A Response to a Call from Pope Francis: Fashioning a Profound Theology of Women in the Catholic Church

Elizabeth Marian Tamposi, Fordham University


In an interview, Pope Francis said, “We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman.” In response to his call to develop a theology of women, this dissertation explores the question: How can Catholic religious educators best develop and teach a theology that plunges to the depths of women’s personal and public lives? Through a review of the last 90 years of Roman Catholic papal and doctrinal teachings on complementarity and an overview of selected Catholic feminist writings from the last 50 years, the study shows that Church teachings of complementarity has often presented women as being subservient to men. To develop a contemporary, profound theology of women, the dissertation turns to Pope Francis. In Laudato si’, he re-envisioned complementarity as the interconnected relationships within all of creation that manifests itself as a unity and integral ecology. Francis also reasserted the idea that God is love and divine love is throughout everything, and he taught that as beings made in God’s image, that is, made in the image of Love, all women and men are called to loving service to God, neighbor, creation, and self as a way of participating in the integral ecology or complementarity of the universe. In the final chapter, the dissertation draws insight from teachings on divine love presented by Jesus of Nazareth, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Francis to provide pedagogical practices to guide girls and women to develop new understandings of womanhood and complementarity by embracing more fully that humanity is endowed with divine love to love as God loves.

Subject Area

Theology|Religion|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Tamposi, Elizabeth Marian, "A Response to a Call from Pope Francis: Fashioning a Profound Theology of Women in the Catholic Church" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28546053.