestantism, and from these very circles in particular. My hope is that this basic description of Catholic integral complementarity will help inform the intra-Protestant discourse on the topic. I ask that you read it charitably with an eye to glean understanding of this viewpoint and not only to refute. It is one thing to claim on paper or teach that women have equal dignity with men, it is another to build a culture which makes that gospel truth thrive; and yet another to read me, a woman, through that respectful lens—as you would respectfully read a male author. Lastly, please note that when I write Church in this essay, I am referring to the Roman Catholic Church and her Magisterium. 
 
 
The first, and most helpful thing to understand about the Roman Catholic Christian faith is that the theory of integral complementarity, is predicated on a foundational idea about man and the world God created. From this foundational idea others spring forth. Without understanding this “Catholic difference” nothing Catholic makes sense. George Weigel has written, “while Catholicism is a body of beliefs and a way of life, Catholicism is also an optic, a way of seeing things, a distinctive perception of reality.” Although it can be described in a variety of ways, I have found Weigel's the most helpful. 
 
 
He writes:
 
You can call it the 'Catholic both/and': nature and grace, faith and works, Jerusalem and Athens, faith and reason, charismatic and institutional, visible and invisible. You can call it the “sacramental imagination”... You can call it a taste for the analogical, as distinguished from some Protestants' taste for the dialectical.” [Emphasis in the original]
 
 
Therefore, in order to grasp how Catholics think about biblical complementarity and the complementarity even within the natural world God created, one must get this Catholic both/and thing. The Catholic both/and, in turn, rests on a fundamental Catholic understanding, one of the pillars of Catholicism: It is that grace does not destroy nature, but perfects and elevates it—transforming it, even in the here and now.
 
 
A HIGH VIEW OF WOMEN
 
One can not talk about Catholic integral complementarity without first talking about the Catholic Church's high view of women; and one can not talk about the Church's high view of women without first talking about Mary. Given the Protestant allergy to Mary (including my own while still a Protestant) I will keep this short and to the point. But first I would like to respectfully repeat that this is not a disputation, it is only an explanation.
 
 
Rejecting the Nestorian claim that Mary, the mother of Jesus be called the mother of Christ because she is only the mother of Jesus' human nature, the third ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus in 431 re-affirmed the Nicene Creed, that, 
 
 
We confess the Word to have been made one with the flesh hypostatically, and we adore one Son and Lord, Jesus Christ. We do not divide him into parts and separate man and God in him, as though the two natures were mutually united only through a unity of dignity and authority.
 
 
And, 
 
[B]ecause the holy virgin bore in the flesh God who was united hypostatically with the flesh, for that reason we call her mother of God, not as though the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh (for 'the Word was in the beginning and the Word was God and the Word was with God', and he made the ages and is coeternal with the Father and craftsman of all things), but because, as we have said, he united to himself hypostatically the human and underwent a birth according to the flesh from her womb.
 
 
Thus Mary was called Theotokos (mother of God). Over and again in the Church's 2000 year history we see that advancement in understanding Mary (or what the Church has called Marian dogmas) came in reality because the Church had to defend against heresies. The focus of these theological battles was always Christ.
 
 
The second idea which has direct bearing on the issue of complementarity for Catholics is that Mary is the New Eve, or The Second Eve. This is not a new-fangled doctrine. From the earliest times, from the Fathers, John Henry Newman has written, this has been “the prima facie view of her person and office.” And as Irenaeus wrote: “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith.” Many Church Fathers can be quoted, but this is sufficient for the present. 
 
 
And so the Church's high view of women begins first and foremost because of her high view of Mary, the mother of God and her role as the second Eve. “Thus in the Blessed Virgin the figure of ‘woman' is rehabilitated” said Pope John Paul II. “Blessed is she who believed,” Elizabeth said of the Virgin Mary; the Church has always believed that Mary was the first disciple, the exemplar disciple. But not an Apostle, she never claimed apostolic powers for herself. Nor has the Church ever assigned apostolic powers to Mary. But rather through the directive of Jesus while on the cross she becomes the mother of all disciples: “Woman, behold, your son!” And to the disciple “Behold, your mother!” 
 
