During a recent address in St. Peter’s Square, the pontiff called the pay gap (aka the socioeconomic phenomenon that sees women paid consistently less than men for equal work) a “pure scandal.”
He continued, “Why is it taken for granted that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights.”
The comments were made during a broader speech about marriage, during which the pope refuted the idea that women’s liberation was responsible for the decline in the institution, blaming it instead on the current “culture of the provisional”, where nothing is “definitive.”
Oh, and he also cleared up that whole Adam’s rib thing:
The story of Genesis, in which God creates Adam and then creates Eve from his rib to be a “helper suited to him,” is often quoted as proof that women are subordinate and should be subservient to men. Pope Francis, however, asserted that:
“The image of the ‘rib’ does not in any way express inferiority or subordination, but on the contrary, that man and woman are of the same substance and are complementary.”
These comments are earning His Holiness high praise from some feminists:
— Cathy Newman (@cathynewman) April 30, 2015
Not everyone agrees, of course:
If I see “Pope Francis” and “feminist” in the same sentence again I just might scream
— Carolyn B (@carolynlb) April 30, 2015
Many have a difficult time labeling the pope with the F word just yet, because the Vatican hasn’t taken such a progressive stance on other hot button women’s issues like abortion and birth control.
Even so, the fact that his actions are even inviting the conversation is somewhat revolutionary for the image of the Catholic Church, which this pope continues to reshape faster than you can say three Hail Marys.