 
The reason that Mary is “full of grace,” the Church has said, is because of Ephesians 1:3-6 (Redemptoris Mater, no. 7-11). Here is how John Henry Newman puts it:
 
"Does not the objector consider that Eve was created, or born, without original sin? Why does not this shock him? Would he have been inclined to worship Eve in that first estate of hers? Why, then, Mary?
 
"Does he [the objector] not believe that St. John Baptist had the grace of God—i.e., was regenerated, even before his birth? What do we believe of Mary, but that grace was given her at a still earlier period? All we say is, that grace was given her from the first moment of her existence.
 
“We do not say that she did not owe her salvation to the death of her son.”
 
 
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has written:
 
The angel's greeting makes it clear that the blessing is more powerful than the curse. The sign of the woman has become the sign of hope; she is the signpost of hope. God's decision for man that becomes visible in her "is more powerful than any experience of evil and sin, than all the 'enmity' that marks the history of men." 
 
 
This high view of Mary, which leads to a high view of women, never eclipses her son. But in fact it is seen as deepening and enriching our knowledge of our Redeemer. And here we come to our first set of both/and. A high view of Jesus and Mary, leads to a high view of men and women. 
 
 
In Catholicism one does not have to downplay Mary, her person, her role, her life and contribution to salvation history; she stands “'at the center of [the] salvific event' which is God's self-revelation to the world,” writes Weigel. There is no competition here. Jesus is God incarnate, he is the one and only Mediator; there is no salvation outside of Christ. None of this, however, means we need to relegate Mary to the role of a surrogate womb. Honoring her does not take glory away from him, it does not dishonor him. Dishonoring her, dishonors him. As John Henry Newman put it: “Why not honour Our Lord in our respectful mention of his Mother? Why, because some Christians exceed in their devotion, become irreverent?”
 
 
It is the result of the Cartesian worldview that this either/or competition creeps in. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger says it thus:
 
An exaggerated solus Christus compelled its adherents to reject any cooperation of the creature, any independent significance of its response, as a betrayal of the greatness of grace. Consequently, there could be nothing meaningful in the feminine line of the Bible stretching from Eve to Mary. Patristic and medieval reflections on that line were, with implacable logic, branded as a recrudescence of paganism, as treason against the uniqueness of the Redeemer. Today's radical feminisms have to be understood as the long-repressed explosion of indignation against this sort of one-sided reading of Scripture.
 
 
“She [Mary] is not allowed to hide herself behind her Son in false humility,” Hans Urs von Balthasar has written. And again, “the Church begins with the Yes of the Virgin of Nazareth.” Balthasar makes it clear in Women Priests? A Marian Church in a Fatherless and Motherless Culture, that the Church, founded by Jesus Christ, ushers in a new cosmos, one in which there is a balance of the feminine and masculine. He writes:
 
Because of her unique structure, the Catholic Church is perhaps humanity's last bulwark of genuine appreciation of the difference between the sexes. 
 
 
Pope John Paul II, acknowledged that throughout history across many world cultures and at times by the Church herself, “women's dignity has often been unacknowledged and their prerogatives misrepresented; they have often been relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude.” Not only did he apologize to women for whatever part the Church played in treating women as second-class citizens, but he called for a “time to examine the past with courage, to assign responsibility where it is due in a review of the long history of humanity.” Women throughout history, in spite of their heroic and substantial contributions to society have been underestimated and ignored. In his many writings on women he acknowledges all this and more, he worked hard to re-assert the equal dignity of women, calling the Church and the world to “uphold the dignity, role, and rights” of women by working for full integration of women into the social, political, and economic life of a democratic state. 
 
 
We come now to another both/and regarding women; that is the Catholic Church's call to advance the dignity of women in all areas of life, in what Pope John Paul II called “a new feminism,” and keep the significant difference between men and woman. More on this below. This high view has consequences, most significantly in that the Church does not look askance at women. This is the consequences of the “blessing” being “more powerful than the curse.” In other words, women are a blessing and a necessary part of the Church and the world community, not a threat and a curse to be suspect and restrained. 
 
 
CATHOLIC INTEGRAL COMPLEMENTARY THEORY
 
Catholic integral complementary theory rests on two theological foundations: The human person is created in the image and likeness of God, “a being at once corporeal and spiritual,” as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states it, and that man is of a single nature—matter and spirit are united. “The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the 'form' of the body.” Thus the Church holds that man is an embodied soul created in the image and likeness of God. 
 
 
Catholic hylomorphic anthropology and philosophy, then, stands against the Cartesian view that the mind is separate from the gendered body. Moreover, RenĂ© Descartes' metaphysical claim that the locus of an individual's identity lies in the sexless mind, making the physical body superfluous, has bequeathed us much of the “gender fluidity” we see in our culture today. As significant, this Cartesian dualism gave rise to what Catholics call fractional complementarity (male and female are significantly different each providing a fraction of the whole) in some Protestant circles, or what is sometimes called “hierarchical complementarity,” a complementarity which is curbed by a one-sided submission—that of the woman to the man—which inserts a kind of polarity in the relationship giving prominence of the man over the woman, and opening the door to the sinful inclination of the man to dominate the woman. 
 
 
On the other side of the spectrum there is radical feminism which pushes for a unisex gender theory, and somewhere along this spectrum is egalitarianism which neglects and downplays the specific diversity between men and women—the thinking being: if the mind is sexless, and the male and female mind are equal, then why can't women be just like men?
 
 
The Catholic response, has been to reject all of the distortions of ontological complementarity of man and woman discussed above, for what is termed an integral complementarity. A complementarity which neither neglects the fundamental equality of dignity of man and woman, nor the natural created order, nor the significant differences between man and woman. Again, there is the Catholic both/and: Man and woman are fundamentally equal, there is a natural order of the husband-wife relationship, and there is significant diversity between them.
 
 
One of the issues Pope John Paul II takes up in his magnificent Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body is to delve into all the ramifications of Christ's words when He said: “From the beginning.” This helped and continues to help the Church think deeply about what God intended for the husband and wife relationship “from the beginning.” And to articulate well its integral complementarity. The Church understands the women's movement, there is something deeply wrong in the way women have been treated, and continue to be treated, the Church has said. The Fathers of the fourth century spoke out against this (see footnote 33 in Mulieris Dignitatem), and the Church today continues to speak out against the discrimination of women. This mistreatment is due to the sin of our first parents, the sin which fractured their communion—original sin. “Original justice [was] destroyed, the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination” (CCC 400). “Burdened by hereditary sinfulness, they bear within themselves the constant 'inclination to sin', the tendency to go against the moral order which corresponds to the rational nature and dignity of man and woman as persons” wrote Pope John Paul II. 
 
 
The consequences of man's sin, and the language which describes the future relationship between husband and wife, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you" (Gen. 3:16), is a serious threat, especially for the woman, “since domination takes the place of 'being a sincere gift.'”  And “at the same time it also diminishes the true dignity of the man.” The Catholic interpretation of Gen. 3:16 (which is done with an eye toward Matthew 5: 27-28) is layered and complex, addressing shame, concupiscence, corruption of the consciousness of the unitive meaning of the body, the corruption of the spousal meaning of the body, and the insatiability of the union. I risk a distillation for our present purposes: man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of self to the other. But the “unity of the two” was broken, man and woman are now obstructed by their deep interior shame and concupiscence from the deep spiritual and bodily union they were to have with one another. They are now “threatened by the insatiability of that union and unity, which does not cease to attract man and woman.” They aspire to what they had but are now obstructed by their concupiscence from attaining it. The woman experiences this insatiability for their union acutely, and the man dominates her. But since they are both plunged into the threefold concupiscence of 1 John 2:16—the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, they both exhibit this threefold concupiscence in their relationship with one another. 
 
 
Writing in Mulieris Dignitatem:
 
This "domination" indicates the disturbance and loss of the stability of that fundamental equality which the man and the woman possess in the "unity of the two": and this is especially to the disadvantage of the woman, whereas only the equality resulting from their dignity as persons can give to their mutual relationship the character of an authentic "communio personarum.”
 
 
Sin diminished man (as male and female), it darkened his intellect and weakened his will, but it did not destroy the image and likeness of God in the human being. Jesus Christ and his Gospel transforms the husband-wife relationship, setting them free to live according to His calling. 
 
 
However, as Weigel writes, “the liberation of women from these patterns of domination can never be a liberation against. It must be a liberation for, one that safeguards the distinctive vocation of women and men that results from what the Pope calls their 'personal originality.'” We see then that our understanding of freedom plays a crucial role in the response against injustice; it dictates our moral choices. Men and women are set free by Christ from the old curse. Both must ask what freedom is for. The Church embraces Thomas Aquinas's freedom for excellence, over and against William of Ockham's freedom of indifference. (This plays a crucial role in understanding complementarity see bibliography below for more on this.) As Pope John Paul II pushed for continued freedom for women, he nonetheless gives them a warning in Mulieris Dignitatem:
 
 
[E]ven the rightful opposition of women to what is expressed in the biblical words "He shall rule over you" (Gen 3:16) must not under any condition lead to the "masculinization" of women. In the name of liberation from male "domination", women must not appropriate to themselves male characteristics contrary to their own feminine "originality". There is a well-founded fear that if they take this path, women will not "reach fulfillment", but instead will deform and lose what constitutes their essential richness. It is indeed an enormous richness. 
 
 
 
The four principles of Catholic integral complementarity are: Equal dignity (Gen. 1:26), Significant difference (Gen. 1:27), Synergetic relation (Gen. 1:28, 2:24), and Intergenerational fruition (Gen. 5). I am not going to give an extended rationale for this categorization here; please see the bibliography at the end for further theological and philosophical support.
 
 
COMPLEMENTARITY CARRIES WITH IT RECIPROCITY
 
The Catholic Church understands Ephesians 5:22-33 within the context of the entire 5th chapter. This means “wives be subject to your husbands” is held in that Catholic both/and with other verses in Ephesians 5 and balanced with the rest of Scriptures, especially Jesus' treatment of women in the gospels. So it is never an either/or, and it is never separated from “be imitators of God...walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us...walk as children of light...be filled with the Spirit...addressing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs...be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives be subject to your husbands... Husbands love your wives...let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
 
 
Complementarity, therefore, in the Catholic understanding, is never untethered from reciprocity. When Pope John Paul II analyzes this section of Scripture in his monumental Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body he writes:
 
What is at issue here is a relationship with two dimensions or on two levels: reciprocal and communitarian. One specifies and characterizes the other. The reciprocal relations of husband and wife must spring from their common relation with Christ. [This reciprocity is rooted in the “fear of Christ”] The author [he is referring to St. Paul] speaks about the mutual submission of the spouses, husband and wife, and in this way shows also how to understand the word he writes afterward about the submission of the wife to the husband. … This relationship is nevertheless no one-sided submission.... Husband and wife are, in fact, “subject to one another,” mutually subordinated to one another. The source of this reciprocal submission lies in Christian pietas and its expression is love. [Emphasis in the original]
 
 
Love excludes every kind of submission by which the wife would become a servant or slave of the husband, an object of one-sided submission. Love makes the husband simultaneously subject to the wife, and subject in this to the Lord himself, as the wife is to the husband. The community or unity that they should constitute because of marriage is realized through a reciprocal gift, which is also a mutual submission. Christ is the source and at the same time the model of that submission. [Emphasis in the original]
 
Patriarchy in the Scriptures is descriptive not prescriptive. A one-sided submission—as in “he will rule over you”—infects the “communion of persons” which lies at the very nature of marriage. Pope John Paul II writes, “marriage, in its deepest essence, emerges from the mystery of God's eternal love for man and humanity: from the salvific mystery that Christ's spousal love fulfills in time for the Church....marriage in its very essence stands Christ's spousal relationship with the Church.” The Church teaches that love is a self-gift, you love by giving yourself as a gift to the other. It is a false dichotomy—one which Pope John Paul II especially pushed against—to claim that in order to fight against the destruction of marriage, and the damage of the sexual revolution and radical feminism we must re-stress the husband-wife hierarchy with emphasis on the wife's submission. That was one of the problems which partially gave rise to modern radical feminism. See the work of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger, Catholic philosopher Sr. Prudence Allen, R.S.M., and St. Edith Stein. Much could be said on that one point alone. But let us go on.
 
 
I understand there can be some misunderstanding here since St. Paul specifically says that Christ is the Head of the Church. Indeed the Church submits to Christ as her Head, because the Church is the Body, never the Head of Christ. Yet at the same time, one can say reciprocally, he submits to her through his self-sacrificial love. Christ came to serve the Church and give himself up for her. That is the reciprocity the Catholic Church teaches for husband and wife. The wife submits to her husband by respecting him and the husband reciprocally submits by his self-sacrificial service and love. See Pope Leo XIII's Arcanum (On Christian Marriage), Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii (Chaste Marriage, On Christian Marriage) Mulieris Dignitatem (The Dignity of Women) for more on this topic.
 
 
And this brings us to the natural created order of husband and wife. The Church teaches that Adam was created before Eve. The marriage of our first parents, Adam and Eve, was corrupted after they sinned. Thus giving us the sinful patterns of abuse, domination, and objectivization. But this is precisely where supernatural grace comes in—grace perfects and elevates nature—and “transforms marriage into mutual self-giving and mutual submission,” as friend and Catholic philosopher Dr. Bryan Cross has put it. 
 
 
I would like to add one more point to this section and that is the submitting one to another never does away with the significant difference between the man and the woman in Catholic integral complementarity. Again it is not either/or, it is both/and. Husband and wife mutually give themselves as gift to the other, submit one to another out of love and fear of the Lord, their relationship is perfected by the grace of God sanctifying them, and they maintain their significant difference, they continue to be ontologically and metaphysically different.
 
 
DIVINE LIKENESS
 
During her 2000 year history the Church has been cautious about analogizing too much between the Holy Trinity and man and woman in marriage. After all, this is the same Church who gave the world the Nicene Creed (which it confesses every Sunday in its liturgy), the indefatigable Athanasius and the Athanasian Creed, and the ecumenical councils. Having fought many heresies to defend the Trinity, the Church has been circumspect in this area. The closest the Church has come to making such a comparison is Pope John Paul II's writing about the communion of love within the Holy Trinity.
 
From Mulieris Dignitatem:
 
[Regarding the truth of God's oneness and unity in the Old Testament] Within this fundamental truth about God the New Testament will reveal the inscrutable mystery of God's inner life. God, who allows himself to be known by human beings through Christ, is the unity of the Trinity: unity in communion. In this way new light is also thrown on man's image and likeness to God, spoken of in the Book of Genesis. The fact that man "created as man and woman" is the image of God means not only that each of them individually is like God, as a rational and free being. It also means that man and woman, created as a "unity of the two" in their common humanity, are called to live in a communion of love, and in this way to mirror in the world the communion of love that is in God, through which the Three Persons love each other in the intimate mystery of the one divine life. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God through the unity of the divinity, exist as persons through the inscrutable divine relationship. Only in this way can we understand the truth that God in himself is love (cf. 1 Jn 4:16).
 
 
The image and likeness of God in man, created as man and woman (in the analogy that can be presumed between Creator and creature), thus also expresses the "unity of the two" in a common humanity. This "unity of the two", which is a sign of interpersonal communion, shows that the creation of man is also marked by a certain likeness to the divine communion ("communio"). This likeness is a quality of the personal being of both man and woman, and is also a call and a task.” 
 
 
So we see here that the Church doesn't start with human marriage relationship (human communio) and project back into the divine, rather the one analogy, so to speak, which can be safely made is that the divine communio is the prime communio. The Church does not make a direct link between man and God the Father, and between woman and one of the other members of the Holy Trinity. 
 
 
Pope John Paul II cautions regarding analogies to the Holy Trinity. He writes in Mulieris Dignitatem:
 
[T]he language of the Bible is sufficiently precise to indicate the limits of the "likeness", the limits of the "analogy". For biblical Revelation says that, while man's "likeness" to God is true, the "non-likeness" [Cf. Num 23:19; Hos 11:9; Is 40:18; 46:5; cf. also Fourth Lateran Council (DS 806)] which separates the whole of creation from the Creator is still more essentially true. Although man is created in God's likeness, God does not cease to be for him the one "who dwells in unapproachable light" (1 Tim 6:16): he is the "Different One", by essence the "totally Other".
 
CONSEQUENCES OF INTEGRAL COMPLEMENTARITY
 
The description I have given above of Catholic integral complementarity is a simple sketch. Within the Church this doctrine is more complex—touching on and interconnected with the fact that marriage is a sacrament, the indissolubility of marriage, the Church's position on the dignity and sanctity of all human life (unborn, disabled, the aged, the poor, the incarcerated, etc.), celibacy, the vocation to religious life, Mary the mother of God, apostolic succession, the priesthood, and of course, the Church's teaching on the morally appropriate way to regulate birth.
 
 
I have described Catholic integral complementarity as it is promulgated by the Church, this does not mean that the Catholic Church is perfect or that it doesn't have its own progressive wing. Catholic integral complementarity has not become a slippery slope leading to woman priests, etc. Although some within the progressive wing did push for ordination of women, the Church has spoken definitively on this matter. For those interested please see Pope John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Reserving Priestly Ordination To Men Alone).
 
 
The Catholic Church keeps a glacial pace, working in 50 and 100 year increments, so she tends to be slow to respond sometimes, which in reality can be a good thing. Nevertheless, the Church is always reforming (semper ecclesia reformanda) but with continuity, never a rupture from the past. Again that both/and. Blessed John Henry Newman, well versed in the history of ecumenical councils, along with his work on the development of doctrine has helped, and will continue to help the Church grow more faithful to God's divine truth. “For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her,” Dei Verbum.
 
 
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you how your brethren in Christ in the Roman Catholic Church approach this subject. It is not my place nor my desire to involve myself in the current intra-Protestant discourse on complementarity and the doctrine of the Trinity. I will relay only one personal note here: In my ecclesiastical journey, I never experienced such respect as a woman as I have in the Roman Catholic Church and in the culture which she strives to build. I hope this essay has been helpful to the reader.  Peace to you in Christ Jesus.
 
 
 
Bibliography
 
Arcanum (Secret; On Christian Marriage) Pope Leo XIII; Casti Connubii (Chaste Marriage, On Christian Marriage) Pope Pius XI; Catechism of the Catholic Church © 1994; Dei Verbum (God's Word, Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation, a Vatican II document); Familiaris Consortio (On The Role Of The Christian Family In The Modern World) Pope John Paul II; Gaudium et spes (Joy and Hope, The Pastoral Constitution On The Church In The Modern World, a Vatican II document); Humanae Vitae (On Human Life) Paul VI; Letter Of Pope John Paul II To Women Pope John Paul II; Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel; Lumen Gentium (The Light, Dogmatic Constitution On The Church, a Vatican II document); Man and Woman He Created Them: The Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II; Man-Woman Complementarity: The Catholic Inspiration by Sr. Prudence Allen, R.R.M; Mary, the Second Eve, by John Henry Newman; Morality: The Catholic View, by Servais Pinckaers, O.P.; Mulieris Dignitatem (On The Dignity And Vocation Of Women) Pope John Paul II; Mulieris Dignitatem Twenty Years Later: An Overview of the Document and Challenges by Sr. Prudence Allen, R.S.M.; Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Reserving Priestly Ordination To Men Alone) Pope John Paul II; Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, And The Church edited by Mary Rice Hasson; Redemptoris Mater (Mother of the Redeemer) Pope John Paul II; The Collected Works of Edith Stein, by Edith Stein translated by Freda Mary Oben, Ph.D.; The Sign of the Woman, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger; To The Disciple He Said, 'Behold Your Mother' Pope John Paul II General Audience of Wednesday, 23 April 1997;  Witness To Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel; Women Priests? A Marian Church in a fatherless and motherless culture by Hans Urs von Balthasar.
 
Luma Simms writes on culture, family, philosophy, politics, religion, and on the life and thought of immigrants. Her work has appeared at Crisis Magazine, First Things Magazine, Public Discourse, and The Federalist. She is the author of Gospel Amnesia: Forgetting the Goodness of the News. Her educational background includes a B.S. in physics from California State Polytechnic University Pomona. She studied law at Chapman University School of Law before leaving to become an at-home-mom. At Chapman Law, Luma, was research assistant to Dr. John C. Eastman, which included work for The Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence. She also clerked for Superior Court Judge James P. Gray of Orange County, California. Luma lives in Arizona with her husband and five children.

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